First-time Triathlon Training with Type One Run


Editor’s Note: Cassidy is training for the Wildflower Experience Sprint Triathlon with Type One Run. Get involved here.

A few things were guaranteed for me going into 2018: I would spill coffee on my new favorite sweater, I’d rage bolus a pesky high blood glucose (BG) and immediately regret it and, most significantly, I would find a reason to push myself physically like I had to during training for Bike Beyond.

I anticipated a hectic schedule for this year that wouldn’t leave me too much time for training. A six-month tour, a month or two of backpacking, a month and a half traversing time zones for bachelorette parties and weddings and closing out the year with some solitary time in the mountains. What I mapped out left very little room for Bike Beyond-style training of two-a-days in the gym building muscle and stamina.

I didn’t think I’d compete in an athletic event this year until my friend and co-founder of Type One Run, Craig Stubing, mentioned the Wildflower Triathlon. Billed as the “Woodstock of Triathlons” the Wildflower Experience is right up my alley: camping, music, beer, yoga, painting and pushing your physical limits. The topper for me: Craig and his co-founder James had already started putting a type 1 diabetic (T1D) team together to represent Type One Run in all sorts of events happening at Wildflower weekend.

When a few months in my schedule opened up I didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on Wildflower. A couple text messages with my diabadass friend Dana and I was registered for the On-Road Sprint Triathlon: a quarter mile swim, 12.4 mile bike and 3.1 mile run (that’s a 500 meter swim, 20 kilometer bike and 5 kilometer run for my friends outside the U.S.).

Here’s the thing: even with my enthusiasm and the short event distances, I was still super nervous about training properly. I’ve never been a strong swimmer; I’m a Southern California beach gal to the core and I’ll hop into any body of water without a second-thought, but I mostly just float around in the waves with my pals. After completing 4,200 miles as a member of Team Bike Beyond last summer I have no doubt that I can cycle 12.4 miles super fast, but I’m nervous about my body being warmed up properly. I don’t typically sink into my comfort zone on the bike until mile 20. Even though I start most mornings with a 3-3.5 mile run, I may be the slowest runner on the face of the planet and I’m totally cool with that … except when it comes to a race.

Now, I’m not a competitive person. The reason I loved Bike Beyond and the reason I’m stoked about Type One Run is because they’re about community. Out on runs in Los Angeles, Oakland and Orange County with Type One Run I felt comfortable in my sneakers. Pace too fast for my slow as a snail running abilities? … someone in the group slowed down to run alongside me. Blood sugar too low to keep up the pace? … everyone has low snacks and it’s okay to take a spot in the shade and wait for my blood glucose (BG) to come up.

Training for the Wildflower Triathlon with our Type One Run group has been the same experience. A number of us that are participating in the race are in Southern California and we’ve headed out on runs and bike rides together. We’re chatting about lodging options and how to get our bikes up north for race weekend. Some people are new to running, others new to biking and a few are new to swimming. More than a few of us are competing in our first ever Triathlon. The nerves I had originally about training properly were subdued in no time. With my Type One Run diabadass crew available with a quick text or Facebook message I’ve been put at ease over concerns with shin splints, tri suits and brick workouts. I can’t wait for the first weekend of May and my first race alongside fellow T1Ds.

If you’d like to join the Type One Run crew at the Wildflower Experience, check out more info + join in the Facebook group. If you’d like to know more about the Wildflower Experience you can visit their website and be sure to check out Cassidy’s Athlete Profile.

Not quite ready for a triathlon, but interested in T1D community? Find a Type One Run group near you. 

WRITTEN BY Cassidy Robinson, POSTED 03/20/18, UPDATED 10/24/22

Cassidy Robinson cycled across 15 states as a rider and logistics coordinator on Beyond Type 1’s Team Bike Beyond. She met with hundreds of people with type 1 diabetes (T1Ds) and their families along the route and is featured in the full-length documentary film about the ride, Bike Beyond—The Documentary. At the completion of the ride she moved into a tent in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and hiked for 40 days.