Triathlon - Complete Newbie here
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05-16-10, 08:17 PM
Complete Tri Newbie here.
I decided to do a triathlon to kinda help get me into shape. I already ride, so I am not to concerned with that part. Its the whole swimming and then the run that will get me. I am worried about the training part for the swimming because there is not really a place to train at here where I live. I am planning on doing a mini-sprint or possibly a sprint.
Ok heres the questions,
1) How long should I train/practice before I actually try and do my first tri?
2) I am considering doing one of these two races, which one would ya'll recommend for a beginner.
05-16-10, 08:57 PM
Welcome to the wonderful world of Triathlon.
For my first race, an Olympic, I trained for a solid four months before the race. The swim was ugly to say the least but for that event I just wanted to finish. So, I freestyled and backstroked my way through it. I would not recommend doing that as backstroking actually tires you out more than you realize. I would recommend, especially for a mini or a sprint, that you try to freestyle the whole thing. There are a number of threads on here about getting started in swim training. Also, there is a pool in Burnet that has swim lanes. Might be worth a look if there isn't anything in Llano for you.
Check out www.beginnertriathlete.com (http://www.beginnertriathlete.com) for some training programs. Decide which event you want to do and how many weeks you have until that event and then find a program that fits that timeframe. There are 8 week, 10 week, 12 week - whatever you need. There are some great threads on here that will get you going. A little searching will find just about any answer to just about any question.
05-17-10, 12:33 AM
yeah what fred said pretty much. it really depends on how quickly you pick up the swimming. also you will need a while to break in to the whole running bit (big guys=big knee problems) take it slow, do not skimp out on buying nice running shoes. go to a store and ask what they recommend.
as for what race to do, forget the one in two weeks, you definitely need more time than that. the august and september ones are definitely doable. the June one is sort of your call.
Have fun, I am sure you will enjoy it. (assuming you enjoy pain that is...joking...sort of)
05-17-10, 11:36 AM
One other thing to consider would be doing the race in two weeks...as a volunteer. My first introduction to triathlon was going to watch my brother (doing the same Olympic as I mentioned) the year before I got started. This gave me a really good idea of what to expect because I had seen it all in person and had someone who experienced it to talk with.
So call the race organizers and see about doing volunteer work or at the very least go and watch it.
Another thought that just popped into my head would be to do one as a relay. Since you are comfortable with the bike, find someone to do the swim and run or two others to do one each and race it that way. You still get the feel for the sport and the excitement that surrounds it without killing yourself when you are not ready.
And, although I love the information that I get off this site and others I do recommend finding someone that you know and trust that is involved in triathlon and picking their brain. Nutrition, training, bricks, supplements, transitions, clothing, equipment, which races........... There is a lot of stuff to this sport that can bog you down. Take it slowly and try not to implement everything for the first race. I am on year 3 and I am still adding in new things that I learned two years ago. Too much change too quickly can be disasterous. So be smart...ask questions...find a program and stick to it. Don't be afraid to adjust it to your schedule but do do your best to stick to whatever you come up with.
I totally agree with Serious about the running. EASE!!!!! into it for the first few weeks. Your lungs will develop faster than your muscles will and you'll start to think you can run further and harder because you are breathing better - WRONG! Your muscles still have a ways to go. So don't go from 1 mile to 4 miles over night. Take your time and your body will love you for it. Shin splints are no fun and will take you longer to get over than it would have taken you to wait and train properly.
Also agree with the shoes. Do some research on the type of arch and step pattern you have and then find out what kind of running shoes work with your foot. This makes a HUGE difference. Don't just go straight for the Nikes. When I did my research there wasn't a single Nike or Reebok on my suggested list.
One last thing for this post...keep a log. Either on your computer or in a book. I have a Excel sheet. Keep track of what and when and where you trained. How did you feel going into and coming out of it? What hurt? What new thing did you try? Did it work? What did you eat before you worked out? Did it mess with your system? All these things and more will help you to train better and smarter. Like for me I found out real fast that Gator/Powerades do not sit well in my stomach. So those are a no go for me.
Well, there you have it. Best of luck.
05-17-10, 09:09 PM
Thanks for the advice so far on trying to help me prepare. I am already ready to get this first tri over with. Today after work, I was going to do a short (8 mile) bike ride and then do a bit of walking at the track but a big lightning storm blew in on my way to track. I was looking forward to getting in some walking tonight.
Another question is on Wednesday nights I host a 20-25 mile bike ride in the evening. I am wondering if this is good thing to do in the middle of the week, or if I should cancel doing this ride while preparing for this first tri?
05-17-10, 09:53 PM
It is totally up to you...nothing says you can or can't. But again you need to get on a set schedule and if you already have a bike workout then start there and build your training from it.
Of course everyone is different but I like to bike and swim on the same day and then run the next. I tend to rest on Sunday to honor He who made me even though my training schedule has me off on Fridays. I just moved a few things around and Voila! there is my schedule.
Don't be afraid to throw in a little jog now and then in the walk. Start building that up slowly - as mentioned before. Make your walk at a brisk pace and listen to your body. I just came off the road for what was a planned 45 min run that turned into a 20 min run/walk because my shins started acting up. I have a race Sunday and don't want to risk it. Your body will tell you when to slow down or when it is okay to pick up the pace. It won't send a text message so pay attention.
Another thing, be sure to stretch AFTERWARDS. This is a big thing that we all have to learn. After a workout your muscles are stretched and if you just hit the couch or sit down and relaxe then what happens - they tighten and you end up cramped for days. So be sure to do a good stretch after you work out. One big thing I have learned is that when I am nearing the end of the bike I stand up and start stretching out my calves. They have been doing nothing but enjoying the ride for 15, 25 miles or how ever long and you are about to jump off the bike and use them. This is the hardest part of triathlon...the T2 (transition 2) from bike to run. You'll see a lot of people cramping and walking at the beginning of the run because their calves are tight. So stretch them out a little towards the end of the bike...your run time will appreciate it.
05-17-10, 10:12 PM
I normally ride Mondays Wednesdays, and saturdays. I have been looking at doing brick workouts on mondays and wednesday, swimming on tuesday thursday and saturdays, with a longer run on fridays and long ride on saturdays. i am going to try this workout schedule and adjust it if needed.
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