Tag Archives: first triathlon

Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – Son & Father 1st Tri

Welcome to Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in the awesomeness of your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s photo is from  Eric Quiroz:

FTT Eric


On Sunday April 26, 2015 I competed in my first Triathlon ever, and not only that, I had the great honor of doing it with my Dad. We both completed the event which consisted of running 5K, biking 11 miles, and swimming 150m. Before this I have never even ran a 5K. I had been wanting to do something like this for a long time and up until the moment I signed up I always had a reason why I couldn’t do it. But when the opportunity arose for me to sign up for this is event I suddenly became sick of my own excuses. I couldn’t bear to hear one more reason why I couldn’t do it and in the moment that I committed I was free! I was free to be and do what ever it took to compete in this event and do my absolute best. This is an interesting way to look at it, that in my commitment I experienced freedom. 

I am so grateful I had the opportunity to do this with my Dad, Earl. He is an absolute gift in my life and I feel very fortunate to have this experience with him. The preparation, tuning the bikes the night before the race, spending the night together, waking up race day and driving down to the event. I absolutely loved ever detail that we got to share together. This was a big first for the both of us and a special bonding moment for our relationship.  

I am very proud of my 1:22:48 time.

Fantastic race and photo Eric. Also, congrats to your dad for finishing his first race. Conquering a new challenge is even sweeter when you have good company.

Do you have a friend or family member that will train and race with you? A partner will help with accountability and motivation. Triathlon is an individual sport, but doesn’t have to be done alone.

Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish. It doesn’t have to be from a triathlon, just any race that has special meaning to you. If you are interested in sharing, please send a message to firsttimetri@gmail.com.

Workout Wednesday – The Leg Chiseler

Happy Wednesday! Welcome to another edition of Workout Wednesday. Every Wednesday I will post a new Triathlon specific workout. If you like the workout, fit it into your training plan for the week. If you don’t like the workout you’re crazy, all of my workouts are brilliant pieces programming. (HAHA)

This week’s workout – The Leg Chiseler

Chiseled Legs

There are two factors that determine how fast  you can push on the bike. These are your lungs and your legs. Your legs and lungs work together to produce power, but a weakness in either system will become a limiting factor. I experience this every winter winter when I train for a marathon and neglect  bike training.  When spring comes, and I get out on the road, I have the engine of a Corvette, and legs like a Smart Car. Leg strength is the key to increasing your speed, riding better in headwinds, and climbing. For those of your with some vanity, these workouts will make your go sticks more chiseled.

This workout  consists of on and off bike training designed to increase muscular strength in the legs. While these intervals can be intense, the focus is to get that burning sensation in the legs, not max out heart rate. Load up the tension, so your legs are working harder than your cardio. Aim to keep your cadence around 40-60 RPMs under tension. Ideally, this work should be done on a trainer or spin bike. That way you can control the amount of tension, and there are no interruptions.

On to the workout:

The Leg Chiseler

  • Warm up – 10 mins – easy spin
  • Warm up – 3 X 1 min/30 secs off
  • Main Set – 3 min climb increasing tension every minute (Heavy tension RPM – 40-60)
  • Get off bike and do 20 air squats
  • Easy spin 2 min
  • Repeat Main Set 4-6 times
  • Cool down 10 mins Easy Spin

This workout should be difficult, but know your limits. If you need a bit of extra rest between sets, take it. This type of workout is best scheduled with a rest day or easy day after. Leg strength work scheduled once every week or two, will be enough to see significant improvement. Remember to maintain the best pedal stroke possible. Focus on pushing and pulling the pedals and making circles. For more info on good pedaling mechanics.

Photo Credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/17/d5/98/17d598c3d928de6c1cc5b28feb67c10c.jpg

Is Life Too Easy? Let’s Get Uncomfortable.

Daily life for most, including myself, has gotten too easy. We spend the majority of our time in climate controlled houses, offices, and cars. Even worse most of that time is spend staring at some type of screen. I’m writing this at a stand up desk, so I’m way healthier. (Not so much). I can order pizza from my phone in 20 seconds. I can buy anything I desire, without leaving my home. I can binge watch hours of programs, and I don’t have to go to the movie store. Food is prepackaged, pre-cut, and ready in one easy step. Don’t get me wrong most of these conveniences are awesome. My monkey brain is always seeking to find pleasure and avoid discomfort.

Have these conveniences of modern life made life too easy? Are all getting soft mentally and physically? I would argue yes, but who cares what I think. Look at your own life, and think, “I am too comfortable, too often?” If the answer is yes, find a way to break away from the comforts of daily life, and find a challenge to overcome.

