General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Help for new triathlete Rss Feed  
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2012-08-09 12:49 PM

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Richmond VA
Subject: Help for new triathlete
Hello to all! Wanted to introduce myself and ask for some help so prepare for my upcoming triathlon sprint on sept 16.

I am a 52 y/o man with no triathlon experience. I have been working since early June to be able to swim 300m, bike 12 miles, and run 5k. I just finished the C25k program and now can do all 3 individually (bike is strongest)

With 5 weeks until the event, I am wondering how to continue training. Thinking to try to simulate the event using the actual route this weekend to see what I am up against. Good idea?

My swimming endurance is not the greatest but feeling I am continuing to make good progress there. But running is still pretty tough. And I'm sure will be tougher after I'm tired from the first 2 events. Should I try to run longer? Or try faster intervals? Or just keep running 5ks.

Thanks for any tips. My goals are pretty modest - to finish without walking, embarrassing myself, or dying

Thanks so much!

Bryan


2012-08-09 1:31 PM
in reply to: #4355312

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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete
Be sure that you practice some bike-run bricks before the race and also practice your swim-bike transition.  Your bricks don't have to be full length, but it's important to get used to running after you've been on the bike.
2012-08-09 1:34 PM
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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete

My goals are pretty modest - to finish without walking, embarrassing myself, or dying Thanks so much! Bryan

Well, that is certainly a worthy goal.

Take it one step at a time, learn as much as you can while you do it, and you'll do great !

 

 

2012-08-09 1:38 PM
in reply to: #4355312

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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete

I would also recommend trying to get in some open water swims (assuming the race will be in a lake).  Swimming in an open body of water, especially with lots of other people, is a lot different than swimming in a pool.  Some people are fine with it; others panic.    

Good luck!

2012-08-09 1:39 PM
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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete
If you're new to swimming you'll be surprised how much you can improve in 5 weeks of practice (if you go at least 2x per week). It can make the difference between struggling to get through 300 and feeling perfectly at ease going much further. Your goal should be to get out of the water feeling strong, so don't skimp on time in the pool.

You should push yourself on the bike rides (this will also help your run race day since you'll not be riding hard for the first time). And I'd say just keep building on distance for your runs; no speed work yet. So soon off the couch, your 5k will get faster on its own if you just run more at an easy pace.
2012-08-09 1:40 PM
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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete

blynott - 2012-08-09 1:31 PM Be sure that you practice some bike-run bricks before the race and also practice your swim-bike transition.  Your bricks don't have to be full length, but it's important to get used to running after you've been on the bike.

 

Agree with above. Until you run "off" the bike- meaning right after like in a race, you have no idea how that feels. Also, practice transitions.  Good luck and have fun.



2012-08-09 1:40 PM
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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete

I would continue to increase your distance, but the usual rule of thumb is no more than 10% increase each week, and be sure to taper before your race. 

I wouldn't do speed intervals. At this point, you want to build up your endurance. 

Good luck on your race!

2012-08-09 2:03 PM
in reply to: #4355312

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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete

Hi Bryan,  Very exciting and sounds like you've come a long way since June, good for you!  I would say to try and brick any of the events... swim/bike or bike/run. The bike/run is a must just so you aren't surprised when your legs feel like wet  noodles  For you first please just remember to have fun and that should never be embarrassed if you have to walk.  So many people never have the guts to do what you are doing so if you have to walk on your first race you shouldn't be so hard on yourself but... I bet you won't have to!  Have some fun!

Amy

2012-08-09 2:11 PM
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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete

My unprofessional advice:

1.  Look at some beginner sprint training plans (here on BT or whatever) and jump in at the 5 weeks out point.  If it's a big jump in time/distance, ease into it.  But the idea is to see how a regular plan is structured.   You might benefit most from getting in longer bike sessions since that's your strength AND being a better biker will help with the run.  Any amount you can do beyond race distances is good, within reason.

2.  Don't worry about walking in the race.  For a new triathlete, you might not pace the bike correctly and you've said the running is a challenge.  THAT'S OK!  But if you do walk, walk with purpose, limit it to 30 seconds or 1 min for recovery and then run again.  I just don't want you to feel defeated and give up if you need to walk.  Definitely walk at the aid startions for a few seconds, long enough to get in a glass of Powerade (or whatever).

You can do bricks and other race simulation, but it's not necessary.  For instance a 1 mile run off a bike session wouldn't hurt.



Edited by BikerGrrrl 2012-08-09 2:12 PM
2012-08-09 2:13 PM
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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete
bar92 - 2012-08-09 1:38 PM

I would also recommend trying to get in some open water swims (assuming the race will be in a lake).  Swimming in an open body of water, especially with lots of other people, is a lot different than swimming in a pool.  Some people are fine with it; others panic.    

Good luck!

Absolutely this!

2012-08-09 3:18 PM
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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete

Welcome to BT dude!

Breathe deep.  You'll be fine.



