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Going The Distance In Triathlon Training – McWilley Prepares To Glide, Ride and Stride This Summer

(chickfilasprinttriathlon.com)

In 2009 I was asked to help out with the Chick-Fil-A Sprint Triathlon that was held at John Stiff Memorial Park, little did I know that it would influence me when I was 30. I was excited to help with the event because (1 – I enjoy speaking into a microphone, it’s what I do. And (2 – I had never attended a triathlon.  When I was kid I remember being at my grandparent’s house and watching a triathlon on TV but that was it. So before the Chick-Fil-A Sprint Triathlon I found out that there were different types of triathlons and the difference was the distance.


The triathlon I had seen on TV as a kid was an Ironman triathlon.

  • An Ironman (Full) Triathlon consist of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and finishing up with a 26.2 mile run (marathon).
  • The Chick-Fil-A Sprint Triathlon is as the name says,  a Sprint Triathlon. A sprint consist of a .25 mile swim*, 12.4 bike, and finishing up with a 5k run (3.1 miles)**
(chickfilasprinttriathlon.com)

I arrived at the triathlon and it turns out they didn’t need me to host  anything but I stuck around and helped where I could plus I wanted to watch the race. The bike portion had been canceled due to flooding on the streets but the swimming and running were still on.

I was fascinated; I saw people of all ages and sizes participating. Some of them looked like they had been working out since the day they were born. Then some looked like–me.  Average joe’s with a few, couple, multiple extra pounds. This is when I told myself I needed to do this.

A few months later in September of 2009 I started to “re-learn” how to swim. My brother and his wife had started swimming and convinced me to start. At the time doing a triathlon was a “long distant” goal. But through swimming I found a new love of working out and it has helped me keep the motivation of wanting to continue towards my goal. Then two years later my wife became my next inspiration.

Mrs. McWilley started a new job and through a coworker got involved in a running group. It’s a group of ladies that she goes and runs with two or three days a week and they keep each other motivated. After a few runs they persuaded her to run in the March of Dimes Run for Babies 5K, which was April 30th.This had a trickle down effect on me.

She told me she was going to do it and said something along the lines of “You could run it with me.” When she said that I remembered my two year old goal of being in a triathlon and seeing as how I was going to be 30 in a month,  I decided that this 5K would be the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

Since April 30th, I’ve been in two 5K race. The March of Dimes Run for Babies 5K and the How The West Was Run 5K (check out the video above). The perk of doing these races was that (1 – the entry fee went to great causes such as the local March of Dimes and Clients of the Texas Panhandle Center’s Autism program. (2 – I was getting race day experience. Even though I wasn’t swimming, biking and then running; experiencing the environment of a race is good mental training. In both races I finished in about 32 minutes and 30 seconds. I wasn’t the fastest, but I wasn’t the slowest.

(Click to see a larger version)

This brings us to today. The 2011 Chick-Fil-A Sprint Triathlon is 11 days away. I’m confidant in my swimming, my running isn’t the worst, and my biking–I’m still at a novice level.  But I’m looking forward to the experience and it will let me know where I stand as far time and endurance go.

I’m already planning to be in the Amarillo Town Club Triathlon on June 16th and also the TRI To Make A Difference Triathlon in September.  You can see my training schedule to the right.

Wish me luck. I’ll keep you up-to-date.


*Some Sprints Triathlons have a .5 mile swim.
**Just to be honest, I’ve read that the running portion of the The Chick-Fil-A Sprint Triathlon is only 2.93 miles.

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