Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Race Prep – Cooper Sprint Triathlon

This Saturday I will be participating in my first ever Triathlon. The Cooper Sprint Triathlon distance for each leg of the race includes:

1. 350-meter swim in a 50-meter outdoor pool

2. 12-mile bike ride (two loops) on a flat, concrete, urban road

3. 5K run with aid stations located at each mile

Race Goals: It is almost engrained into my personality to set lofty goals for myself. For my first 10K, I set a personal goal to finish in under an hour, which I joyfully did! However, I had done quite a bit of training for that race. I feel like this is much different since I really have not done much training for the swim and bike portion. I have done enough to know that I am perfectly capable of completing them, but not near as quickly as others.

With all of this in mind, I would love to finish this race in less than 2 hours, because I believe it is a tough, yet doable goal. Most importantly though, I want to finish this race knowing I gave it everything I could possibly give. I want to cross the finish line strong but I do not want to say anything along the lines “well I think I could have done more.”

Saturday’s weather is undoubtedly going to be HOT. Since it is in Dallas, however, the humidity should stay relatively low to my usual training conditions in Houston. That being said, I will still be hydrating with water and Nuun all week.


Race Strategy: The race start is at 7 AM, and the transition areas open at 5:30 AM. My plan is to arrive around 6 AM and get my bike and accessories situated in the first transition area.

Swim: For the swim, I plan to push my freestyle pace as hard as I can knowing that I do not have to do much else with my arms for the remainder of the race. I will not allow myself to get frustrated due to a herd of people swimming on top of each other. I will pass people if I need to and allow faster swimmers to pass me.

T1 (Transition 1 – from swim to bike): I have read that first time tri-athletes can get very overwhelmed by T1 because they lose sight of their bike when it gets overrun with everyone else’s stuff. In order to ease any possible stress, I plan on putting a bright neon bandana on my bike to make it easy to spot. Also during T1, I will lightly dry off my legs and feet, put on my compression running shorts, along with my bike shorts over that. Then I will put on my socks, shoes, helmet, and sunglasses, and hit the road.

Bike: I want my run to be my strongest leg of the race, so I am going to bike fast, but not ever let my legs feel so bad that it could affect my running. I will focus on hydrating while biking so I won’t have to stop during the run portion. At mile 10, I will take my energy gel.

T2 (Transition 2 – from bike to run): I have been told this is by far the hardest transition because my legs will probably feel like jell-o from being on the bike so long. All I need to do for this transition is rack my bike, take off my bike shorts and helmet, and just go!

Run: I want to feel hydrated and ready to do great since the run is where my strength truly lies. I know it will be hot but if I could stay under 30 minutes for the 5K, I would be thrilled! However, this goal will be secondary to how I feel. If I need to stop at an aid station due to the heat, then I will.

I think I have a pretty good strategy for Saturday, but of course there are things that could happen that are out of my control. I do like to go in with some kind of grasp on what I want to do though; it helps with nerves, and feeds my ‘Type A’ desire to plan!

QOTD: Do you set specific goals for each race? Do you go in with a strategy in mind?


  1. Good luck Lauren! I know you'll do great!

  2. You're going to rock this tri!
    I set a few time goals for myself- a realistic time, my stretch time, and my "I-feel-so-great-I-can-do-anything" time. Haha. From past experience, I know that I tend to ride the adrenaline rush at the beginning. I try to use it to my advantage, but I also need to remember not to wear myself out.

    1. Thanks Kim!! Most definitely, I tend to have the rush as well, but sometimes will pay for it when I get too tired and positive split lol!