To Tri or Not To Tri

This past Saturday I decided to go out and run a 6 miler with TNT. I had been easing back into running since my injury but really needed a group of people to push me past my comfort zone of 2-3 miles. I met up with Annie who is training for the Nike Women's Half in DC and we had a great chat while running. She and I had done many training runs while preparing for Chicago and I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed the company of TNTers on Saturday mornings. During our run I  started to ponder which race I could do with Team next. I had already committed to doing MCM with Janelle so really the only fall marathon that would work would be that one. Unfortunately, it sounds like TNT is only doing Rock and Roll Savannah and Nike Women's in San Francisco. Because I had also been looking for some riding partners I began pondering the idea of training with the tri team for Augusta 70.3. Was I crazy?! Could I not only complete a half Ironman at the end of September but also run a full marathon 28 days later?

I immediately sent out three texts to my closest friends and their responses on my brilliant new idea varied...
"Completely crazy! Your first race should not be a half, and you'll lose 4-5 days training hard for the marathon in recovery. When I finish a race training more is the last thing I want to do"
"You can easily do it! The riding will prepare you nicely for the marathon"
"Um ya crazy! Crazy but eh...my vote would be yes if you don't bail on MCM"
At that point I was really starting to jump on the idea of completing Augusta 70.3. Adam had done this race two years prior so I knew some about the race. That evening I proceeded to read nearly every race recap blog that I could find. With seven months of training I was really starting to believe this could become a reality. I decided to seek advise from two other people, Mike Ricci (Adam's former tri coach and a USAT Level III coach) and Brenda Tran (A TNT member who had done Augusta 70.3 last year and ran a full marathon five weeks later). I knew my closest friends would support me on whatever crazy idea I came up with, but I needed some outside opinions on if this was just stupid.

In the end both of them supported and provided some great things to consider.
I'm confident that you will be fine doing both. But here's a thing you have to consider, seeing that the marathon is just 4 weeks after Augusta.You gotta pick which race will be your "A" race and which one will be your "fun" race. If I was in your shoes, I would say Augusta would be your "A" race. Then that's the one you need to focus your training on. If you put in the training, you WILL become a stronger and faster runner. It's amazing how much stronger of a runner you will become.
Swim - It's a down current swim and you'll be fine. 
Bike - you're building good power in your classes and that's important. If you went out and rode 1 hour outside today and added 15 minutes a week, you'd be at the race distance in literally 8 weeks. That means you'd be ready by mid April. Doesn't sound so tough now, right? The course is pretty flat too - yes, there are a few rises here and there, but pretty flat!
Run- stay healthy - run off the bike 1-2x per week. Even if you jump on the treadmill for a mile after the spin class, that will help you. 

I hope you'll sign up for a few OLY distance races this summer and do some long training days: 
Get up early, go swim 2000 at the pool. 
Come home, eat breakfast and go ride 60-65 miles. 
Come home, change up and go run 10 miles. 

You need a few days like that where it's planned out like race day - nutrition, equipment, pacing etc.

Um what?! 2000M swim, 60 mile bike run and a 10 mile run...all in one morning...a few times during the training season? Looks like I truly had my work cut out for me. At least the consensus was unanimous. If I put in the time, training, and effort I would have no problem completing the half ironman! Now it was up to me. Team in Training here I come again...this time the new adventure will be Augusta 70.3!


  1. Thanks Gabriel! Hope the move to Chicago is going well for you guys!!


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