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Moving from Indoor Triathlons to the Real Thing (Read 1369 times)


Buffalo Gal Rides Again

    I've done four Indoor Triathlons and am doing my 5th in March. They would more than translate into sprints in the world of Triathlons, so I'm looking at the Danskin series. But, I'm wimping on the swim. I like having my lane in a pool, but I'm concerned about the flailing in the real thing. Otherwise, I feel like I am ready. I'm a reasonably strong swimmer, swam competitively as a kid, but in breaststroke. Seems like breaststroke would overly contribute to the flailing. Words of wisdom? Words of encouragement? Stick to the Indoor thing, you wimp?
    March: Irish Jig 5K (DONE), Kent City Ridge Run 5K (DONE) April: Iron Girl 5K (DONE), Kentucky Derby Half May: 5/3 (10K) July: Cherry Festival 15K August: Chicago Rock N Roll Half, Crim Festival of Races (10 miler) October: Grand Rapids Marathon (Half-Hometown Gig)


    De-slacking in progress

      I don't Tri but my brother does. He once told me that his first outdoor Tri swim was a real eye opener. You get kicked and smacked by other swimmers and you'll probably do the same to others. Not on purpose of course. Once the field gets spread out he found that his open water times were much faster than his indoor pool times. Me- I'd probably drown. The thing that keeps me from doing Tri's is not the water or the running- it the part of having that bike seat crammed up in your rear and flying down the road at 100 mph just waiting for your tire to blow out or your frame to brake. My bro is 7 years younger than me and just loves the Ironmen and sprint events. He's in the best shape of his life. Go for it-

      started running @ age 48 [lost 70#+, quit a 30 year pack/day habit>> ran HM]  Ran a few years then quit. Gained 70#+ back and smoking like before. Time to get healthy again @ 52 years over with the C25K program and beyond again. RE-start date 1-13-14


      Buffalo Gal Rides Again

        Well, I'm glad to hear that eventually they spread out - it really just looks like a bunch of people splashing about aimlessly, trying to stop from drowning. I suppose I can do that with the best of them. Thanks for the encouragement. I LOVE the Indoor events. For me, they really help build endurance for half marathon events. And, if I pop a tire on a stationary bike or a bike with a trainer, I just move to another bike Big grin
        March: Irish Jig 5K (DONE), Kent City Ridge Run 5K (DONE) April: Iron Girl 5K (DONE), Kentucky Derby Half May: 5/3 (10K) July: Cherry Festival 15K August: Chicago Rock N Roll Half, Crim Festival of Races (10 miler) October: Grand Rapids Marathon (Half-Hometown Gig)


        My prewash:)

          I am also scared of the swim outdoors. I want to do an olympic distance this year even if the swim is in a lake. Shocked

          "Carpe Diem"

            I encourage all to do it ! The swim isn't that bad........Just hold back from the pack and avoid the melee. The pack spreads out after a couple of minutes. Also learn to swim by always keeping one arm extended and holding off on your catch until the next arm is about to enter the water. This will protect you from eating somes feet. Of course this dosen't work well with the breast stroke. Wink Also gather up some friends and practice swimming in a bunch. Get used to someone right on your side. Finally, don't be discouraged if it takes a couple of outdoor events before feeling a little more comfortable. Most of us never get to a point where we are relaxed prior to the swim. But you may suprise yourself at just how "aggressive" you'll get once you are more comfortable with the open water. Go do it ! Best of Luck !!

            www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building


            TRIing to beat the heat!

