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Get ready for a triathlon

Published:Wednesday | March 21, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Every year I do the Jake's Off-Road Triathlon in Treasure Beach. I participate not just because it is a charity event for the BREDS Foundation, but because I like to challenge myself and force myself out of my comfort zone.

So, the purpose of this article is to let you know that there are five weeks left before the next triathlon, and if you are feeling you need a little kick in the pants to get you out of that all-too-familiar comfort zone, then why not try a triathlon? If you start your training now, you can be ready to give it a shot on April 21.

Not only will you be contributing to an amazing cause and helping to build a fantastic community, you will be doing something good for yourself. Sounds like a win-win to me!

See your doc

So where do you start? First, I would suggest you get an okay from your doctor. Then you need to begin training in swimming, mountain biking, and running.

The race begins with an open-water 400-metre swim in a very protected cove, then goes to a 24-kilometre bike ride on paved and dirt roads, including some rugged terrain and finishes, with a seven-kilometre run through some country back roads and some pretty hot weather.

Don't let that scare you. You can do it at your own speed or as a relay team, and a welcoming and enthusiastic Treasure Beach crowd will cheer you on all the way.

No cold turkey

The experts say, don't do it cold turkey. So if you have never done a triathlon before, this is what you need to do four to five weeks out for your first one:

Find yourself a pool and jump in. You need to practise swimming for a minimum of half an hour, two times a week. Swim 300 metres at least once.

Beg or borrow a mountain bike. You will want to ride for one hour at least two or three times a week. Try joining a biking group and start riding.

Dust off those running shoes and hit the road. You want to put in around 10-20 miles or 20-30 kilometres a week.

In your last weeks of training, try a transition and a 'brick'. Bike five to 10 miles, then put on your running shoes and run one to two miles (don't forget to bring water!). Try this to get accustomed to how your legs will feel off the bike.

See you in Treasure Beach!

Sharon McConnell-Feanny is a certified yoga instructor and co-owner of Shakti Mind Body Fitness. email: yourhealth@gleanerjm.com.