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2017-09-28 7:17 AM

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Subject: First Triathlon Advice
I am currently training for my first marathon (and only unless its for an Ironman) that is in March. I do not want to look past this race too much, but I am going to make a transition into triathlons.

My question is this:

What is the one piece of advice you would give me that you wish you were given before you started competing in triathlons?



2017-09-28 7:25 AM
in reply to: SoggyDollars

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice
Pace yourself on the bike and save something for the run. It's never "just" a 5K (or whatever distance) if you have swum and biked first. It doesn't matter how many marathons you've run, how often you do 2-hour long runs, or how tough you think you are. Triathlon is a different animal.
2017-09-28 11:25 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice

Originally posted by SoggyDollars I am currently training for my first marathon (and only unless its for an Ironman) that is in March. I do not want to look past this race too much, but I am going to make a transition into triathlons. My question is this: What is the one piece of advice you would give me that you wish you were given before you started competing in triathlons?

Hind sight is 20/20 so the one the piece of advise that I wish I had before I started triathlons was how to check rim tape when changing tires.  I go a flat tire at mile 31 and then again at mile 42 in my first race.  The 2nd flat was a problem because I only had one spare tube. 

So  the advise that I wish I had is not the advise I am going to give you.  My suggestion would be to look at the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training's (FIRST) Marathon plan.  I came across it in the Runner's World Magazine around 1998 when I was a Freshman In college.  It looked like a good plan for someone with time constraints for training to me since it is just a 3 day a week running plan.  I later found out that the history of this plan was that guys who crossed over from pure running to Triathlon noticed that when they cut their running from 6-7 days a week with lots volume to 3 days a week with low volume to make time for swimming and cycling, that their running improved.  So, they did research with a 3 day running plan.  Their plan has two cross training days for swimming, cycling or other cross training but their research didn't track weather people were actually doing the cross training days or not and if so what different it made in their progress. A lady that I knew in College was doing 4 hour marathons at age 20.  She followed the FIRST marathon plan this year in her late 30's with a target goal time of 3:15 minutes and met her goal two weeks ago at her Marathon.  So if you think you want to focus on a Marathon and then transition into a Triathlon that plan could help you get the most out of your Marathon and while preparing you for a smooth transition into Tri.

 

Note:  I work for 2-3 years at breaking 18:00 in open 5K's when I was in my 30's.  I got down to 18:01-18;-05 but never could go under that 18 minute mark.  Two weeks after my first Triathlon when I hadn't been focused on running on about 20 months I was out of town house hunting and wanted to get out into the community to see what my new location was going to be like.  I searched around for community activities and found that there was a %K the following morning I didn't have any of my running gear and hadn't prepared for a race, and was still sore from my 70.3 race two week earlier but I ran a 17:52 on a cosrse that measure slightly long with the Garmin.  So I too found that when I switched to Triathlon that my running improved.  Over the last 3 years as a Triathlon I have repeatedly broke 18 minutes in 5K's.   



Edited by BlueBoy26 2017-09-28 11:39 AM
2017-09-28 11:43 AM
in reply to: SoggyDollars

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice
Originally posted by SoggyDollars

I am currently training for my first marathon (and only unless its for an Ironman) that is in March. I do not want to look past this race too much, but I am going to make a transition into triathlons.

My question is this:

What is the one piece of advice you would give me that you wish you were given before you started competing in triathlons?




Don't let marathon training and racing discourage you. Triathlon training is far more fun.
2017-09-28 7:56 PM
in reply to: SoggyDollars

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice

Ok so after your marathon, get ready to dive into Triathlons, as said before SO much funner to train for and race. You have already taken a good first step and that is being here on BT. My first tri was on a whim because after 2 marathons back to back I knew I was done with solo running as sport. I signed up for a Olympic distance and how much fun and challenging that was, 7 triathlons later....

1) Swim in the pool for fitness and technique using a plan* or coach, swim in the ocean to conquer your fears of open water, I repeat swim in the ocean, often. The bigger the surf, the heavier the chop and the stronger the currents, the better. In addition to technique you will become a fearless strong swimmer! Note: if the ocean is not available swim in cold, deep, dark, open water such as a large lake. (always inform a lifeguard on duty when open water swimming and/or swim with a buddy and make sure someone knows your out there)

Almost all Triathlons are open water swim and I see folks who are tremendously fast on the bike and excellent on the run, but their poor swim performance puts them into average finish times. Swimming is the most technique driven and hardest of the 3 sports. (in my humble perspective) Keep in mind that Triathlon is 3 separate sports and to be competitive you must be good at all 3, thus balance in training is important. 

*I have been using 'Swim Speed Workouts' and is a 16 week training plan based on 3 workouts per week.

2017-09-29 6:42 AM
in reply to: SoggyDollars

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice
I tell people......if you asked 100 men how far they could swim the front crawl, without stopping, 98 of them would lie to you. They wouldn't lie to you, on purpose, but they would VASTLY over-estimate their abilities. I don't think the average man can swim 150 yds.

Don't over-estimate your abilities. Respect the swim. That's what I'd tell anyone getting into triathlons.


2017-09-29 6:44 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice
Originally posted by nc452010

I tell people......if you asked 100 men how far they could swim the front crawl, without stopping, 98 of them would lie to you. They wouldn't lie to you, on purpose, but they would VASTLY over-estimate their abilities. I don't think the average man can swim 150 yds.

Don't over-estimate your abilities. Respect the swim. That's what I'd tell anyone getting into triathlons.


