By Brittney Ginn, dairy farmer’s daughter and Moo Squad sponsored athlete
A Triathlon is tricky because it’s not just one sport you have to work on. It’s three! Swim,bike and then run.
Swimming is the most challenging task because so many factors to the weather can affect how you do. My first triathlon, the water was very chilly, and the wind was blowing, and not to forget the crisp September morning air! This all makes for a very tense athlete. Some people will use a triathlon suit (a one or two piece suit that is breathable, sleeveless and has a biking shorts type bottom) AND a wet suit (can be any combination – full body, sleeveless, short, but it keeps you warmer than a triathlon suit and is more buoyant). The wet suit makes me feel restricted and stresses me out more than it’s worth. So I always just wear my triathlon suit, which is basically a fancy bathing suit with shorts that have a little bit of padding for your bike ride.
So, once you’re out of the water, you rush to dry off your feet and as much of your body as you can. You quickly get your shoes on, then your helmet, and follow all the strict rules about not mounting your bike until you reach the line. Now, you’re off onto your bike ride – the second part of a triathlon. I really like the bike ride portion of the Lake George Triathlon in the Skowhegan area because it’s beautiful rolling countryside and lots of great views. At the beginning, the bike ride is very cold because you have a wet triathlon suit at 59° in the middle of September and you’re going about 15 mph. As you finish up the last mile of the bike ride, you must again remember and follow all the rules while trying to transition to the next portion of the race – don’t take your helmet off until you’re off your bike!
As if your legs don’t burn enough already, you have to run – 3.5 miles of hills, and your legs feel like they weigh 1,000 pounds. You struggle through this and you feel like quitting so many times. As the temperature rises along with the sun, you’re so hot from the sun beating on you, and your body is chafed in every possible way.
This is why it’s very important to train for these events. And hydrate and fuel your muscles with the proper protein. I try to do a brick workout at least once or twice a week. A brick workout is a bike ride and then run right after. The term comes from your legs feel like bricks when you get off your bike and start running. The other three days a week I focus on either running or swimming or biking alone. I always finish with a yummy glass of chocolate milk or Greek yogurt with granola.
Looking forward to this year’s Lake George triathlon with the Moo Squad.*
Unfortunately, shortly after this post was written, Brittney learned she would be unable to compete in the triathlon on Sept. 11, but Moo Squad teammates James Delorie, Emilee Robertson and Jennifer Jones will all be competing!