              Buffalo Gal! The fact that you are thinking about doing outdoor triathlons is a great sign that you are mentally READY to do so. At outdoor Sprint distance events you will find athletes of varying ability and experience. Some will be there to just finish (this is the case with about 70% of people who participate in Danskin or SheROX events) and others will be there to actually race (aka- redline) the distance. In the swim, those who are racing will move to the front on the wave pack at the start; the finishers, will stick with the middle/rear. Danskin and SheROX events are terrific for beginners. They attract a TON of participants so you are assured of wave starts (groups of about 50 to 100 women) and you can pick wherever you are most comfortable for that start. So, if the swim makes you a wee bit nervous, just stick to the outside and rear of your wave. Big grin I have a sneaking suspicion that you will be totally fine. Having a swimming background (any swimming background) goes a long way in triathlons b/c you are already comfortable in your ability to stay afloat. Also, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong breaststroking your way through the swim... I have seen pleanty of women do this. Many also add a breaststroke and backstroke to their freestyle just to recover a bit. Whatever gets you from Point A to Point B. Smile You can totally do this! I took a friend from not being able to swim proper freestyle at all (she couldn't even put her head in the water) to competing in her first open water swim sprint triathlon in just two months! She certainly isn't the fastest person out there, but she is able to get the job done.... and you can too! To mimic OWS in a pool, you can have a friend 'knock' you around a bit in the pool. Honeslty, the whole knocking around thing isn't all that bad. I tend to swim up near the front with the stronger swimmers and while yes, my arms/legs/feet get touched and and I do get body bumped, I have never, ever been hit so hard that it's interrupted my overall swim (and I've swam with some pretty aggressive ladies). If you start closer to the rear of your wave, you'll have to worry about touching/bumping even less. Can't wait to hear more about your adventures! I hope you decide to give an outdoor tri a shot. I think you'll love it! Let me know if I can be of any additional help. Cool

              2012 Goals

              Sub-1:42 for half marathon √ (1:41 at Disney, Jan '12)

              Sub-22 for 5k √ (21:51 in Sept '12)

              BQ for marathon- FAIL


              The voice of mile 18

                start towards the back and outside to avoid the crowds in the swim and do your thing - breasttroke is ok but give yourself lots of room (not a good way to make friends by accidnetly kicking them in the head) you're even allowed to stop and tread water/float if you need to. just every other stroke look up a little while breathing to make sure you're on course and you'll be fine (you can practice sighting in pools to get you ready) you can do this and you will love it!!
                4/18 Rutgers Half Marathon 7/20 Antrhacite Olympic Tri 9/25 chesapeakeman Ultra distance Tri Rule #1 of Triathlon Training/Racing - If Momma ain't happy nobody is happy http://community.active.com/people/Joe_h1/blog


                My prewash:)

                  I think the biggest thing for me will be no black line to follow. How do you guys and gals go about sighting and breathing while swimming?

                  "Carpe Diem"


                  TRIing to beat the heat!

                    I think the biggest thing for me will be no black line to follow. How do you guys and gals go about sighting and breathing while swimming?
                    First off, 'black line dependency' is totally normal! Everyone deals with this during their first event, so you won't be alone. Smile The best way to get used to not having the black line around is to actually practice OWS before the actual tri. If you have a lake or ocean near you... give it a go! Rent a kayak for a friend and have them paddle along side of you while you practice. This will ease your fear a GREAT deal. You can also practice sighting in the pool during practice swims. What I do is basically pick an object out in the horizon (a tree/shrub/building/street light post) and when I'm due to take a breath during my freestyle stroke, instead of breathing sideways, I will left my head straight up (don't strain... you can still keep you chin in the water) and find my landmark. There you go... you have sighted! You don't need to do this with every single breath. I typically take a quick glance for my marker every 5 or 6 breaths during a competition. With enough practice, sighting becomes as natural as breathing to the side.

