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Old 07-29-03, 07:50 PM   #1
B1105
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Newbie with Triathlons

Hey there, I'm getting into triathlons, and am doing my my first one in september. its a mini one, 12.5 miles biking, 3.3 miles running, 1/4 mile swimming. how do i go about training for it? I plan on using my road bike as I dont have a tri bike, but I might throw on some aerobars. I'm not so concerned about the biking, but I havent swam in a while. I started swimming laps at the local pool, (15-20 laps, 2-3 times a week), the actually triathlon is equivalent to 9 laps at this pool. Should I practice similating triathlons, like swimming 9 laps, biking 12.5 miles and then running, or should I train for each even individually? Is it abnormal for someone to use a normal road bike in a triathlon?
thanks for the help
byron
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Old 07-29-03, 09:01 PM   #2
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I have only raced in 2 triathlons. I can't answer much for the swimming (because I didn't train), but for the bike and run I did well.

The bike I used my normal road bike with the aerobars. I believe the only difference between a tri-bike and a road bike is a slight change in geometry. If you get aerobars, become comfortable with them before your race. They take a while to get used to.

Typically my workouts were seperate. I would occasionally do a brick. A brick is where you practice one event (such as biking) and move to another (such as running) right when you finish. These get your muscles used to switching for the events faster. I didn't notice much of a adjustment curve after swimming as I did after biking.

Just be sure that during your race, as you come in the last 0.25 - 0.5 miles, you spin in an easy gear on the bike. This will work out any lactic acid you built up in your legs during the bike.

I hope this helps.

Justin
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Old 07-29-03, 09:10 PM   #3
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don't worry about getting a tri bike until you're up to half ironman distances.... a road bike with aerobars will be just fine until then.
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Old 07-30-03, 05:02 AM   #4
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B1105: If you want to practice two phases of the triathlon do bike - run bricks as Justin suggested. Transitioning from the swim to bike is easy. Transitioning from bike to running can be very interesting since you'll feel like you're running on jello legs for the first few steps.

Another area to practice is your transitions. Prepare your transition area and then simulate going through the transitions. This will give you a chance to make sure your gear is organized before you try doing a transition in the real triathlon.

Good Luck!

Zack
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Old 07-30-03, 09:01 PM   #5
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B1105 -- The thing I would stress the most is fueling. I can't believe the difference it has made in my performance. I always make sure to have something when I first wake up in the morning (usually a can of ensure and a banana as they are easy to digest). Then, 30 minutes before the race I take a GU. During the bike I fill my water with Accelerade (sports drink) and I GU again on my way out on the run. Even though you are doing a sprint you will burn through calories quick. I promise the difference is dramatic. I didn't believe it at first-- I was scared my stomach would get too upset. Plus, I thought that my body had enough energy for a sprint. Just for kicks I tried the methodology all my Tri buddies had preached-- I dropped 20 minutes off my previous sprint time (only 1 month before). Not only that but I didn't feel as taxed at the end of the race.

Have fun at your first Tri -- it is the one you will remember. Good luck!
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Old 07-31-03, 08:01 AM   #6
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Cindy,

I might try the GU suggestion. I've never used it but if it gives you a real boost its worth trying out. I need all the help I can get.

I'm already using Accelerade and that's been a big help in terms of providing gradual energy during rides and before runs and also for preventing dehydration.

Jim
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Old 07-31-03, 10:37 AM   #7
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Thanks for the responses. What drinks/bars help slow the production of lactic acid? That burning senstaion in my thighs on climbs really slows me down.
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Old 07-31-03, 11:31 AM   #8
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Check out this great website on triathlons and training for them.

http://www.trinewbies.com/

It has lots of help and training schedules for getting ready for your first big race!

Good luck.

Mike
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