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Old 02-07-05, 11:40 PM   #1
tri-berkeley
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Help getting up to speed on training for beginner

I did my first triathlon this summer (the sprint variety) with not much training involved and I've gotten even lazier over the winter. This summer, I'd like to do an olympic-length triathlon with some preparation. I'm 27 and female.

I just got an indoor trainer to use in the mornings before I head off to work and realized I'm in the worst shape of my life. Outdoor rides around me generally start off with a big hill, so I've been avoiding this embarassment for now. I could probably stand to lose about 15 lbs and I have no cardio or endurance.

I've gotten a lot of good advice by just browsing this forum in the past. Can anybody recommend a good way to start from nothing? I tried one of those spinervals dvds and I think that it is probably a little beyond me at the moment. Should I just do some easy riding for an hour each day? My heart rate spikes as soon as I feel like I'm getting any kind of workout, so I'm never sure how to feel about heart rate training.

Any advice would be most welcome -- I don't want to burn out a month into training. Thanks!
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Old 02-08-05, 12:04 AM   #2
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For now, just start riding. If you can do an hour each day for 5-6 days a week, go for it. If that's too much, then start with about 30 minutes every other day and work your way up.

Don't worry about actual "training" at this point. Right now you just need to get some base miles in, and improve your basic fitness level.

Once you are up to an hour 5-6 days a week, ride at that level for a couple weeks, then start adding in some training. For example, on one of the 5-6 days you ride you might want to do a shorter, faster ride. On another day you might do intervals. On another you might try riding for 1.5 hours, and then a couple weeks later, perhaps 2 hours to build your endurance.

As soon as you can, start riding outside ... there's no substitute for "real" riding.

What are you doing to train for the other two aspects of a triathlon?
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Old 02-08-05, 12:34 AM   #3
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Well, I'm not sure if this is a lousy idea or not, but I'm hoping to use cycling to get some base endurance before I get started on the other two sports. I used to swim competitively, so I'm not terribly concerned about the swim, but I'm a lousy runner. I'll probably do both 2-3 times/wk starting in a couple weeks, but I do run into trouble just trying to fit everything in I'm starting with the cycling because I enjoy it most and I figure it takes the largest time proportion of a triathlon.

I'm planning to do some outside rides on the weekends and then move the daily stuff outside once it gets warmer in the mornings. I'm definitely looking forward to it, but without dumping a lot of money into cold weather gear, it kind of sucks these days. It tends to get very windy around here up in the hills.

I could be setting myself up for something bad though -- I'm hoping not.
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Old 02-08-05, 07:07 AM   #4
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Machka offers some great advice. Right now concentrate on building your base and since cycling is the longer of the 3 events I think it's a good idea to concentrate on but I wouldn't delay getting started on running and swimming very long. Have you picked the triathlon you're doing to do yet? If so you can build your training plan backwards from that date. The more time you put into building your base the better off you'll be when it comes to race time.
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Old 02-08-05, 12:10 PM   #5
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I know it is hard to fit training in sometimes ... can you incorporate it into your daily life? Can you cycle, walk, jog to work? To the store to get groceries? To other activities? If you're watching TV in the evening, can you ride your trainer or lift weights? On your lunch break, can you go for a quick jog?
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Old 02-08-05, 09:23 PM   #6
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Well, I was originally considering the San Jose International Triathlon on June 26, but considering my huffing and puffing this morning, I think that might be a little early. There's also the Treasure Island Triathlon in November in case I feel that 4 months is too little. I'd like to get a pretty good base going and if I do the November triathlon, I'd like to do a couple sprints before that since this will only be my second triathlon.

Machka - I already bike to work each day - the problem being that it's only about 2 miles each way so not much of a workout. I'm a student, so flexibility is not as much an issue for me as total time. Of course, I do 'waste' a fair amount of time doing things like reading these bikeforums! I like the jog at lunch idea...

I think I'll probably try to mix in some running and swimming into the base routine in order to keep some variety going. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 02-09-05, 07:17 AM   #7
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I think your idea of doing a couple of sprint triathlons and the longer triathlon in November is a good plan. Go for it and keep us posted on your progress. Also, you do know there's a triathlon section here on BF, right?!
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