I’ve never done a triathlon. I don’t swim. I don’t run. And I bike mainly when our copy chief goads me into it. Yes, this is pathetic, especially since I edit Outside’s fitness coverage. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still active: I ski all winter, hike a 12,000-foot peak at least once a week with my dog, and mountain bike endlessly in the summer. I’ve just never been one to sign up for a race three months in advance. That would require planning, which is not exactly a strong suit of mine.
This, of course, is changing this spring. Against my better judgment, I’ve signed on for the Outside In Aspen Triathlon, part of our Outside Triathlon Challenge, and I’ll be following our First-Timer plan. I can feel the pain already.
I’m no stranger to physical endeavors: I once trained for a cage fight for a story in this magazine (photo above) and followed the P90X craze for another. But somehow this feels different. In the octagon, you can survive by simply being good at enduring pain. With this I suspect there’s going to be a good bit of tactical racing and focused training involved. Luckily, we’ve hired on Matt Dixon from Purplepatch Fitness to work us all through this. That’s right, I’ll be following the same plan many of you will be. And as this spring progresses I, along with a handful of other editors, will be blogging here. We’ll share our thoughts on the upcoming race, our successes and struggles in training, and hopefully answer your own questions and concerns. (You can also email us and coach Dixon specific questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
I’m new to this, as I mentioned. I don’t even own all of the proper equipment yet. So I’m shooting in the dark as much as the next newbie. But what I do have now, at least, is a plan. That and a date marked on my calendar that should keep me in line. The planning is over with.
Tomorrow is my first run.