The St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis is coming and the community is stoked! Think about it, the event was only announced three months ago and how many people do you already know that are planning to compete? It’s a game changer for Memphis and for a huge number of people who see this as the chance of a lifetime. Y’all, this massive event is in our own back yard! That means you won’t have to deal with overpriced flights and lodging, not to mention your local support crew can be there on-site rather than a vendor you don’t know. So if you’ve ever thought about doing a Half Ironman, the

Memphis Half Ironman has just eliminated so many hurdles for you. But where do you start? Everyone knows someone who has done a handful of triathlons, or maybe they’re a former triathlete. But are they an expert? No! Chopping down 1 tree doesn’t make you a lumberjack! Neither does competing in one, two, or even 20 triathlons. When it comes to training for a “bucket list” type of event like this, the most important moves you make happen early in the process. Starting out correctly with a plan that will work for you and surrounding yourself with a knowledgeable support group that’s there for you are no doubt the most important moves you can make in this awesome endeavor you’re about to embark on.

The real first step is easy… registering. It’s the next step after registering that really sets the tone for success or failure; that step is getting a plan in place. You’ll want to make friends with the local shops you’ll be relying on for support. Really get to know your bike shop and their mechanics. After all, these are the folks who will be there to fix your flat tire, tune your bike last minute before your next training ride, and ultimately have you set up and fitted properly on your bike to prevent pain, and potential injury. You’ll also want to find a run store that is able to help guide you through getting the proper shoes for you That can involve assessing your run style, foot strike, and biomechanics. Then, there’s the swim. For the majority of us, it’s the most daunting of the three disciplines. So aligning yourself with a pool facility and checking into their “masters” program is key. A good swim coach will start the process with an assessment to further help you see exactly what you need to work on and will develop a personalized plan to help you gain efficiency and comfort in the water.

This sounds like a ton, right? And it is, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. That’s why it was important to me to develop an all-in-one support and training program called Victory Triathlon Training that is designed to help you through the process. If you sign up now, we start sending you a training guide to get you ready for the start of the program in May. Beginning in May you’ll get exclusive workouts every month with each of our coaches (we have expert level coaches in each discipline) and a classroom clinic to review workouts, answer questions and build overall community. Our team of coaches includes:

• Swim coach Trevor Hopper of

Germantown Athletic Club

• Running coach Kevin Leathers of

Can’t Stop Endurance

• Clark Butcher of Victory Bicycle Studio

• Physical therapists

• Strength and mobility expert

• Clinical health psychologist

• Sports massage therapist

By Clark Butcher