Saturday, December 06, 2014

Meeting with a triathlon coach

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

I met with a triathlon coach last night to discuss my race goals. To my surprise, she didn't sound doubtful I could do what felt to me like a very ambitious schedule. Instead, she clearly thought I should commit to just do the half and not the aqua bike

She's a five-time Iron finisher. I guess that I shouldn't have been surprised that she has high expectations. I'm just used to people looking at me and thinking, "not an athlete."

I got a little overwhelmed seeing all the hours of training I'll need to do sketched out at once.  And of course, I'm a little afraid my body won't hold up. She did tell me that part of the problem was that I wasn't training strategically -- I just kept ramping up my training instead of backing down periodically.

Another thing that overwhelmed me was the stuff that she suggested I buy or think about buying. In fact, I started to write this post as a Triathlete Gift Guide, but quickly realized that some of this stuff, like a power meter, is too technical for me to really understand and make recommendations. The two I am most seriously thinking about are:

A GPS watch and heart rate monitor.  Since the Garmin Forerunner 920XT came out, it is possible to get some pretty good deals on the Forerunner 910XT, the past reigning champion. But Garmin also seems to be getting some competition from the Polar V800. I'm hoping that the competition might inspire some more competitive pricing. There are also good options available that are a step down in price, including the Polar M400.

A TrainingPeaks Premium upgrade. The upgrade allows an athlete to plan future workouts and sync to an Outlook or Google calendar -- both really valuable features for me. There are also premium-only analysis tools and graphs. I'm a little annoyed at myself that I missed the chance to upgrade for 25% off on Cyber Monday, but I was sure I was going to stick to paper logging.

I hate that this is such an expensive sport. I think a lot of people enjoy the gearhead aspect of it, but I don't have the income to enjoy spending $300-$400 on a single piece of equipment.  I just dropped $130 on a new pair of triathlon bike shoes because the $100 pair I bought three years ago are too small and are making my feet numb. And found out in the process that the cleats for my clipless pedals are almost worn through and will need to be replaced this spring. I try to remind myself that the work is the important part, and that I don't need to squeeze every last minute off my time.

The coaching, though, was probably a good investment.  I needed help organizing my training, especially because I'm stepping up to bigger events.

Follow PerfectImperfect's board Triathlon Gift Guide on Pinterest.


  1. There are ways to do triathlon relatively cheaply and I am exploring all of them. I hate gadgets and usually feel like I'm behind the curve but it's made life more affordable while maintaining the fun of training and racing. The more I pay attention to paces and heart rates and all that the less fun I have and more competitive I get. I'm looking at maybe getting a tom tom The battery life isn't terribly long but I also don't mind to switch watches in transition. Good luck and I can't wait to keep reading about your progress :)


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07