My First Olympic Distance Triathlon

My first triathlon Olympic: Luciana Prado

The day of my first Olympic triathlon arrived and it was incredible; I enjoyed every kilometer and now I’m going to tell you a little bit of that experience for you.

2017 started well and I got myself full of plans; I set new goals, and the first was to pass the sprint distance triathlon (750m swimming, 20km bike and 5k race) and move to the Olympic distance (1,500m swimming, 40km bike and 10k run). My biggest challenge was swimming, which as I said in my first post, I did not know how to swim until a year ago. But today I see that we have no limit and that our mind controls everything – including my swimming!

Days before the race I started the hydration and diet that my nutritionist Fuca Araujo recommended. The food is very important and is part of my daily training regime. I need to get it balanced and right.

On Sunday, May 30, 2017 at 5:30 am in Riacho Grande – SP (Brazil) – the place I like to train, was also the place of the triathlon test for me. This also helped a lot, because I already knew the course well, and was comfortable and relaxed due to this. Familiarity is a comforter in these circumstances. It’s one less thing to think about I guess. At the check in I already began to beat faster with my heart, that anxiety of being there; it was time to put into practice everything I trained for. Familiarity of the course is one thing, but now I have to perform – to race well. I said goodbye to my coach, who told me to go try the test and just chill out and relax and give my best, and that’s what I did, I liked every KM!

The starter set us all off, and as we lept into the water it was so cold. I wore neoprene clothing that protects me from the cold and also gives me some security for helping to float. I started quiet, in the last 500 meters I had strong cramp in the right leg; I remained focused though, and kept swimming through the pain from cramp and finished the swimming quiet, I did in 43 minutes and was reasonably pleased – so far so good.

I was quiet for the transition from swimming to cycling, the famous T1. In the first 10 minutes of cycling I still had severe leg cramps, but soon my body warmed up and I started to enjoy the race. I did the 40km of cycling in 1: 26hr. In the last few kilometers of cycling I should have held back a little, but I was excited and accelerated! I finished strong and that slightly undermined the transition from cycling to racing – oops!

T2 – this time the heart beats stronger, and you know that there is little to finish; but for me the race is where I decided the test is on. Many “break” – they get out of the test for not being able to complete. I left with a high time and realized that I could not lower it much, and had climbs on the course, so I adjusted my pace and completed the race with 1: 02hr – not bad I thought. I finished my first Olympic Triathlon race at 3:23hs, enjoyed every mile, and met and learned even more about myself, my limits and crossed the finish line wanting more.

Since this time, I have competed in Ironman 70.3 in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil in October 2017, and many more great triathlon races. Come and join me if you like … it’s fun!

Luciana X