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  1. #1
    Clydesdale in Training
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    Triathlon Anyone?

    Anyone here ever do a Triathlon?

    Around here there are two races. The Olympic Triathlon which is swim 1.5k, bike 26mi, and run 6.2mi. Then you have the sprint race which is swim 500m, bike 13mi, and run 3.1mi.

    I can swim, but I don't know how to swim athletically. I'll need some help from a coach over the winter. I can cycle, and I'm getting stronger at it. I'm not much of a runner, but I'm trying to get back into it. Cycling is so much more fun!

    The next race locally isn't until June 2010. I'd like to enter either the sprint or the Olympic version. Not sure which. Can't do both since they are run simultaneously.

    Thoughts?

    Tips on training?

    Is this realistic?

    I know there is a tri forum, but I figured I'd get more applicable advice from my fellow clydes and athenas.

    Thanks!

    Rick

  2. #2
    Ceci n'est pas un vélo. mtclifford's Avatar
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    As a former clyde I started training for an Olympic distance Tri in febuary of this year, the tri was 2 weeks ago. My suggestion would be to find a local trainer or triathlon club and get a training schedule started. If you don't have anything available locally try the beginner triathlete website, it is a great community and they do online training schedules for a small fee. Also you need to figure out what you want to get out of the tri, do you just want to finish? or do you want to compete in your age group or the clyde weight class? It means different things to different people. You can't start training too soon though.

    Was very happy with my finish in the tri but let me tell you, the last mile of the run might have been the hardest thing of my life. 90+ degrees on black asphalt with no water stops, I was literally praying....and if it wasn't for the training time I put in I know I wouldn't have made it. Tri training is also a great way to lose wieght. I was 225 in Febuary, down from a high of 350 but the triathlon training really pushed me fitness and weight loss into high gear. I was 170 the week of the tri, though I immediatly put on 10 pounds the week after! Good luck and you can do it! If you have any questions feel free to pm me or ask on here, I am by no means an expert but I will help if I can.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    I'm a swimmer not a triathlete (trashed knee, never could run anyhow). These days I bike more than swim. The triathlon is biased so swimming takes the shortest % time of the 3 legs (which is another topic), so for a beginner I believe the objective would be to finish the swim reasonably comfortably so you are in good shape to hammer and pound away on the bike/run.

    Swimming is a technique-limited sport. Getting some feedback and knowlegeable coaching will likely improve your time and required effort much more than just pounding out yardage at the pool. Other than The Speedo (ranked right up there with The Bike Shorts), swimming is a VERY Clyde-friendly activity. Body fat == buoyancy; you won't go faster but it is less fatiguing which is helpful for beginners.

    Flexibility is also something to work on, primarily in ankles and shoulders. In the pool, you can save a lot of energy with a good streamline off the walls. Breathing is also crucial to swimming comfortably. Exhale deeply and the inhale will take care of itself. Being comfortable in the water means that you relax the muscles that aren't needed for propulsion. When I was a youngster learning how to swim, on the day I learned how to relax and breathe correctly I progressed from struggling through 25 yards to being able to swim virtually as far as I wanted.

    My suggestion is to see if you can find a local Masters team to swim with AND either get some books/DVDs or take a weekend swim clinic targeted for adults.

  4. #4
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Practice your transitions, and once you start the event, just keep going, no matter how bad it hurts. Your first tri is going to be a learning experience, your goal is to just finish it, even if it's DFL. DFL beats DNF every tie.

    Training: Do the training in bricks. Swim, then bike. bike, then run the next day, and repeat. Do wind sprints to build your aerobic capacity. Do interval training at high intensity for the same purpose.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  5. #5
    Clydesdale in Training
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    I've read a bit on swimming, and the consensus among the "experts" is that swimming, when learned properly is quite easy and requires comparitively little effort to maintain a decent pace. As I understand its like cycling in that its relatively easy to go relatively fast. As speeds increase, it takes exponentially more power to overcome the resistance of the water or wind. So its really hard to go really fast. I just want to learn to swim the equivalent of cycling 15mph.

    As far as my goals, I guess at this point its to complete the Triathlon and not embarass myself. I'm not horribly worried about the swim, as 30 minutes in the water isn't intimidating to me. The cycling part should be relatively easy as long as I maintain my current cycling level. The part that scares the crap out of me is the run. I never much liked running, I never was very good at it. Although a decent athlete in high school and college, I never enjoyed running as a sport. Basketball, football, and the FIELD part of Track/Field were my thing.

