To Tri or Not to Tri?

I have decided to challenge myself physically, and I am planning to do a sprint triathlon in early June. What is a sprint triathlon, you ask? I don’t know if all of them are the same, but the one I am doing is a half mile swim, followed by a 12 mile bike ride, then a 5k. Finishing with an awesome time is not my goal; just to finish is. I’m excited, scared, and nervous.  It should be a very interesting experience for me on a lot of levels. I’m a fine, if not super fast, swimmer. I can walk/jog a 5k in a reasonable amount of time. But when I was 14, I was riding my bike in a parking lot and was hit by a car. It wasn’t a huge deal, I just got knocked over, my bike was banged up, and I had a few nasty scrapes. But it was very traumatic, and I haven’t really gotten on a bike since.

There is a training program that I am following. I’m very comfortable with the swimming portion, I’m working on getting faster with the 5k part, and, well, I got on my bike for the first time in 15 years this past weekend. Training for walking/jogging is pretty easy, even on the road. Training for swimming is certainly doable. But training for biking? Should be interesting. The only thing I can come up with is to ride my bike as much as possible while home, and train on stationary bikes on the road.

I do yoga while traveling for work all the time, but that requires almost no extra stuff and minimal space requirements. Packing for this trip (Florida), for the first time I spent more time figuring out my workout clothes than my work clothes. Plus, in order to keep to my three pairs of shoes rule I only brought ONE pair of work shoes! Wow. The hotel where I am staying has a large pool and a workout room.  Hopefully I can find time in between meetings to make use of them!

Does anyone have tips for me for training for a triathlon on the road?


  1. Congrats on signing up for a triathlon! I started running last year and now I am addicted. Yes, these workout clothes take space in a suitcase! I’ve been people attaching their running shoes to the outside of their suitcase/carry-on to save space. Personally I try to take only 2 sets of workout clothes and I wash them in the evening. The Dri Fit materials dry quite fast.

  2. Congrats, and good luck on your training and your first tri! I have competed in 6 sprint tri’s since last year. I find them to be very fun and offers a great sense of accomplishment. A steady training plan will ensure that you finish. Unless you are ultra competitive, most Spring Tri’s are full of people like yourself, Rookies, that are looking to have fun and finish their first tris. Again, good luck! I hope to see an update when you finish!

    I will say stationary vs. road cycling is completely different. Try to ride on the road more than stationary.

  3. This is awesome! I have trained for a sprint tri before, but not while traveling. One piece of advice is to make sure that you do some kind of hill climb or random setting on the stationary bike. That will simulate road-riding better than a steady resistance level. I have a good friend who is a consultant and a roadie, and he stays in great riding shape using stationary bikes during the week! If you can get a regular sit-up bike rather than a recumbent, that is also better because it’s more like riding a real bike. BTW – why do you need 2 pairs of workout shoes? I can’t figure it out! 🙂

  4. In 2009 I started training for Triathlons. Loved doing them! It was during a travel trip that I hurt my back. My Chiropractor though it was the strain of travel on my back (looking down at laptop hard on back) and running on rough roads really through my back off -made it almost impossible for me to keep training. Make sure you take care of your back – stretch it properly. Good luck!

  5. I’m not sure about triathlons, but I’ve trained for half-marathons on the road. Ask your hotel concierge for a local map and what areas are safe to walk/run in. Many times, they have “runner’s maps” and can point you to a really nice route for whatever distance you’re going for. As a woman, one of the more important questions for me was “is it safe to be running alone around here?”. I found that the hotel staff was honest 100% of the time on that question, even if it was something like “it’s safe during the day, but be careful at night”.
    Also, on the shoe issue, running/athletic shoes are normally larger than dress shoes, if you can, wear those on the plane instead to save packing space.

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