Hello, Deep End: Getting acquainted with triathlon

After two months in the cross-country season, I found myself a novice in the Serpentine Running Club triathlon squad.

If I have made it this far, it is because my coaches made me work hard. They didn’t bully me into achieving the results. Nor did I depend 100% on their permission to improve. Rather, they guided me to acquire the pace, gait, cadence and strokes needed to get from A to B. And through training, they helped me to put a realistic estimate on my performance in a race, which is crucial in setting a goal.

Pain is only “information”. © Holmes.cc

Time management

It’s very similar to project management. Confidence, as one sports psychologist puts it, is not a “single entity”, but rather “multidimensional”. You cannot be good at everything, but you can be good at some things. It’s an outlook that I apply to the management of several projects on the go. It is certainly true in creative marketing, in which you tend to know all of the commercial strategies, but would be very strong in a few. What is crucial, however, is that you have to be proactive in polymediating all these different channels to achieve your goal, and not wait for confidence to happen overnight.

People management

And a good coach is a good people’s manager. It is little wonder that I am attracted to triathlon, this multi-sport discipline. As our coaches said, triathlon is about time management. I have to manage my time wisely to get to the right fitness level. Crucially, I have to allow adequate time to rest, because strength comes during recovery. Long hours without breaks in training lead to overuse injury, and are counter-productive.

The deep end

I have to admit, however, that I don’t find the swimming programme easy. I can’t compare its discomfort to that of cross-country, but what I appreciate from its difficulty is the resilience and determination that it instills in me. During our first swimming session, I was offered to swim using buoyancy aids. I declined, not out of pride, but because my previous swimming coach made us swim without using any. She’d prefer us to swim slowly like an old lady than use any aids.

I am not sure if I would be a natural triathlete. I shall find out in 2014, when we go through our first series of duathlons and triathlons.

After all, I only swam to the deep end of a swimming pool for the first time ever in August 2013.

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