I’m currently packing for a family holiday. I’m part of the ‘traditional’ family unit, two adults/two children, but somehow we’re bringing 6 bikes on the ferry to France – such is the life of a tri-loving clan!
It wasn’t always like that though.
For anyone not familiar with my story, I’ll recount it briefly. In January 2012 I weighed in at 20 stone give or take a few lbs. I was lucky enough to be selected as one of 5 leaders on the RTÉ Television programme Operation Transformation and over the seven weeks of the show I lost 3.5st.
I also discovered that I could run, that I enjoyed it and that in my own way I was reasonably good at it.
I wasn’t good in the ‘make an Irish team’ good, but I was good in the way that I enjoyed it, I made space for it in my day, I pushed myself to run longer, run faster and get better. In my own way I was winning.
Fast forward to today and I’ve added triathlon to my schedule. I could swim, everyone can cycle (cant they?) and after five marathons I could definitely run, so triathlon made sense. It was just a logical step to try something new.
Just like marathon training, triathlon requires effort and discipline, but I find it much more enjoyable.
I’ve found that training for three sports provides a much better ‘overall’ workout, I’m much more toned than when I only run and the swimming and bike allow different muscles to work and recover so the training effort doesn’t take much of a toll on the body.
I did my first Vodafone Dublin City Triathlon in 2014. Regularly voted ‘Race of the year’, it immediately appealed to me with a calm and safe swim, fantastic looped bike ride and a run through the most wonderful surroundings of the Phoenix Park.
It was of particular interest because it allowed spectators to support on all three legs of the race. To see your family six or eight times over the duration of a triathlon is a great boost and I needed that!
Ever since that first outing, DCT is one of the first races on my schedule. I’m a bit of a medal collector so if there’s a race with a great medal and no matter what the distance I’ll be there!
There was no medal for my first outing but DCT is more than that for me, being from Rathfarnham it is my ‘home’ triathlon. The support is remarkable, the volunteers are amazing and it has the best goody bag in the business!
But most of all it is fun and that is important. We do this in our spare time to have fun and enjoy ourselves and it is a testament to how good this event is that in the monsoon conditions we experienced in 2015 everyone was still in great spirits throughout the day – the weather may have been miserable but the competitors were in great form!
So for 2016, before I entered anything else, I knew I’d be racing the Vodafone Dublin City Triathlon.
Despite only being two weeks after the Dublin Half Ironman I wouldn’t miss this race for anything. I’ll keep you updated on my training over the next couple of weeks and would recommend that if you’re considering a new sport, or haven’t entered DCT before then give it a shot You won’t regret it.
They’ve a cool medal now too…
*Note – I was offered an entry to DCT to write a couple of blogs about my training into DCT 2016. As I had already entered I turned down the offer but agreed to write the blogs anyway.