    My plan is to spend the rest of the fall cycling as much as I can. I'm going to start swimming in October or November as my hectic schedule slows. Then I'll start running at the same time. It should give me at least a solid 6 months to prepare.

    Is that enough time to not look like a dufus?

  6. #6
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Who cares if you look like a dufus? The fact is, you'll be out there, doing, instead of sitting on a couch turning into a gigantic potato.

    By the way, you're in for a real treat for the transition from cycling to running. THe first bit of running feels like your legs are made of Nerf material.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  7. #7
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    I would love to and might just add this to my goals next year...

    thanks for posting the distances... cause I never knew...

  8. #8
    Clydesdale in Training
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    Thanks Tom, that one made me laugh out loud!

    What do the legs feel like toward the end? Don't sugar coat it. I think I may be somewhat masochistic as I am looking forward to the Nerf legs!

  9. #9
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    I wish the world were made of Nerf...

    would be such a better place!

  10. #10
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tailslid1 View Post
    Thanks Tom, that one made me laugh out loud!

    What do the legs feel like toward the end? Don't sugar coat it. I think I may be somewhat masochistic as I am looking forward to the Nerf legs!
    Well, after you readapt to running, your legs feel pretty good. At the end, I am generally close to collapse, though. When you see the finish line, though you get that last little surge fr the final 100 yards or so and can usually manage a decent pace.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  11. #11
    Ceci n'est pas un vélo. mtclifford's Avatar
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    Yeah the first mile of the run is the worst, you feel better after your legs adjust. My biggest problem at the end was the heat because the last mile of the spirit of morgantown tri is in no shade. Also I am an AWFUL swimmer, the best advice I got was just concentrate on your form and dont even think about your speed. The swim is the smallest % of the triathlon so you can make a lot of it up on the bike and run.

  12. #12
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    At almost 70, I just don't run any more, but I walk fast.

    I guess I sort of do a Sprint triathlon several times per week. I generally bike 20 miles, then go for a 500-600 yard swim, sometimes followed by a fast 3 mile walk.

    But, I don't do it to compete - just for my own pleasure.

    And, sort of interesting. I take first place every time!!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    I was thinking about this too.

    The obvious advice is find a trainer or group or someone who already has completed a triathlon who's willing to help you train.

    Honestly, I'd pick up a book on triathlon's and read up a little, to get an idea at least of what you're in for training wise.

    The thing I'm thinking is most important, especially if you're out of shape and/or not big on running or swimming (or biking for that matter, but if you weren't big on biking, i don't think you'd post on bikeforums), is slowly getting used to doing all 3 in a given week. The race is far enough away that getting comfortable with swimming, biking, and running without killing yourself or getting an injury

    also: invest in running shoes. Wearing bad shoes can kill your feet.
    My Dad: "203 when I stepped on your scale this morning. -Cyldesdad"

  14. #14
    Clydesdale in Training
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    Well, I'm definitely committed. Or maybe I SHOULD be committed. I just ordered the Terry Laughlin Freestyle swimming dvd, Total Immersion book, and Joe Friel's Your First Triathlon Book. Wooooooooooo Hooooooooo

    This is gonna be fun. Now I just need some swim goggles and swim shorts. Look out YMCA, the clyde's are coming! hehehehe

    Any advice on swimwear and/or goggles?

    Rick

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    If you don't (or can't) run one can do an Aquabike - swim and bicycle - becoming more common.

    http://withoutlimitsproductions.weeb...triathlon.html

  16. #16
    Ceci n'est pas un vélo. mtclifford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tailslid1 View Post
    Well, I'm definitely committed. Or maybe I SHOULD be committed. I just ordered the Terry Laughlin Freestyle swimming dvd, Total Immersion book, and Joe Friel's Your First Triathlon Book. Wooooooooooo Hooooooooo

    This is gonna be fun. Now I just need some swim goggles and swim shorts. Look out YMCA, the clyde's are coming! hehehehe

    Any advice on swimwear and/or goggles?

    Rick
    Any decent goggles will do, just go to your local sporting goods store and pick up a pair for $10-$15, ?I have a pair of speedo goggles that I have used for over a year with no probs. For shorts you might want to invest in a pair of tri shorts, basically they are like bike shorts with a very thin chamois. They can be worn for all three events.

  17. #17
    Go Leafs kgriffioen's Avatar
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    I did a sprint distance with an open water swim in July. I finished 366 out of 639 for male participants which is right around where I thought I would finish.

