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Thread: New competitor

  1. #1
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    Hi guys(and gals) I'm not new to bike forums in particular but to the Triathlon section.

    I'm looking to get started in triathlons right now. I'm thinking it would be much more interesting than sitting my rear on a saddle for a couple of hours a day.

    Now, my cycling is decent, my training rides are about 40-50 miles. I am still trying to push that higher. I want to be able to comfortably say that 80mi is no problem. My swimming could use some help but the swim coach at my school said he could help me with my form if I go in after school a couple times a week.

    Now, my running is seriously messed up. I am absolutely certain that my feet are rolling, not sure if they are rolling outside or inside but I know I have bad running form. I am going to see a podiatrist about this since I also have problems standing for long periods of time.

    I also have a great advantage. One of my teachers has competed in an Ironman, so I can talk to him about some training tips.

    Any help at all(links, stuff that worked for you, anything) would be much appreciated. Also, when I do my first triathlon(I know, thats a ways away just want to be prepared) should I have a tri specific bike? I kind of blew all my money on my current ride(specialized s-works E5 w/full chorus and Mavic kyserium SSL's) and it would take me awhile to save up enough for a new ride. Could I get by with some new wheels and aero-bars? No problem if I had to get a tri-specific bike, but I would have to save up for awhile unless i started to work more(not an option for atleast another 2 years).

    Thanks for the help!

    p.s. sorry if I got any terminology wrong, or if I sound like I don't know what the heck I'm talking about

  2. #2
    MHR
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    A few questions; Much depends on what your goals are here...

    What race - When is it? You say "I'm looking to get started in triathlons right now" yet - you say when I do my first triathlon - "I know, thats a ways away just want to be prepared"
    First thing first -
    1. Select the event
    2. Register (most fill up pretty fast) I have 27-races on my schedule this year and about 1/2 are pre-paid for already...you need to be on the ball or you will miss out.
    3. Get a "Triathlon USA License" Just like bike racing...you need one (or you can purchase a race day only version)
    Determine the amount of training time between now and then - Then based on your personal goal and the time available - I may help point you in a direction that will give you a good start.

    Which distance? This helps design the program

    How much time do you have to train? This tells me how much commitment you really have

    How old are you?

  3. #3
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    Here's another tidbit of advice. Listen to MHR

    Regarding your bike, you can do triathlons with what you currently have. In fact, since you haven't done a triathlon yet you're probably better off riding your current bike. Who knows you just find out triathlons aren't your thing.
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

  4. #4
    TriBob
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    Your current bike is more the fine.

    Triathlon 101 is a great intro book and will cover most of the basics and FAQ.

    trinewbies.com has a bunch of articles
    beginnertriathlete.com also has lots of info gears specifically for new triathletes.

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    Industrial Strength BS hoodlum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MHR
    I have 27-races on my schedule this year [/B]
    Do you race every weekend during your season? I find that racing more than 1 time per month prevents me from properly preparing for my races. Are you following a periodization schedule with a true peak? If not, are you placing any greater emphesis (sp?) on training for any particular race and using others as training races?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoodlum
    Do you race every weekend during your season? I find that racing more than 1 time per month prevents me from properly preparing for my races. Are you following a periodization schedule with a true peak? If not, are you placing any greater emphesis (sp?) on training for any particular race and using others as training races?

    check the threads of the last couple of weeks. MHR has written about his training several times....awe-inspiring if i may say so!

    NB: and it's "emphasis"

  7. #7
    fixed road tri
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    two things (maybe three)

    i've been biting off the 'right form' bit by bit. I've been doing Tri's for 3 years now, always been a strong cyclist, last year took total immersion swimming which just blew me away in terms of the difference it made.

    this year I'm seeing a sports physical therapist to get me running right. I don't over or under pronate, but used to get lower back pain when running (which i couldn't diagnoze).....3 months of (sometimes excrutiatingly painful) focussed work and i'm seeing big improvement (did my first brick this weekend 20 miles bike, 5 run and still smiling)

    as for your bike, don't change it. Three years in and i'm still running a jamis quest with aerobars a forward seatpost (and the only prospective upgrade this year being a good set of aero race wheels)

    oh and welcome to the club

  8. #8
    MHR
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoodlum
    Do you race every weekend during your season? I find that racing more than 1 time per month prevents me from properly preparing for my races. Are you following a periodization schedule with a true peak? If not, are you placing any greater emphesis (sp?) on training for any particular race and using others as training races?
    hoodlum
    27 was only an estimate...actually its closer to 35 this year (I'm starting to slow down a bit though...this year I will be 47 in November - Damn that's old ). Some some are "swim specific", some are "bike specific" and some are "run specific" and then there are the Tri's. You will never know how good you really are (or where you stand) until you test yourself against the best of the best in the various disciplines. The experience will help you in Triathlons.