Let’s tie this into triathlon or any other challenge. Find a new challenge that will push you out of the comfort zone, and accomplish something meaningful to you. From great struggle comes great reward. This is the main reason I participate in the endurance events. When I know I am pushing my limits in training or a race, I feel most alive. I am using all of my will to overcome a challenge, and I come out stronger on the other side.

Participation in triathlon, running races, and obstacle races has increased dramatically in the past 5 years. I think people are craving that sense of accomplishment and adventure that comes from struggle. They spend most of their week sitting at a desk, under mental stress. On the weekend they want to get outside and release the negative energy through some strenuous physical activity. As humans we are meant to move under our own power, and grow through resistance and recovery.

Shared struggle is also a great way to bond people together. Have you ever done a hard group workout, and when its over everyone has something in common. We can empathize with their struggle, and relate to that person more closely. If you meet anyone who does the same type of events as you, you will instantly bond over the experience.

A small helpings of discomfort can add up to a more robust life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to work or the grocery store. Race your kids in the street. (My favorite). Grow some of your own food. Lift something heavy. Sign up for an event.

If triathlon is a challenge you would like to incorporate in your new uncomfortable life,. check out the start page

8 Tips to Overcome New Triathlete Race Day Nerves

You trained  for months and put in your sweat, tears and more sweat. Race day of your triathlon is finally here, but you have some concerns. Below are eight concerns I hear most often from first time triathletes, and some tips to overcome those concerns.


1. “Oh S#!1, I forgot my (insert item)”

Pack everything the night before, and double check your bag. If you wait until race morning, you will be too amped up to concentrate, and something will get left behind. Be sure to include anything you might need that day, gear, bike, nutrition, lucky socks. A transition area freak out, when you find out you left your running shoes, is no fun.

2. Always be early

Finding parking and logistics of race morning for most triathlons can be time consuming. Get there as early as possible. You will be less stressed, find a better spot on the transition rack, and have time to get ready to race. I once did not follow this advice, and arrived to the race with ten minutes to spare. I frantically set up my transition, threw on my wetsuit, and dove in for the swim. I was still stressed the entire race, and struggled mightily.

3. ” How do I set up my transition area?”

Don’t wait until race morning to figure out how to set up your transition area. A quick practice run through your set up will help out greatly on race morning. During one of your brick sessions, layout all of your gear like you would during the race. Figure out what works best for you.  For your reference here’s USAT Rules for Transition Setup. If you are unsure if you are set up correctly on race morning, just ask fellow athlete for some help.

4. “What if I take a wrong turn, and get lost?”

When possible preview the course before the race. Most courses are well marked, but it the participant’s responsibility to know the course. If packet pick up is close to the bike course, do a quick drive through. Mental note the turns, and any hills, or tricky areas.

5. “I’m freaked out about the swim”

It’s race day, you did your swim training, now it time show your skills. Familiarize yourself with the swim course, and run through the course in your mind. If you are a bit nervous that’s ok. At least 80% of the other first timers out there feel the exact same way. The ingredients of a great swim are to breath and relax. If you start to tense up , just breath and relax. If you get contacted by another athlete, just breath and relax. If anything goes wrong, just breath and relax. See the pattern here?

How to build swim confidence

6. Know your limits on the bike.

A triathlon bike course is fairly chaotic. There are riders passing and being passed, and cars whizzing by. The course could include uphills, down hills, and sharp turns to negotiate. When you add too much speed to this situation, it can be precarious. Stay within your limits in situations that require bike handling. When you get on a straight section of roads hammer away.

7. Build into the run

When you start running after the bike, it will feel slow. You might not be running slow, but the difference in your perception of speed will make it feel like you are crawling. Be mindful of your effort, and try not to start off too fast and blow up. It is a better strategy to hold back a bit and build your pace into the run.

8. Smile and enjoy the finish

You only get to finish your first triathlon once. Enjoy the heck out of it. Pat you self on the back for all of the training and hard work it took to get to the finish. Be grateful for all of the people that supported you. Just enjoy the moment, and bask in your own greatness.

If you have any others concerns, please leave a note in the comments.

Happy racing, and go and crush it.


For more new triathlete tips, check out 10 Definitive Tips for New Triathletes.

FTT 8 Week Sprint Training Plan is Here!

FTT Sprint Training Plan face book banner

FTT Sprint Training Plan

Are you ready take on a new life changing challenge, and race your first sprint triathlon? Or, have you signed up for a sprint triathlon and you are looking for the perfect plan? Check out the FTT 8 Week Sprint Training plan. In 8 weeks with about 5 hours a week you will arrive to the start line of your first sprint triathlon ready to go. Continue reading FTT 8 Week Sprint Training Plan is Here!

