Beginner with a few q's!

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Beginner with a few q's!

Postby enigmatic » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:19 pm

Hey guys n gals!

After deciding late last year I wanted to try triathlon, I have now finished 3 sprints and on the weekend, an olympic. I can sense myself getting addicted to this sport, it is a lot of hard work and fun! I just have a few questions I would appreciate any answers too!

My bike - I bought a giant tcr when a certain store had a sale on... I was coming from a flat bar and assumed I got fitted up alright. Then I rode it a few times and noticed I was getting some serious pain between the legs. I persisted, then dropped the seat which seemed to help, but as of the olympic distance last Sunday, I had really bad pain in my hamstrings ( I think hamstring, under my upper leg). I am pretty keen to find out how I can remedy this, or if a specialist bike fit is the way to go? Any store recommendations that can do this well would be great! I am also thinking about getting some clip on TT bars after some research, sound like a good idea?

Distances! I have set some goals of improving my times for the races later this year, both sprint and olympic, but I think I also want to go longer as well. Is a half ironman, with the proper training, feasible for late this year (November)? I have some into this with not much base fitness (little bit of running), and managed a 1hr25m Sprint and did the Olympic in 2hr50m.

As I said, I would greatly appreciate any help, advice or tips anyone can give me! I'll add on any more questions if I think of them :)

Thanks, Ash.
The destination is but an excuse for the journey!
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by BNA » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:43 pm

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Re: Beginner with a few q's!

Postby Derny Driver » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:43 pm

hey Ash, you haven't really given us much to go on, no age or gender. I'd like to know exactly what you do for training each week, how much swimming, biking and running you do. I did 3 years of triathlon and loved it before switching to cycling.
The hamstring problem could be a number of things, Seat too high or too far back, not stretching enough or pushing too hard a gear at too low a cadence. It could possibly be related to / aggravated by your running as well. Get a shop or and experienced cyclist with a good eye to have a look at your set up.
A half ironman may be possible with a proper training program but by the look of things, I would concentrate on getting the shorter distances right before stepping up to the Half. 2:50 is reasonably slow for an OD and Im sure there is plenty of room for improved times at the shorter distances first. (I did 2:16 in my first OD)
Yes get some clip ons and slide your seat forward a bit so you are comfy when you are on the wally bars.
As a beginner can I suggest you prioritise swimming first, getting good technique and some stroke correction with a squad .. 4 sessions a week. This will give you good base fitness for the other legs. Second priority is your cycling, getting good cadence of around 90 rpm, skill practice around corners and cones, keep the upper body, shoulders and head perfectly still ... don't worry too much about speed, just good cadence and technique. Speed will happen naturally as you build experience and fitness. 3 - 4 rides per week of 50-60km, you can include 1 or 2 indoor trainer sessions if you want but make sure you get out on the road a bit as well. Running - don't do long kilometres as you will be risking injury. Start with 4 or 5 k runs at good speed. Learn to run 2km nice and fast then build up from there, to 3, 4, 5, 10. No point in being able to jog 20k at snails pace. I'd run 3 times a week and keep them short to begin with.
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Re: Beginner with a few q's!

Postby Xplora » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:38 am

Cheers DD, I had been jogging at 5min/km pace, basically staying below threshold HR, without drama even out to 12kms without much running background, but I tried 5kms at 4:10 this week and found myself up near max HR even splitting the run in two halves. I think a fast run, and get it longer over time, will be more useful to me... you miss so much spring in the step when you go slow, it doesn't seem like it's the same motion anymore.
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Re: Beginner with a few q's!

Postby Derny Driver » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:14 am

Xplora wrote:Cheers DD, I had been jogging at 5min/km pace, basically staying below threshold HR, without drama even out to 12kms without much running background, but I tried 5kms at 4:10 this week and found myself up near max HR even splitting the run in two halves. I think a fast run, and get it longer over time, will be more useful to me... you miss so much spring in the step when you go slow, it doesn't seem like it's the same motion anymore.