    Sometimes more than every weekend...
    ie. In late spring I race a Thursday night race series (10 races part of a series) open water swim 1-mile, and run a 5k. It's very competitive with about 250 or so that show up each week. The swim is a mass start with enough bump and grind to prepare you for just about any Tri + there are several well known pros who are regulars there as well. On the weekends I'm racing anything from a 5k to marathons or long course tri's (the longer and harder the better). "Training Races?" Not sure what that means, but a race is a race and Yes - I race all out giving it my best effort. Some don't mean as much as others - but the bottom line is they are all races and all are fun and at the same time a test of my limits - if your not having fun whats the point?
    Then I also do a Bike TT series, (8) races on Wednesday nights in spring + the State TT championships

    Periodization - greater emphasis? Yes - for my "Key races" I sure do. (one of which is a 1/2-marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday (Pikes Peak Ascent and Pikes Peak Marathon....only 1-hill in the course) include;
    (4) Marathons or ***3-marathons and an Ironman Triathlon depending if I go to Kona this year or not
    (2) 1/2-Marathons
    (2) 1/2-IM's
    (3) 10k's
    (2-3) Olympic Distance Tris
    (1) 10-mile race
    (1) Trail Race
    so 14 - 16 events that are "Key races"
    and 18 or so others that are mid-week like the swim or TT- race series as I noted above.

    Seriously – you will never know what you are truly capable of until you try – in 2003 the mantra of Ironman Hawaii was “Anything is Possible” ...and you know what? It’s True!
    There are really only 2-types of people in this world.......Those that say "I CAN'T" and those that say "I CAN!"

    The difference between the two....at least for me is....."I KNOW I CAN"
    Last edited by MHR; 03-08-05 at 08:35 PM.

  9. #9
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    Since you're in San Diego...check out http://www.kozenterprises.com/exec/k...licationID=177 and pick out a SPRINT event. Since running is your weakest event (for now) that won't be too intimidating because the run leg is only 5K. If you don't see an event you like, check http://www.active.com or http://www.trifind.com/ or http://www.usatriathlon.org/

    The event doesn't need to be too far away because you sound like you're in reasonable shape. Treat your first one like a hard workout, don't worry about where you finish. People seem to cheer louder for the last finisher than they do for the winner

    Don't worry about a tri bike or aero bars for now. They won't make much of a difference in a sprint event since you'll only be on the bike for 30-45 minutes.

    Try to get your hands on the Triathlon 101 book as it has some good information about preparing for the event, transitions, etc. Also check out... http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/default.asp and http://www.trinewbies.com/ and http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml ...the last one is a running plan that helps you build to a 5K.

    Feel free to add on more specific questions but hopefully this will get you started.

  10. #10
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help guys!

    I didn't know that I had to have a license to race in triathlons, guess thats the first thing I will have to do.

    I'm not sure what event I want to do. I would have to do some research first. I was thinking it may be a good idea to get some training in before I go out and select an event?

    MHR - I can most likely train 2-3 hours a day depending on how much work my teachers are giving to me. I'd really like to do a triathlon but between school work and training, school work is priority right now. I do want to go to college.

    M-F 2-3 hours a day after school. I have access to an all-weather track and an olympic size swimming pool.

    Sat - at the moment I am busy all day on Saturdays but I could squeeze in some training by running on a treadmill or getting on the rollers for a spin.

    Sun - Free all day. Generally I like to get out for a ride or play some tennis but that can be substituted for training.

    Distance I'm not sure about that. The problem right now is that I have no idea how far I can run/swim. I haven't swam for a couple of months and I haven't been running either. IMO I need to gauge my fitness in those areas before I can try and put together a training schedule.

    At the moment I am 15. Will be 16 August 22.

    If you guys need any more information feel free to ask. I will try to get as much info as possible.

  11. #11
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    You don't need a license if the event is not USAT sanctioned...but those are usually the best races. One day licenses are available for $9 if you just want to dip your toe in the water.

