I have always fancied doing a triathlon and when I reached my 60th birthday this year decided now must be the time

By Andrea Hamer

Coincidentally a friend recommended listening to the Her Spirit podcasts and I downloaded the app. Good timing as there were sponsored triathlon places available to apply for. I was in luck and was offered a place at the London sprint event. Excited but apprehensive I started following the 12 week programme as set out in the app.
I really enjoyed following the training programme as it gave my weekly exercise routines a structure which was missing previously. I also trained with a greater purpose and intensity. Previously I would go for a swim and complete a set number of lengths but now I started to focus on technique and putting in some speed work. This certainly paid off. The next step was to do more open water swimming. it took time for me to be comfortable in water where I couldn’t see and I had to really work on staying calm… what helped me was counting my strokes and trying to relax into the swim.
Cycling I have always enjoyed and was probably the area I felt most comfortable in.  I was used to going for longer rides but the programme helped me work at a higher intensity and certainly improved my speed. I also now know what my FTP is !!!
Running I enjoy but I have suffered with injury this last year. I broke my ankle at a Park Run last November and then just before I started the 12 week programme had problems with my achilles tendon. This prevented me from running until early July. Very frustrating but I managed to start walk/jogging and gradually building up the distance. I managed one 5km run a few days before London….quite a relief!!
I am now looking forward to following the Her Spirit faster 5km programme.
When you start the training programme 12 weeks seems like an awfully long time but in reality, it goes very quickly. I was just hoping I had done enough to enjoy the day. 
On the day of the event I felt quite nervous but once I had set up in transition, (after checking what everybody else was doing) and made my way to the swim start I started to talk to some of the other participants and relax. There were around a third of us who were doing our first tri. The pulse start also helped as you had more space to begin your swim and time to get into a rhythm.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole triathlon adventure. I managed to persuade friends to join me with different aspects of the training which really helped when I was tired or lacking in motivation. I even managed to persuade my sons girlfriend (didn’t take too much) to join me on the adventure. You now have two converts. We are already looking for our next triathlon.
Thank you for giving me the encouragement I needed to go for it!!

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