I am now in my fourth week of the MUSC Triathlon Training Program, and it is time for a status report.
Let's start at the beginning. Where was I when the program started? I have a decent running background, this is definitely the sport I feel most comfortable in. My best race times in the past 6 months are 5k - 19:20, 10k - 44:49, 15k - 70:54. Need to work on my endurance, but I feel pretty solid about finishing a 5k, even at the end of a triathlon. My biking background is pretty sparse. I have never been on a road bike, I've done some mountain biking, but I think I can get the job done. Swimming is what concerns me. I took a swimming class in college to fill up elective credits, so I'm a little past treading water, but I'm slow. A 50m lap of the pool is tough. This is definitely my biggest weakness starting out.
On to the good stuff, what are these coaches doing to me?
I won't lie, it has been tough. The first thing I noticed when we got our workout schedule on the first day was that there were 8 workouts (3 run, 3 swim, 2 bike) per week. This is a big step up in volume from where I was before the program started. I have been going to 2 swimming lessons a week, which is a good thing, because my form was (still mostly is) completely wrong. I feel like I've made a few small breakthroughs, but it's hard to hold good form much longer than 25m or so. The biking is tiring, but not as bad as I expected. With the running, I've actually cut back my mileage a bit to accommodate the other sports, and my constantly sore shins feel much better. Overall, I'm doing a lot more volume, but by splitting it into different sports, my body feels better than before, which is a huge benefit in my mind!
There is only about a week and a half left in the program, and there will be a test at the end, so it will be very interesting to see how far I've come. I believe the distances are 500m swim, 10m bike, and 5k run. I'm pretty confident I can finish, even though I've only done a 300m continuous swim so far, but we shall see!