  12. #12
    MHR
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    I'm not sure what event I want to do. I would have to do some research first. I was thinking it may be a good idea to get some training in before I go out and select an event?

    Building basic base is fine, but don't train aimlessly. Do your research, pick the race that you think you can do first, and register paying your entry fee. If you wait too long you will find the race filled-up before you figure it out.

    Then you will know what your up against, and what distances you need to be ready for. It sounds like you have enough time to train for an "Olympic Distance Triathlon" - you might want to think about either a sprint or the Olympic distance for your first event. I would't think of doing anything longer or you may find yourself over your head. You may also want to select one that has a pool swim for added comfort. In a tri with a pool swim, you will be able to select a swim heat based on your ability/time to finish - rather than being grouped with others in your age group. In an open water event there is alot of bump and grind that happens and you may not be ready for that yet. Also, there is no stripe on the bottom of the local lake to follow either, open water swimming requires some navigation skills that can be added as you get more experience.

    Last year at an Olympic distance event I was in the last wave for the swim start. On my way to the first mark (like 400 meters) I literally swam over the top of a girl (I didn't see her - as her heat was wearing a dark purple swim caps) who started 2-heats before me. Most of the girls in her heat were rounding the second mark on their way to the third mark by now. She was still out there trying to get to the first mark - struggling is not a good way to start off in this sport. I asked if she was ok - and she said all she wants to do is finish today. Well, I swam over to a spotter boat and let them know she was there - and they said they would keep an eye on her. Mean while my heat was like better then 50 yards ahead of me easy - oh well at least I had peice of mind.

    If you need some help with running check out http://forums.runnersworld.com

    I only post on the "Marathon Forum" if you follow this forum you will note that it moves pretty fast, with maybe 10 - 20 new topics/day....check it out you may learn a thing or two.
    http://forums.runnersworld.com/forum.jspa?forumID=4
    you can see our Bio's here;
    http://www.walz-tech.com/Martha/MarathonBioPage.htm


    Forum*Rider - best of luck to you.
    Last edited by MHR; 03-09-05 at 09:12 AM.

  13. #13
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    Thanks MHR!

    Should I just pick any sprint triathlon? Or are they specific races for differing skill levels?

    I will try to look for a tri with a pool swim vs an open water swim.

    And when you say you're "heat", what does that mean? Do they send the competitors out in waves? Like "Numbers 1-50, go. Numbers 51-100 go. etc."?

    Thanks again for all the help guys!

  14. #14
    MHR
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    - Any sprint will do for your first
    - Heat = a group of swimmers who will finish their swim in a specific time range...most all races offer a wave format based on either age group or in the smaller ones swim starts may be based on estimated swim finish time. The only mass start race I have done was a state championships Olympic Distance event (years ago) and Ironman distance events.

  15. #15
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    I disagree about events with pool swims. You'll find that most of the ones around So Cal are done in reverse order (run-bike-swim). The water is starting to warm up so you have the opportunity to get in and practice some open water swimming...I was in the ocean last weekend and although it was about 60, it felt ok with a tri wetsuit.

    Down by you there are events with the swim in the ocean as well as in Mission Bay. Pick one of them and just start toward the back of the pack and take a bit of a wide berth. Getting used to swimming in a pack isn't that bad. Just remind yourself to stay calm. The swim distances for sprint events is usually 1/4 to 1/2 mile so I'm going to guess that you will be in the water for 20 minutes at the most...once you've gone about 100 yards, your group will spread out a bit.

  16. #16
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    Ok so either a pool swim or a some-what sheltered swim should be fine.

    Also, do you think I'll need a wetsuit? And specific brands that stand out as a good value?

  17. #17
    fixed road tri
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    check out the wetsuit thread under yours on the pain page

  18. #18
    fixed road tri
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    make that main page

  19. #19
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    Ok I checked that thread out.

    Seems that the general consensus is that full suits are fastr than sleeveless and warmer of course.

    The Ironman brand was recommended so I will check those out.

    Do you guys think that the water here in SD will be too warm for a full suit? If the full suit is faster, that seems good to me

    Also, a shop called Nytro is close enough for me to visit(it's in Encinitas). Do any of you shop there? How are they? good selection?

  20. #20
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    I don't think the water in SD ever gets above 74 or so...you should be fine in a full suit. I've heard good things about Nytro but have never been there...a little too long of a drive.

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