Monday Mantra – What’s the Purpose?

Have a Marvelous Monday! Let’s do this! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments.

Purpose Road Sign

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will the help others.” Albert Schweitzer

My local YMCA this weekend, hosted an Indoor Triathlon. I wasn’t able to participate, but on the way out from my workout, I was able to see the first participants. I was truly inspired by what I saw. People of all different abilities, body types, and experience having fun and competing. 40% of the participants were first time triathletes. It truly moved me to see people being active, and trying new something new.

How does this tie into the quote above about purpose? Watching the inspiring people compete in that event, reminded me why I started this blog. The purpose of this blog is to support and inspire others who want to become triathletes. My purpose is to provide any support I can to get new triathletes to the finish line. One of the best feelings in my life is crossing the finish of a race I wasn’t sure I could finish before started training. Finishing your first triathlon or a new distance is making the impossible, possible. That’s the feeling I want to help others achieve.

For the last couple of months, I have been considering whether to keep this blog going. The traffic and stats aren’t growing as I would like. It’s difficult to come up with quality relevant content. As of this weekend, I decided all of that stuff doesn’t matter. What matters is being a service to others. If I can help 100,000 people or only 5, it’s worth it. I feel it is my purpose to help others improve their life, by completing their first triathlon.

Kick in the Butt Monday – Easy Days

Merry Monday! Let’s do this! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments.

Easy Day


The workouts that seem hard now, will soon be easy, if you keep training.  Maybe you can’t run a mile without stopping, or swim a 100M without be winded. Don’t give up, keep training, and soon your will be amazed by your progress.

I’m currently training for my fifth marathon. When I look back to the training for my first, it’s a night and day difference. My first 18 mile run ended in disaster. I had never run that far, and at mile 14 both of my calves seized, and my wife had to come pick me up.  That was a hard day for me. In my current training plan I have three 20 milers. I can complete them with little struggle. I still bring my phone, in case of disaster.

What workouts used to be difficult for you, that you can now complete with ease?

The Definitive 10 Tips For New Triathletes

Are you ready to take on a triathlon? Fantastic, let’s get you started. Below are top ten tips to have a great first race. Check out the links embedded in the tips to dig deeper into each topic. Happy training, and I hope you have great first triathlon.

1. To get started, Sign up for a race

Close up of sign up form

Signing up to the race sounds kind of obvious, but  is very important. First, signing up tells your brain it’s go time.With that race day looming in the near future you will be more committed to train. . Second, choose a race that gives you the proper amount of time to train, but not lose your motivation. A training cycle of 8-12 weeks works well for new triathletes. Lastly, after you sign up, tell your family and friends. They will know you are serious about your new goal, and be your support system.

7 Tips for Selecting Your First Triathlon

Continue reading The Definitive 10 Tips For New Triathletes

Motivation Monday – Teddy Roosevelt an IM?

Happy President’s day Monday! Let’s do this! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments.

Rooselvelt Tri guy

It’s hard to fail, but it is worse never to have started –

T. Roosevelt

I sure Teddy Roosevelt would have been an Ironman, if the races existed in his time. He was a true hard man. As a child he was sickly from asthma, and instead of accepting his fate, he trained to get stronger. He eventually became very physically fit, and a celebrated boxer. His physical accomplishments were made from pure power of will as he was not physically gifted.

What I admire most about TR is his tenacity and fearlessness. When TR decided he was going to accomplish a goal, he went after 100%, and no man could deny him. That same will is required to take on big challenges like IM.

Give FTT a thumbs up on facebook


FTT facebook

The First Time Triathlete facebook is now live!

I know, hold you excitement. Why does this matter to you? Good question. Along with the great information and inspiration posted on this blog. I share well curated articles from other sources relating to triathlon and endurance sports. I know your facebook wall is already barraged with memes and cat videos. I promise to only share high quality useful information. (If I get a cat riding a tri bike video, it will be shared.)

Are you sold yet? Click here to like the FTT facebook page.


Ok, enough of the used car approach, here’s the real reason for First Time Triathlon and the facebook page. One of my greatest passions is endurance sports. I love the sense of adventure and achievement of training for and completing a race. You get to know your true self when you push your limits for a goal. A goal you are not sure if you can complete when you start training. The feeling of euphoria and pride when crossing the finish line is what I want to share with anyone who willing to sign up for their first race.

I need your help to reach these new triathletes. If you are a seasoned triathlete or training for your first race, you are inspiring someone else. They may not tell you directly, but they respect you for pursuing a big positive goal. Some of these people are your facebook friends, and may want to start their own triathlon journey. These are the people I would love to assist in seeking their own goals.

Thanks for being awesome, and liking the FTT Face book page!