From bike riding in your bathers to making the distance
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So I have recently come to the world of Triathlons - did my first Enticer a couple of months ago and planning on doing a few more in the first half of this year, before working up to a Sprint distance (all going well). I am 38yrs old and whilst relatively fit, I am not in my "prime" yet! Swimming is probably my strongest leg, but I found that I went all out in the swim, then "rested" on the ride before stumbling through the run (I underestimated how my legs would transition from the ride to the run!!).
I have been reading through the various advice on forums, etc, and was wondering if you have any particular tips you have found most helpful in starting out in this sport. What would you have liked to know when starting?
1. In terms of training tips
2. Any tips for race day - transitions, etc.
Here is something I posted elsewhere a while back:
After 18 months of (somewhat) consistent training I have learnt a lot. I have so, so much to learn still. But I thought some tips may be useful for newer athletes.
Please contribute and add your own tips!
-There are going to be days/weeks where every workout is agony, every time you get out of bed will push the limits of your willpower. But every hard workout makes you stronger, physically and mentally.
-There are going to be days where you are strong, where you push a big gear without noticing, where you run like a kenyan, swim like a fish. Enjoy these days, capitalise on them, but don't rely on them.
-Diet is essential, eat clean, don't eat too much. Make sure you eat before and after workouts. Steer clear of big meals the night before racing/big workouts. Take extra fiber, it makes pre-workout poops easier.
-DON'T neglect core work. Do it 3-4 times a week. Always. It makes a HUGE difference to comfort/speed.
-Eat on workouts longer than 90min. You don't need to, but you will be able to push harder if you do, making it more effective.
-Race lots, it is fun, great for improving fitness and did I mention fun?
-Consistency is king. Hitting one hard workout one week, alright. Backing it up every week will make you a better athlete.
-Recovery is as important as training. Recovery doesn't mean sitting on your arse, it means light, easy days, cycle commuting, easy runs, swimming, surfing, walking, whatever. Stay moving.
-Getting lighter is good. Don't starve yourself. Losing more than 1kg a week is bad. It just damages your training. Been there, got slower.
-Be consistent in training, diet, motivation.
-Get swimming stroke correction, it will make you faster.
-Have fun, even when you feel like crap in training remember why you love tris, why you love to move.
I read once that to avoid rubbery legs at the start of the run you should get into a big gear and work hard towards the end of the bike leg rather than take it easy.
I recently did my first sprint triathlon after doing a mini triathlon and an ocean swim. At first I was looking up far to much in the swim to see where I was going and my breathing was all over the place. I learnt I had to always breath every second stroke, to count every breath and look up at regular intervals, not to often.
I suggest taking it very easy in your first few triathlons and working hard to improve when you are more confident.
Brett Sutton (who is one of the most successful tri coaches) suggested lowering cadence for long distance events - to something like 70-80. For shorter events and for beginners a faster, fluid cadence is much more important, riding with a cadence of 90+ and then spinning up to 100+ for the last 1-2km will help your run more.
Very relevant to my interests! My brother and I (both in ok shape... fair bit of running last year) just signed up for a sprint tri at the end of February. I am keen to do an olympic one in April as well but I will see how I go! Started training last week fairly consistently... Feels good! I am following the sprint plan is Chris Carmichael's Time Crunched Triathlete... Seems to be going ok so far!
The destination is but an excuse for the journey!
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