The Project Manager’s Guide to the Triathlon

After reading everything I can and doing a trial of the course, here is my plan for the triathlon this week:

Monday: Rest day after the weekend trials on the course (only walked one mile at lunch); begin to hydrate

Tuesday: Swim 1 hour

Wednesday: Bike 1 hour

Thursday: Run/Walk 45 minutes

Friday: Swim 1 hour; start to add a few more good carbs; get a super good night’s sleep


10:00 am Drive up to Lake Lanier and check in my bike and get registered for the event, pick up race packet

12:00 noon Attend race info sessions

1:oo PM race nutrition talk

2:00 pm -slow, easy trial swim along the swim course

5:00 pm back home for an early supper, pack the car, get ready for the race and then early to bed


4:00 am – up early for small breakfast and then off to Lake Lanier

5:00 am – get set up in transition with all my gear, nutrition and hydration, check on my bike

6:00 am – a last little food and water before the swim at 7:30

6:30 am – make my way to the swim area

7:00 am – Race starts

7:35 am – My wave (45-49 year olds) enters the water and the race begins for me!

My Goals

I thought it would be interesting to see how well I’ve estimated these later:

Swim (1/3 mile): 20 minutes – ACTUAL time was 18 minutes 22 seconds

T1 (1/3 mile walk, plus gear change, get on bike): 10 minutes – ACTUAL time was 6 minutes 8 seconds

Bike (18 miles) : 90 minutes ACTUAL time was 1 hour and 23 minutes – 83 minutes

T2: (Rack bike and helmet, grab hat and run water bottles): 5 minutes – ACTUAL time was 3 minutes 59 seconds

Run (3.2 miles) : 42 minutes ACTUAL time was 42 minutes and 42 seconds

Total time allowed is 3 hours and 30 minutes (210 minutes)

Total estimated time: 167 minutes ACTUAL total time was 2 hours and 34 minutes or 154 minutes

Total estimated lag time: 43 minutes – ACTUAL TIME  – had almost an hour lag time!

Gear List:

Here is the race gear I’ve put together – nothing fancy and as usual, my clothes are all from the Goodwill!

My triathlon “Costume” consists of:

1. An Under Armour long sleeve white shirt that I found at the goodwill. It wicks moisture away, provides some arm, boob and tummy control, which keeps painful flapping to a minimum and keeps me from burning in the sun.

2. A bright green running top with a good built in bra that combined with the under armour, keeps the girls from flopping around and hitting someone in the eye.

3. A pair of almost knee length Cannondale padded bike shorts that I bought on clearance in December (they were much too tight and are now just a touch too big, but not so much that they slip off in the water, thank goodness. (best $30 I spent so far!)

I will wear this the entire race. For swimming I will add:

4. My prescription swim goggles, the Iron Girl race cap and a nose clip. (I have three of them and plan to stuff 2 of them in my race cap as I cannot swim without them. Sad, but true, because I’ve tried.

For biking I will add:

5. My bike: a Giant FCR 1W – a woman’s bike that I bought used in December for $400 (normally goes for over $1000 – so I think I got a great deal and I’ve loved riding it.) I have the race cues/turns laminated and stuck to the handlebars in case I’m so slow that no one is around when I get to the turns, plus I have a spare tire, CO2 cartridges, chapstick and TP in my tiny little bike bag that fits under the seat. The bike came with a nifty cool little bike computer called a  Cateye that I LOVE and it shows me elapsed time, distance and speed. Very cool! (I’m such a geek!)

6. My helmet is a $40 Specialized I got last weekend when I discovered my really old helmet was not CPSC certified.

7. My prescription sunglasses and a road mirror (some of this course is on a 6 lane highway!)

8. My ocelet workout/bike gloves with the wrist wraps – really helps my wrists on a long bike ride, plus my grip when my hands start to sweat.

For running I will add:

9. My Shoes: Aasics GT-2150 and I wear these great Features running socks.  I got both at the Big Peach Running company and have been delighted with them. $100 including the socks as they were last season’s model. For $8 I added the easy-laces – those elastic laces so I don’t have to tie/untie my shoes, just slip them on.

10, 11 & 12. Racing belt – Nathan labs $10 and a bright orange hat to shade my face/nose and some wrist sweat bands

13: My two Nathan Labs running water bottle (the first was a really cool birthday gift – thanks Don & Sheila!)

14. My Garmin 305 – that in theory I could use for all five splits – but I really only use it for running/walking to see how far I’ve gone, my time and my pace.

For Nutrition and Hydration (sounds cooler than “what I’ll eat and drink, doesn’t it?)

Nutrition (Eating): May not need all these, but will have them just in case

Swim: 1/4 of a Labrada Rock n Roll bar in a baggie, between my under armour shirt and my running top to eat on the 5 minute walk up the hill from the swim (as a post-GBS-WLS patient, I will need a little boost after the swim and before the bike ride

Bike: 2 more pieces of the Rock N Roll bar, in a baggie, waiting at T1 to put in my shirt – 1 at half way point, 1 just before getting back to T2

Run: 1 more piece of the Rock N Roll bar, in a baggie, waiting at T1 to put in my shirt – to eat at the half way point

Hydration (Drinking)

Swim: Drink and pee about 30 minutes before the race begins

Bike: Drink a long drink from my running water bottle at T1; have a full bottle of my own homemade “GBS-Tri-Ade” with crushed potassium, salt and a Kellog H2O lemonade packet already loaded on the bike.

Run: Two water bottles, one with water and one with my “GBS-Tri-Ade”


In my transition area I will have  a small towel, some paper toweling to wipe off my feet after the swim transition (we have to walk barefoot for 1/3 of a mile – is that crazy?), a small tube of sunscreen to put on between bike and run and a roll of TP, ’cause I hear they always run out and after this race I know I’m gonna have to go! I’m having my bike checked out tomorrow and my husband has suggested I try to program my Garmin to tell me when the turns and hills are coming up, so I’ll play with that this week.