Look Back Sunday #3 : Improvised Olympic Triathlon

Swim bike run

So there I was today standing at the beginning of what would be the first time that I actually combined the 3 sports that I have practiced for 8 months now. It was going to be a total triumph in which I would sail through the 3 disciplines fed by some energy drink and pure adrenaline. This was going to be a fantastic triathlon which I had organized for myself.
Then came the first lap in the pool.
Like Mike Tyson had a hard training session on  my core, that was how it felt. I started out to fast and my core did not fully agree on that one which resulted in me swimming 1,2K with really, really painful abs. God was I happy that I got out of the pool in 26:20 eventhough that wasn’t the 25 minutes I normally swim, but hey, normally Mike Tyson doesn’t punch me in the stomach so I decided to just take it.

Then came the lightening fast transition of 6:33.. horrible I know, but I blame this one on the fact that I actually had to get fully dressed with 3 layers of clothing and all that. In a race it’s 25 degrees and you can just where a trisuit, It’s not that warm so fully clothed was the only option, it was reasonable for what I needed to wear, let’s go with that.

My mother had guarded my bike with her life on the parking lot so no chains to unlock, heading striaght for 40K of asphalt.
At least, that was what I had planned on.
After a good, solid 15K at a speed that I was happy with, I encountered somewhat of a ‘road block’.
‘road block’ because the problem here was not really that the road was blocked, it was just gone.
Since humans are visual animals, let’s look at the evidence:

IMG_20140413_131319 IMG_20140413_131322

4K of road that is just gone with slippery, uneven rubber mats to replace what was once smooth asphalt AND since I had made the course to make a loop around this part I would therefore have to go over 4×2 = 8K of the mats as illustrated above.
That’s like doing an Ironman and finding out that 20% of the road = 36K is now only suitable for mountainbikes.

Since the goal of racing for me is to set a time that I can be proud of, my goal was crushed and all of a sudden it seemed pointless to continue, I wanted a great time, wasn’t going to happen with 8K of the road just vanished and therefore I didn’t have a goal anymore, simple as that. In pure anger I returned home while a million bugs decided it was a great moment to check out the back of my throat.

Once I returned home I was so angry with the world ( the triahtlon season in The Netherlands is horrible, the triathlons that are there think I’m too young and won’t let me in and when I make my own improvised triathlon the road is gone ) that I couldn’t care less about running. In a desperate, motivating, totally friendly attempt to get me running my mother decided to ‘yell’ at me like a coach and told me to start running immediatly, which resulted in me getting even more pissed off. After talking with my girlfriend and my parents I calmed and found out what the problem was:

I had set a wrong goal. You just can’t set a good time when you improvise a triathlon, there are too many factors that are uncertain and one of them I encountered today. My goal should be to see if my body can handle all the 3 disciplines in one day and just do it.

SOOOOO What’s gonna be next? Tommorow I will try again, though a little different. I will start with 25 minutes of rowing followed by 40K of biking and 10K of running. I will do this in the gym because ‘organizinig’ a triathlon for yourself is a logistical disaster which envolves the total household to cooperate. Getting striaght back at it is the only option so let’s go for it!

A matching (maybe slightly modified) quote to finish this LBS#3:
keep triing



  1. What an excellent post! I’ve tried doing the same thing in my triathlon preparation except what I did was wear my bathers under my gym clothes and did a slightly mixed up tri. I hit the gym first and did the bike then the treadmill and then stripped back and jumped in the pool. I know treadmill running isn’t ideal, nor is the stationary bike, but hey, I encountered no rubber mats! And by doing it in this order I cut down transition time heaps by just stripping back as oppose to having to squirm out of clingy wet bathers, dry and put on clothes while still dripping. Admittedly the exhaustion of doing the swim last made me feel like I might drown instead but I managed to do it! Good luck for your further training 🙂
    KK – givemeatri.wordpress.com


    1. Thank you! That also sounds like fun 🙂 A little bit of creativity in triathlon preparation keeps things fresh I would say, though I would hate to swim while being exhausted! I’m about to go for my second try (rowing,biking,running) so hopefully it turns out good^^
      Good luck to you too!


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