August 10, 2017
Read about Jo’s triathlon training journey as she joins thetrilife‘s CTS Training Club ahead of her first triathlon at Hever Castle later this year.
I can swim.
I can cycle.
I can run.
The next step for me was to put it all together, and that equals TRIATHLON.
Why, suddenly, did that become a very daunting thought? I guess because whenever I do any of the three, I do them as a sole activity. Cycling is my passion, but I know that if I go out it’s likely to be a two or three hour window that’s needed so at best I only get out once a week. Running is not my “thing” but having pushed myself to do the C25K a few years back, I’ve worked really hard to ensure that I keep it up. My distance has never gone long, probably 15k max and that was only once! I’m generally a 7 or 8k plodder… Speed is certainly not on my agenda but running is easy. Or at least going out for a run is easy. I defy anyone to say that running is actually easy. And swimming, well that’s more of a mission, you can’t just throw yourself out the door and get on with it, but it does happen and I’m not shy of putting in 50 lengths.
So how on earth was I going to make it work, training in all three disciplines and putting them together? I could see myself training into the night… A trip to the local pool, then a bike ride then a run? This felt like madness! Maybe I could cycle to the pool, swim, cycle home then run? It still sounded like it was going to take hours. Or maybe I should just do one thing every night?
Truth be told, I worked out quickly that I didn’t have a clue!
Having already investigated triathlons in my area, I knew that it would probably be Hever Castle Triathlon that would be first on my list. When I went to check out the details online, I discovered there on the training page was the CTS Training Club. Perfect! Sounded just what I needed – “the most affordable way to follow a structured training plan that is ‘just right’ for you as a triathlete and is tailored to your event”. They had me at “affordable” so a few clicks later and only £9.99 lighter, I was in!
I felt relieved. Almost like I was now someone else’s problem! I could stop over-thinking, under-planning, searching the internet for something, someone to help me. I had now officially passed the baton of making me a triathlete onto the coaches at thetrilife and was officially in their hands.
And they were on the ball! A quick form fill to let them know what event I was training for and I was off! Well, I say I was off, I received my welcome email so I knew I had until Monday to prepare myself to start properly training, but I did get to join the Facebook Group and at that point in time that was right where I needed to be.
What can I tell you about the CTS Training Club Facebook Group?
For a start, the vibe in there is totally different to posting something generally on Facebook. You know that feeling when you’re a bit super proud of yourself for even getting out of bed, let alone training, so you post on Facebook that you’ve done a 25k cycle, or an 8k run…. And the tumbleweed blows by… Or worse the eye rolling emoji gets posted… And then you feel a little (a lot) deflated. Well there’s none of that. In the CTS Training Club Facebook Group you find your “tribe” – a group of like-minded, supportive, encouraging triathletes. Some at a similar level and some more advanced, which to be honest, is great. There are people that are going through the same thing, in terms of knowing very little and being complete novices, and there are others who have been there, seen it, done it and are very generous with their advice and sharing the benefit of their experience.
No question is “stupid” and no celebration is “bragging” and it was great just to read through some of the historical posts, seeing how the members of the group interacted with each other and the coaches were on hand to provide the technical advice and support. Plus, there was a generous smattering of curated content from other sources (triathlon world, triathlete.com etc) which were all handy articles and well worth a read, as well as thetrilfe blogs which really pinpointed questions that although I might not be asking right now, I knew I would be at some point in the future – ‘tapering and peaking for your priority race’, ‘5 mistakes to avoid in your next open water triathlon’, ‘what, when and how much to drink’…
I was excited to get my training underway!
Read more about the training plan and how I got on in the next CTS Training Club article.