Triathlon - Newbie seeking some advice
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07-08-06, 11:07 PM
Well, I can run and I can ride, but swimming is my downfall. Add that to being more of an "Athena" type, and I just wonder if I can really pull off doing a triathlon by spring 2007. I have a goal of dropping about 30- 40 pounds first, then train my butt off during the winter months, and by spring, I'll be ready for a century or triathlon. Is this possible? Anyone have stories of inspiration they can share with me?
Here are my stats:
Female, 5' 6", approx. 180 pounds.
Possible? Or should I just focus on the weight loss for now and not worry about the other stuff?
07-09-06, 12:21 AM
I assume that you are planning to do a Sprint Tri, yes? In that case, the swim will be a half-mile or less...this really isn't a big deal. Most people have a fear of the swim but it isn't nearly as bad as your fears. If you REALLY suck at swimming, take a class and practice...you have plenty of time.
Don't let your weight get in the way of your tri aspirations. I was 5'8" 247 lbs two years ago when I entered a sprint. I trained for six weeks and just did it. I had a blast.
I was trying to find the race report for my wifes first tri but it looks like it has been purged. Anyway, I think she might have a similar body type as you and she was terrified fo swimming in the ocean...but she went out in 10' surf (no exaggeration) and slugged her way through the swim. When she finished the tri, she felt like she could conquer the world.
Go do it. Have fun. And keep us posted on your progress!!!
07-09-06, 06:21 AM
Hey- I read about a race your wife did, but it was a whiles back, I think. It was a race I'm thinking about doing next year- very inspirational! The pictures are missing, though- I couldn't see any pictures with those big waves! How does she feel about doing these things? Does she have others planned for this summer? Is she improving? What does she do for training?
07-09-06, 07:25 AM
there isn't any reason you shouldn't be able to finish a sprint tri 9 months from now if you train for it. Sounds like with a decent base in biking and running, you're most of the way there. The swim is the shortest event (aside from the transitions that is). I think all sprint training plans are less than 16 weeks long so you should be in good shape if your target is spring 2007. Focus on your weakest sport (swimming) and you'll be more than fine.
Not sure what your workout routine is now, but if you work out 6 times a week (run X 2, bike X 2, swim X 2, rest day) or eventually get more agressive with some two a day workouts, those pounds will likely drop quickly.
I only started swimming again and bought a bike (after not having had one for 20 years) in february. I did my first sprint a few weeks ago (which went great) and have my next one next weekend, another august, and another in september. I'm already looking to find and oly later in the year. It's an addicting sport and I'm sure you'll find it very empowering.
07-09-06, 09:33 AM
Here's some pics from the 2005 race. The swim got cancelled this year...I'm not sure that this is the best choice for your first tri. I think there are some women-only events around that have gotten good reviews.
Rose has continued to get in better and better shape. She did the PumpkinMan Sprint at Lake Las Vegas last October and had a good time. No races so far this year.
I would encourage you to do Pacific Coast in early September. It is a well run race and while a little bit challenging, it has a lot of newbies and is fun. That was my first one on my road to re-finding fitness. I know you think you don't have time, but you totally do.
07-09-06, 02:28 PM
OMG!!!!!! Those waves are sick....lol. Check out a book called "Slow, Fat, Triathlete" It is funny and pretty insightful. One of the first things I read when I started. They are right. Don't let weight get in the way. Just make realistic goals. Since I started I have lost loads of weight and my swims have improved. But I still go out with the same goals as when I started.
2. Try not to be dead last
3. Find the best crab cakes and beer in the area
4. Meet at least 4 other racers to go with
It's all about the fun. You can do it.
check out www.dorkrocket.com
07-09-06, 03:53 PM
Looking at the photos, I was wondering how in the world they'd let the swim go on... then I read that the swim was cancelled. I've had two very hard swims... one was a heavy current in Falmouth, Cape Cod. That killed everyone. Then two years ago, a biathlon in New Jersey, where the swim was just incredibly difficult, with myself backstroking into the waves.
As far as the OP, weight shouldn't a be a strong concern. If you are training, that will drop. The thing I'd suggest would be to train all disciplines, become atleast an adequate swimmer, and especially train your overall core strength (endurance) based on what part of the triathlon you do best.7 to 9 months is a long way out, so a lot can happen. Just stick to it and things will work out fine.
07-18-06, 07:01 AM
As another fat newbie... go for it. In March I had zero front crawl; I've done three races now with one more in September. Not fast, but done 'em and they have *really* helped with my conditioning (though to be honest, it's the running that helps with weightloss more than anything else).
Nine months is enough for a sprint. Focus on your weakness and get each leg so you're comfortable at more-than-the-distance. Nearer the time, you can do stuff like bricks (bike/run and swim/bike back-to-back).
As for century rides, from a solid base (of, say, a few 10-20 milers a week, long commutes and weekend rides) just build up with a 40, 60, 75/80 and let the event pull you the rest of the way. Pay close attention to your food and hydration as you increase (I use a timer to beep me every 45 minutes as a snack reminder). And have fun: pick cool places to go so the going is worth the effort.
07-18-06, 01:01 PM
Prior to January, I had never been a swimmer. Sure, I took the lessons you had to take in junior high, but that was it. In fact, I generally hate going in the water.
As of January, I began swimming once per week. I'll never forget my 1st two swims..... doing 50 meters continously about killed me. Gradually, I increased. Then, I began adding "speed' laps to my workout... trying to do 25 or 50 meters faster than my normal pace. Before I knew it, my swims were totalling 1200 total meters, and my triathlon swim distance was only 800 meters.
My 1st triathlon was in late June, and I finished in at the 70th percentile of swimmers (70% finished ahead of me, I finished ahead of 30% of swimmers). Not bad considering I was SURE I would finish dead last in the swim.
Given that you are planning this far ahead, I don't think there will be any problem for you becoming a competent swimmer by next summer.
I just learned to swim at the beginning of the year and I was able to do my first sprint tri (.5S, 12B, 3R) last month. You definitely CAN do it! You have plenty of time to train and prepare. My biggest advice from my limited tri experience so far is to remember to practice open water swims before the tri, whether it be in a lake or the ocean. Swimming in a clear pools with lane lines is a completely different experience from swimming in murky, featureless open water. Even though I only did a handleful of OWS before my first tri, I know I could have used a few more practices.
07-19-06, 06:46 PM
Looking at the photos, I was wondering how in the world they'd let the swim go on... then I read that the swim was cancelled.
Actually, the photos are from the 2005 race...the swim was cancelled in 2006. We all battled the ones in the picture.
07-19-06, 07:45 PM
It's getting back in that's the scariest... Going out isn't as bad. (my opinion)
07-25-06, 12:32 PM
Those are some crazy waves...... That would cut in on any ones swim time.
So, Tri Chick, for your original question, of course you'd be able to race come next spring, in fact, it all just depends on what length your looking to run by next spring if you train regularly, you'll be able to run an olympic. If its your first tri, just go out there, and have fun. Get into some training, you have enough time to figure out what works for you, and go from there. About a month out from the race run all the events separately over a weekend or so, and just go out on race day, use those times as your targets and have fun. The great thing about a tri is that its an individual sport, you can compete against others if you want to, or you can compete against yourself. I wouldn't worry so much about dropping the weight, as you train, trust me, it will come off. I'm not a super experienced triathlete myself, but I do have a lot of training experience, and the best peice of advice I can give is (sorry if I'm being redundant) just have fun!
Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.
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