Mate I don't have a running background apart from doing 11 Sutherland to Surfs in a row for fun before I started doing triathlons ....but yeah, that's what I reckon. Practise getting the speed and the rhythm right over short distances, learn what it feels like to run 4 minute k's, then gradually increase the distances as you get fitter. I could run sub 40 mins for 10k using this training method. It hurts and its high heartrate, but its a race after all, even if its just against yourself.
I guess the other way would be to go long and slow and gradually increase the speed.
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Re: Beginner with a few q's!

Postby Xplora » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:15 am

Efficiency is the key!!! I'm already committing 200kms a week on the bike (if I can get past my recovery period after the charity ride :roll: ), I think building up distance at full pace is going to be easier than running 20kms at 5:30. Getting the proper running form is going to be harder than getting the heart going.
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Re: Beginner with a few q's!

Postby enigmatic » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:03 pm

Derny Driver wrote:hey Ash, you haven't really given us much to go on, no age or gender. I'd like to know exactly what you do for training each week, how much swimming, biking and running you do. I did 3 years of triathlon and loved it before switching to cycling.
The hamstring problem could be a number of things, Seat too high or too far back, not stretching enough or pushing too hard a gear at too low a cadence. It could possibly be related to / aggravated by your running as well. Get a shop or and experienced cyclist with a good eye to have a look at your set up.
A half ironman may be possible with a proper training program but by the look of things, I would concentrate on getting the shorter distances right before stepping up to the Half. 2:50 is reasonably slow for an OD and Im sure there is plenty of room for improved times at the shorter distances first. (I did 2:16 in my first OD)
Yes get some clip ons and slide your seat forward a bit so you are comfy when you are on the wally bars.
As a beginner can I suggest you prioritise swimming first, getting good technique and some stroke correction with a squad .. 4 sessions a week. This will give you good base fitness for the other legs. Second priority is your cycling, getting good cadence of around 90 rpm, skill practice around corners and cones, keep the upper body, shoulders and head perfectly still ... don't worry too much about speed, just good cadence and technique. Speed will happen naturally as you build experience and fitness. 3 - 4 rides per week of 50-60km, you can include 1 or 2 indoor trainer sessions if you want but make sure you get out on the road a bit as well. Running - don't do long kilometres as you will be risking injury. Start with 4 or 5 k runs at good speed. Learn to run 2km nice and fast then build up from there, to 3, 4, 5, 10. No point in being able to jog 20k at snails pace. I'd run 3 times a week and keep them short to begin with.


Hey Derny, thanks heaps for the in depth reply! I will tackle it as best I can!

I am 23 and male. 23 you might assume young and fit, whilst I am young at the start of this year I was not at all in any sense of the word, fit. Sorry I did not add more info in, usually I am a culprit of waffling on far to much!

My training so far has been roughly following 'The Time crunched triathlete'. Although it is aimed at the titles namesake achieving wining performances, I used it as a guide to build up for my first few. It went from about 5 hours a week up to about 8. Roughly, I was doing each sport twice a week. One of a more high intensity workout, and the other has more of an endurance one. But my weekend cycle was always doing Mt Dandenong with dad. I wasn't aiming for amazing performances, I set modest goals and was aiming to have some fun, try triathlon and build some base fitness, which I think I have. I knew my Olympic distance time was pretty slow, but I had an absolute ball. I was aiming for under 3 hours with my level of fitness, and it was a great challenge!

As a rough guide, my 'bigger' weeks were probably a 2000m swim (with warm up, technique drills, then endurance sets), an hours cycling, 45mins running, 1600m swim (warm up, technique, speed drill), 2 hour cycle, 45-1hour run. All this was over 4 or 5 days usually. As it got closer to the last sprint event and the Olympic, work was pretty busy and physically intense as well, so some weeks was a bit less!

Thanks for all the training advice as well! I was planning to use the winter to build up even more, both speed and endurance wise, but I can see why focusing on speed first is a good idea!

Any recommendations for good swim squads around Melbourne? Same goes for shops to do a bike fit! I have a seen a few that do a 'retul' fit, is this worth doing? I am very keen to get my fit sorted out!

Thanks again! :)
The destination is but an excuse for the journey!
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