The second weekend of January brought an opportunity to welcome a new teammate to Team Endure. Roselle, also known as the Running Diva has long been a friend of Endure and had already been participating in aquathlons since before I took up triathlon. This year, her target is to race Ironman 70.3 Philippines as an individual competitor so we took Saturday to drive up to Subic to ride those smooth traffic-free roads, and then practice some open-water swim skills and drills.
I took some time to help Roselle familiarize herself with bike shoes and clipping into her pedals after our ride. Although she already has the bike shoes, she still rides in running shoes. To help her conquer her fear, I broke down the motion of clipping in and pushing off into the following steps:
- While standing astride your bike’s top tube (not seated on the saddle), clip in your dominant foot — it’s the one you are most comfortable pushing down on the pedal with.
- Push down with the clipped foot and scoot along, pushing off the ground with the free foot.
- As you gain momentum, lift yourself and ease back onto your saddle.
- Place the free foot on its pedal and start pedaling. You don’t need to clip in yet.
- Kick the free pedal to align the cleat and the clipping surface, and clip in.
To stop, she would need to unclip with her non-dominant foot, lift herself off her saddle and bring her body forward while braking so she could put the unclipped foot on the ground in front of her.
Though tremulous and hesitant, Roselle quickly mastered this procedure. Now all she needs to do is keep practicing to make the whole thing fluid and automatic.
While the usual beach for open water swim sessions used to be Dungaree (which was rebranded as Sands of Triboa and now ACEA Resort), it’s currently closed to the public until partway through summer. We paid P500 each for day trip beach access to All Hands Beach, and the cordoned-off beach area was perfect for teaching. The water was also clear and clean and surprisingly cool, which was refreshing after our hot ride out.
As veteran athletes we may take some skills and knowledge for granted, but for those new to the sport, they actually aren’t commonsensical. You can’t do triathlon for six years and not learn anything, so I did my best to pass down some veteran moves learned from trial-and-error and from those who do this sport for a living. It was highly gratifying to see my teammates absorb everything like sponges, and I hope it comes in useful come race day.