Before you do anything, check with your doctor to make sure you don’t have any health conditions that will be made worse by exercise. I can’t believe there are many health conditions that cannot be improved by exercise but I have to tell you that just in case. Be sure you explain that you are NOT doing an ironman distance race. Not yet anyway. 🙂 You are training for a sprint, which is a 500-700m swim, 16 mile bike ride, and then a 3 mile run/walk. Your goals with this are to get into better shape and finish your race with a smile.
You need to be able to run. Don’t worry; if you can’t run very far, you’re reading the right book. This workout will slowly build your running up until you can run about 3-4 miles, walking when you need to. Your goal is to finish with a smile, so we will plan the walks so you can run with a smile, walk, and finish looking fresh, slapping high-fives, and smiling brightly.
You need to be able to ride a bike and carry nutrition along on your rides. You don’t need an expensive bike or an aero helmet. Use what you have for your first race.
You also need to find a local pool and be able to swim in it. You should be able to freestyle swim the width of the pool without stopping.
That said, you are not going to be racing the Kona Ironman. You are going to be racing a sprint distance race. There is no need to do a strenuous workout. You are getting fit enough to participate and finish your race, that’s it. You will push hard for short intervals of time, but you will then slow down and rest, bringing your heart rate down as well as normalizing your breathing. During the race, you will keep your effort steady but never push as hard as you do in training.
There are chapters later in the book on everything from swim equipment to water bottle maintenance to bike purchases. Feel free to skip straight to these if you are considering a big purchase or if you just want to be informed about what you need and what you should buy. For now, there are a few things you will need:
Things you will need
- Running shoes. Get a good pair of name-brand running shoes.
- Running socks, shorts, shirts, sports bras. You will need at least two of each so you can clean one while wearing the other.
- Swim shorts, goggles, swim cap, towels, shower soap.
- A place to swim. A local pool with lap swim hours will be fine, a gym with a pool, or even a lake if you live near one.
- Water bottles
- Bike. Start with what you have. If you need to buy one, get road bike that fits your budget. Don’t go crazy thinking you need a triathlon bike. You don’t. Buy from a local bike shop so you have somewhere to take the bike when something goes wrong.
- A smart phone with Strava and Facebook, or a journal to write in.
- Sports drinks like Gatorade or others. I like Gatorade, always have.
- Sports Gels and bars. Clif makes my favorite bars to eat on a long ride and Powerbar makes great tasting gels to help power your workouts and race.