                    2012 Goals

                    Sub-1:42 for half marathon √ (1:41 at Disney, Jan '12)

                    Sub-22 for 5k √ (21:51 in Sept '12)

                    BQ for marathon- FAIL

                      I think the biggest thing for me will be no black line to follow. How do you guys and gals go about sighting and breathing while swimming?
                      I have to sight almost every other breath. I can't swim straight to save my life. Even with that minor annoyance and getting all tangled up in seaweed, I still prefer OWS any day to pool swimming. Pools are icky! My swimming has totally fallen off this winter just because I cannot stand going to the pool! I can't wait until the water warms up enough for me to swim w/ my wetsuit this spring!
                        I think the biggest thing for me will be no black line to follow. How do you guys and gals go about sighting and breathing while swimming?
                        Great Qx and there is a bit of an art and timing to it. If your swimming the breast stroke it isn't so hard because your head is popping up on each stroke. For swimming the front crawl it's a matter of timing and your ability to swim a straight line. (I am amazed at how many can't) About every 8 - 10 strokes works good for me. I'll turn for my breath but before I put my face back down I'll lift up to sight. Usually just pick a bouy. This does require some practice.........and if your doing this at your pool and you have a helpful "busy body" in the next lane they may feel apt to point out that by lifting your head your letting your legs drop and thats slowing you down........Kinda like the guy next to you at the driving range that always feels necessary to point out the flaws in you golf stroke. Roll eyes There are some swimmers that will go 100 yds are better with out ever sighting.......others need to on every other stroke. If your snakeing, you find out real quick in open water. My experience is that people tend to over correct which causes them to zig zag terribly.

                        www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building


                        My prewash:)

                          Thanks so much for the info. I will try and practice in the pool until the water warms up some. I zig zag too so it will be a challenge. I kinda look forward to not breaking my stride in the water since there is no pesky wall to contend with! Wink

                          "Carpe Diem"


                          Buffalo Gal Rides Again

                            Thank you all SOOOO much for the encouragement and the great tips. Actually, I did the freestyle/crawl in my first Indoor Triathlon and I can swim it, but I'm so dang competitve, I decided I could take everyone in my heat and I went out WAY too fast. Then I couldn't breathe and had to backstroke the rest of the way. LOL. This led to problems in the transition (they made us change to avoid getting the stationary bikes wet), so I lost time on the transition. Caught my breath, finally, on the treadmill. Wow...it gets my motor rolling just thinking about that again. All of that said, I have worked really hard on my last three events to swim nice and easy and I've invested in a Tri suit so I don't have to mess with changing in transition. This has improved outcomes to say the least (in fact had my first EVER in any event in my age group in my last Indoor Tri). So, the earlier post about readiness is probably accurate. Also, thanks for the info on the Danskin and SheROX events. Those are the events that I have been checking out. I'd be in the 70% that would just want to finish. Also appreciate the info on the waves - that is obviously the same as running in waves for the same reasons. Next Indoor Tri is March 7, now you all have me charged to Tri a real Tri!
                            March: Irish Jig 5K (DONE), Kent City Ridge Run 5K (DONE) April: Iron Girl 5K (DONE), Kentucky Derby Half May: 5/3 (10K) July: Cherry Festival 15K August: Chicago Rock N Roll Half, Crim Festival of Races (10 miler) October: Grand Rapids Marathon (Half-Hometown Gig)


                            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                              I haven't done one either -- but not b/c of swim -- I played water polo, so I'm happy in the water, and might have some experience kicking and fighting back underwater Smile -- but b/c of lack of confidence on the bike. So I've only done club tris -- all outside (never heard of an indoor tri before) but all in the pool as well. But at my local tri club we do OWS, and I greatly enjoy that. From the little I've seen, we that are comfortable in the water are in the huge minority in triathlons. Heck, I go faster than most local triathletes, and I was a polo player, not a fast swimmer -- so if you've competitive background, I'd expect you'll find yourself comfortably in the way upper percentages in the swim if you want to -- or you could take your first one easy, and branch out to the side of the pack. You're a real (ie, past competitive) swimmer, you can afford to swim a bit extra and go around the outside of the pack and cover a bit more distance, until you feel comfortable, or just to try out the first one.

                              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                                Next Indoor Tri is March 7, now you all have me charged to Tri a real Tri!
                                We'll expect a full report ! My 1st (outdoor) Tri of the season isn't until May.

                                www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

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