First Triathlon – Just survive the swim

Hello everyone, I thought I would use this opportunity to share with you my experiences and the leadup which lead to me completing my first ever triathlon at Byron Bay in May. I completed the half distance tri which consisted of a 750m ocean swim (yes, open ocean, waves, swell, aquatic creatures), a 20km bike ride and a 5km run to finish it off.

I have never been into much cardio fitness over my years of exercising, apart from my 1 ride class on a Monday night there was never too much more apart from walking up the stairs into Pure, which I am sure has been enough some days. But I started playing social hockey last year and running around constantly demanded more cardiorespiratory fitness than I had so I knew the journey would need to begin. I started with running around and around in circles around a cricket oval, 1 lap run 1 lap walk and eventually built it up to a reasonable level where I started at Stones Corner ‘Parkrun’ (great for anyone looking for motivation to get into running! I should have started there).

To complement the running I wanted to get into some bike riding, so I bought a bike off Gumtree and took to doing loops around Minnippi Park and the city loop course. My girlfriend Lauren also jumped on the bandwagon and joined me with riding and running, it was always a goal of hers to complete a triathlon which probably inspired me to also want to take up something competitive. So we registered for Byron and did I did a total of 4 swims in a pool before I would tackle the Tri (hence all I was telling myself was just survive the swim and the rest will be okay).

Matt Triathlon

It was great to have something to work towards and I think if you have a goal it is always going to help motivate you even more to fit more sessions in, work harder and challenge yourself towards reaching the goal, whether that be big or small! I believe that the 1 ride class that I was doing definitely helped me on the Bike leg of the event as I definitely powered on past people whilst humming ‘Mackelmore – Can’t hold us’ to myself.

So my take-home message for this is to know that there is always a pathway to help you reach your goal. If someone had told me I would have completed a sprint distance triathlon last year I would have laughed at them. If you have been thinking about doing an event, or even starting to run, start small and slowly build up seek advice if you need from one of us!

Matty ‘Pitsy’ Farrell