2012-08-09 3:50 PM
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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete

I have posted my training logs prior to my first triathlon back in July. Obviously, I am not an experienced veteran. But, I felt me training was pretty good and my performance was much better than expected.  Within the last 4 weeks, I practice 3 OWS and practice a full tri at half-race distances...mostly to practice transitions. Hope this helps.





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Workouts.xlsx (52KB - 13 downloads)
2012-08-09 3:58 PM
in reply to: #4355312

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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete

Welcome!

As others have said, if it's an open water swim, find a way to do that.  I heard all the advice and just ran out of time and it was a pretty big shock as I fell into the 'panic' category already mentioned.

A brick is a good idea just to get used to the feeling.

If you pm me your email address, I'll also send you a pre-race checklist I use for all of my races (well, I've used it for the last two).

I've only done 4 of these myself - just have fun and take your time on the first one - there is plenty of time to worry about getting fast.

Regards,

twomarks

2012-08-09 4:12 PM
in reply to: #4355312


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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete

Don't increase your run speed.  At your fitness level, speed will come from run volume, not speedwork.  Feel free to increase your distance, no reason to stop after 3 mi.  The more running you do, the better you get, its a pretty simple formula.

But be prudent, don't go out and do a 10 mi run next week.  Small increases over time to avoid injury.  Try a 4 mile run next week.

As to running off the bike, don't worry about it.   If you are going to do a bike/run (brick), you only need to run for about 5-10 minutes to understand and overcome the feeling.

2012-08-09 9:50 PM
in reply to: #4355312

New user
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Richmond VA
Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete
Wow! I can't believe so many responses. BT rocks! I am really getting excited about doing this triathlon!

My swim is not an OWS. It is a pool swim. Short pool swim seems great for my first outing. Next time will go for OWS.

I am not sure what a "brick" means, but assume it means practicing a transition without doing much of the two exercises.

My 5k program has a part 2 to take you to 10k. I think I'll continue that next week. Wants me to run 4 miles with a 1 minute walk between each mile. I may skip the walks. I'll also continue my swims 3-4 times a week (I am practicing doing 1-2 300ms each workout, and my times are steadily improving.). Should I try longer distances? I am going to try to get a 30 mile bike ride next week. But I still need to look up a real tri training plan to see if I can adapt it for my hectic work schedule.

Still planning to do a dry run of the entire event Saturday. I have a feeling the 5k run may have some walking, but am going to try to push myself to see if i can do it. Thought about doing 1/2 distances, but swim is so short already and bike ride is pretty easy. May cut the run in half if I'm dying.

Need to get tri shorts first. Will try to get some tomorrow.

Next week I'll start doing bricks transitioning from swim to bike and bike to run.

Bryan
2012-08-09 11:16 PM
in reply to: #4355312

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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete
A "Brick" means a bike immediately followed by a run, just as in the real race.  After riding for 30 - 45 minutes you will find it hard to get into your running form so you need to practice that.  Ride 30 minutes and then immediately run for 15 minutes and see how it feels.  In the race you'll be doing more of each.

Edited by blynott 2012-08-09 11:17 PM


2012-08-10 8:08 AM
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Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete
Don't sweat the small stuff (worrying about walking, looking bad, etc...), and don't forget to ENJOY the race.  This is fun stuff!  Welcome, triathlete!
2012-08-11 4:43 PM
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New user
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Richmond VA
Subject: RE: Help for new triathlete (practice tri results)

PRACTICE TRI SPRINT:

Ran real course (except couldn't snake through pool). Overall am pretty happy.  I tried very hard not to stop (from fatigue) on the run, and accomplished that.  But my lower quad started to cramp up (just above and inside of knee) at about the 2.4 mile mark. Didn't want to injure it, so walked for ~90 seconds and then was able to run again.  Almost at end I had the same thing happen on the other side, and stopped a short distance before the 5k mark (2.97 miles total).

The bike to run transition was tough!  My muscles worked, but about 1/3 mile in I was dying and fading fast.  I had a little "keep running" chant going, and asked for a little divine intervention!  Next thing I knew the legs were almost numb and breathing was under control.  I was running smooth!  That was my favorite moment of the tri!

But overall the run was a real challenge.

Here are my timings (I was not in real race conditions.  Biking was impacted by stop lights and traffic - at least a minute or two):

Swim: 7:57 (300m

T1: 3:26

Bike: 43:28 (12.2 mi)

T2: 2:52

Run: 37:49 (2.97 mi)

Total: 1:35:34

One stupid thing - forgot to take off my bike helmet and started to run!  That was part of the 2:52 of T2.

Lessons learned -

- Skip the bike gloves.  Too much time to put them on and take them off.

- Use my clipless pedals.  Had a fall last year because I couldn't get my foot out.  I just have to get over it. 

- I run in VFFs, and thought getting them on would be hard.  It wasn't.  Very happy because running with "real" shoes is miserable now that I'm used to the VFFs. 

- Love my "Woot" tri shorts!  They were really comfortable on every sport.

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