    My philosophy on the swim portion is as follows: I am not a great swimmer, its only 400 yards, I can train and train and train for the swim to save a couple of minutes tops. Or I can really work on my running, biking and transition times and knock 7 or 8 minutes off the time.

    If I were you, I would start with the sprint distance. Do a couple of them, and then do the olympic distance. (That is my goal)

    If the swims are in the open water, you need to practice that. I can't stress that more. I'm from Wisconsin and there have been three fatalities in the swim portions of local tri's including the one I participated in and they were all in the open water.

    As far as training goes, someone mentioned the brick training which is key. I commute by bike so I've got that more than covered, but I ran 3 times a week and swam 3 times a week in addition to that.

    Above all just have fun. I did mine with my wife and we had a lot of family cheering us on and we just had a blast!! You also will have a sense of a great accomplishment!!!!

    Good Luck and keep us all posted.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    There's some great information in this thread, and we've actually started a sticky thread up above, where I will add some info on the distances as listed here.

    Some of the distances are formalized. ITU has a specific distance for it's long and short course races, and then there are the Iron distances. Sprints tend to be a little more flexible, but I'll put up a base range on these as well.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DoubleTap's Avatar
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    I am so glad this thread came up. I've been cycling seriously this year and having a blast. I'm down about 60 lbs. since October 2008, but I still have about 90 lbs. to go to ideal weight. In my bike shopping, I always run across Tri gear and think about trying one in a year to give me a new goal, but I've always been too embarrassed to ask anybody about my potential for being a triathlete. At 315 lbs., it's hard to ask around about doing a tri.

    Thanks for all the great advice, and I'd love to hear more experiences and ideas for getting ready.

  20. #20
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tailslid1 View Post
    Well, I'm definitely committed. Or maybe I SHOULD be committed. I just ordered the Terry Laughlin Freestyle swimming dvd, Total Immersion book, and Joe Friel's Your First Triathlon Book. Wooooooooooo Hooooooooo

    This is gonna be fun. Now I just need some swim goggles and swim shorts. Look out YMCA, the clyde's are coming! hehehehe

    Any advice on swimwear and/or goggles?

    Rick
    Good choices on the swim book/DVD. They are written for your demographic.
    Swim goggles - make sure you try them on before you buy. Everybody has different-shaped faces. Most seal with a gasket and suction - for those you should be able to press them against your face and have them stay on for a bit WITHOUT the strap to see if they fit your face. For training, wear 'em a bit loose but for a race, snug them down for better security. Swim shorts - I don't know about triathlete wear but for pool workouts, swimsuits should fit snugly. If they are loose, cotton, pockets it is more difficult to get a "feel" for the water, they kill your streamlining, and they will soak up water and slow you down. The competitive jammers have plenty of stretch to fit some big people and the poly/durafast ones won't get chewed up so fast by pool chemicals. If modesty is an issue, just drape yourself with a beach towel until you get poolside.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    I did my 1st sprint this year and I’m still in training for a few more events. Planning on an on at least a few sprints and an Oly next year.
    Greats suggestions and I’d like to echo / add:

    1) Big +1 on beginnertriathlete.com I found it to be very helpful and supportive (much like the C&A forum). Also Slowtwitch.com – IMHO they seem to be more hardcore and rougher, less tolerant group.

    2) +1 on the Masters Swimming and Total Immersion – Great book! It worked for me. TI method won’t make you fast but it will increase your efficiency. I have heard that Joel Friels’ book is very good.

    3) +1 practicing T1, T2 and using Bricks -- It will help you overcome the "rubber legs" after the bike.

    4) Good running shoes are a must. If one is available, a “Running specialty” store will analyze your gait and recommend a shoe designed for the way you run. Most “Big Box” sporting good stores are not equipped or trained to do a gait analysis.

    5) Now is a great time to start scouring ebay and the like for TRI Gear and bargain wetsuits. I picked up my wetsuit for $65 shipped. IF you get a wetsuit, be sure of the fit and that it is a TRI specific wetsuit NOT a scuba/surfing/windsurfing suit. I have heard good things about aerotechdesigns trishorts. DO NOT wear trishorts for regular training in chlorinated pools – they are not designed for chlorine and will fall apart quickly.

    6) Don’t forget medical clearance before starting any training program. DON’T overtrain to the point of burnout / injury.

    7) Most Importantly -- Have Fun. Enjoy the journey! Remember, DFL>DNF>DNS>DNT
    You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. - Robin Williams

    Never be frightenend to walk out of step with others because you will walk on ground no one else touches

    Remember, hard work pays off later but procastination pays off now!

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