potential triathlete (Read 1045 times)



    hey everyone, two years ago, my town started an annual local triathlon (sprint distance) at our reservoir. i would really, really like to do it next year but i need some help getting started. i swim distance for my high school swim team and the run course is the same as our high school cross-country course, but i really don't know about the cycling leg. i don't know much about biking at all, except how to ride one...ha ha. so any advice concerning cycling would be much appreciated!! also, could i get some advice about training, including when to start (the race is mid august) and how to balance training between the three sports. plus, what's the best way to go about transitions? i dont have any fancy triathlon gear to make it lightning fast. how can i put on my shoes, clothes, and helmet without slowing myself down too much? thanks.
      Hi Sarah, I did my first tri this september, it was a sprint distance as well. Swimming was my biggest weakness and I joined the tri club at the local Y where they had swim practices twice a week, 1 hour each. I think in your case you shouldn't have any problem with running and swimming. I would just make sure you have at least one swim a week. If cycling is your weak point, I'd suggest you bike at least twice a week. If it gets cold in winter where you live, you could do some spinning during the winter. For the first tri, I wouldn't worry too much about the gear. For the cycling part any bike would do for your first tri. If you like it, you can invest in a better bike. As for swimming, depending on the temperature of the water, you might have to wear a wetsuit which you can rent. But my guess is that since it's in august, chances are that the water is going to be warm enough. About transitions, I would do a few brick workouts in the month before your tri. Bricks are when you do workouts of two disciplines one after the other. The one I would strongly suggest is doing bike to run workouts. You don't want to experience this the first time at the race. I loved my tri experience and am definitely doing it again. The sprint distance is very manageable. And the tri training got me in better shape than when I was only running. I actually got running PBs this year with a bit less running mileage mostly by substituting recovery runs with more intense xtrain workouts.
        Check out the triathlon training group. Lots of good info already there and it's a good place to ask more specific questions. It sounds like you want to be competitive so the sooner you start biking the better. If you have a bike that's good, you can probably mount some aerobars on it and do some cheap modifications so that you can be reasonably competitive without dropping some serious money. Biking is unfortunately the one leg you can buy speed on. I smoke people on the swim and run but am in the mid pack on the bike cause I'm on a cheap hybrid. As for training you didn't say what you are currently doing for swimming and running but try to add 3 days of biking to your schedule. If you can't just add it because of time, reduce your training in whichever of the other 2 events you are better at. It helps if you do a short run after every bike ride. Transitions are all about practice and laying your stuff out in a way you can jump into it without any extra effort.

        Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose; it's how drunk you get. -- Homer Simpson

          And here are a couple of youtube videos I found useful for figuring out the technical part of transitions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brHcsqKM_mo&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myz9PN5Ey10&feature=related

          The voice of mile 18

            you've got tons of time to get ready. some free generic training plans are available at trinewbies.com beginnertriathlete.com and trifuel.com but basically you try for a long ride on the weekends and one hard ride during the week (hill intervals or just plain intervals) and maybe a couple BRICK workout s near the end BRICKS (Bike Run Ick) are a bike ride followed immediately by a run - much harder than it sounds. sign up and have fun!

             Tri Rule #1 of Triathlon Training/Racing - If Momma ain't happy nobody is happy 

              For a first triathlon, the bike is the BEST thing to be inexperienced at, because it's the easiest to complete on minimal training. Some people may tell you that the bike is the MOST IMPORTANT leg and for hard-core triathletes, it often is, simply because that's where you'll spend the majority of your time. But for your first one, you're in the perfect position. A sprint distance tri is really not demanding at all and if you're in shape, you could easily get prepared for it in 8 weeks or so. Your total time will only be about 1:30 - so figure you'd have to be in less basic fitness than a half marathon. If it's an Olympic distance event, your total time will likely be in the 2:30ish range, which means you need to be in a level of fitness beyond what you'd need to be at for a 1/2 marathon.

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