Not the average man. Maybe not an otherwise "fit" man. Mostly because if people don't know how to craw that first 25 meters is going to deplete them anaerobically. See it in the pool all the time.
2017-09-29 7:02 AM
in reply to: FranzZemen

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice
Would the average woman be better LOL? My first masters' coach asked me that, and I said I didn't know, as it had been a while since I had trained seriously--maybe 4 or 5K? (I did a couple of 8-10K swims as a teenager.) He looked pretty incredulous--but I proceeded to swim for an hour without stopping and considerably more than 3K. I can only assume that he'd had plenty of people vastly overestimate their swimming abilities. I guess I'm fortunate to have come to tri with a distance swimming background, however long ago and not blazing fast. Unless the surf break is really high or the water is freezing, I've always felt confident in my ability to handle the swim.

It's the bike, and the balancing of bike with run effort, that have always been the real challenge for me. That was true in my first triathlon and it's still true today. I think I still have yet to figure it out most of the time, especially for sprint distance.
2017-09-29 2:21 PM
in reply to: SoggyDollars

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice

Advice?  Sprint triathlons are a gateway into an alternate universe where 5AM workouts are "normal" and a surprising large part of the population doesn't blink an eye at running 2 hours or riding 5.  

My running partner a few years back commented about me and my "psycho friends" that it all sounds perfectly normal until you really listen to what they're saying so nonchalantly.  

Here's a bonus piece of advice, applicable even after you've found yourself surrounded by "psycho friends:"  It isn't about the gear!  

2017-09-30 11:21 AM
in reply to: #5228861

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice
Thanks for all the advice! I know my swimming will be my weakest leg, but i live across the street from the ocean. I feel like I will be able to complete a couple sprints next year after my marathon. I wish I could put my workouts in before work but getting up at midnight isnt an option. Im at work by 5am.

Is it smart to ride a few miles on the bike then run a few miles right after? Or is it better to work on them seperate and only combine them a couple times before a race?
2017-09-30 11:59 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice
Originally posted by nc452010
Respect the swim. That's what I'd tell anyone getting into triathlons.


This. Unless you did competitive swimming sometime in the past, your stroke mechanics could very well be buggers, and your ability to swim 200 yards, never mind the 2+ miles required of an IM race is going to be well out of your reach without some serious time spent in the pool and (probably) a coach.


2017-09-30 10:41 PM
in reply to: #5228967

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice
Do bricks a lot. If you have a training plan then follow it, but if you are training yourself, then include bricks at least once a week. But it won't hurt to do a small one after each time you cycle, especially as you start out. Brick = equals run right after you bike
Few things can be as shocking and disappointing as your legs' ability to run after a hard ride Doesn't matter how strong you are in each separately.

Secondly. Especially if you are aiming for longer races and are not already a seasoned cyclist - take time to research what bike might fit your measurements. Each brand have slightly different geometry. And once you have bought one, get a proper bike fit done. It will make you faster, prevent injury and make your ride as comfortable as possible.

Three. Anti-chafing creams exist!

Four. What's your goal? Just do triathlon - short ones? Or is your ambition to do longer races? If it is the latter then skip buying a road bike, save the money and get yourself a TT bike from the get go.
2017-10-01 4:29 AM
in reply to: SoggyDollars

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Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice
Originally posted by SoggyDollars

  • ..

  • Is it smart to ride a few miles on the bike then run a few miles right after? Or is it better to work on them seperate and only combine them a couple times before a race?


    The answer is yes to both. Run after bike teaches your legs to adjust and gives you realistic race expectations. But individual training is also essential.

    To train the legs to run initially you don't need to do huge sets after the bike. Just enough to feel your legs go from putty back to their normal feel. At that point the brick specific benefit is achieved and you move into race training territory beyond that.

    Later you can do sets in ratio of 4:1 bike miles to run miles. Keep it realistic and seek to increase intensity before doing to much distance. When training for iron distances the 4:1 ratio breaks down to more like 5:1 or higher. Ex:. Did 52 mile bike yesterday followed by 8 mile run which is closer to 6.5:1 ratio, but I kept the intensity level up.
    2017-10-01 10:43 AM
    in reply to: knuta99

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    Subject: RE: First Triathlon Advice
    Originally posted by knuta99

    Do bricks a lot. If you have a training plan then follow it, but if you are training yourself, then include bricks at least once a week. But it won't hurt to do a small one after each time you cycle, especially as you start out. Brick = equals run right after you bike
    Few things can be as shocking and disappointing as your legs' ability to run after a hard ride Doesn't matter how strong you are in each separately.

    Secondly. Especially if you are aiming for longer races and are not already a seasoned cyclist - take time to research what bike might fit your measurements. Each brand have slightly different geometry. And once you have bought one, get a proper bike fit done. It will make you faster, prevent injury and make your ride as comfortable as possible.

    Three. Anti-chafing creams exist!

    Four. What's your goal? Just do triathlon - short ones? Or is your ambition to do longer races? If it is the latter then skip buying a road bike, save the money and get yourself a TT bike from the get go.



    Great advice! My medium range goal, as it stands now, is to build up to completing a Half Iron. I will really be getting into training in 2018. I have already started to ride my bike more but it is a junk bike that feels like I'm trying to make a tank into a sports car. However, I am going to use it in my first few Sprint Triathlons to be absolutely sure this is my new "hobby". I am not looking to be be first in any category, I am looking to be better than I was yesterday.

    I am not sure I will be following a specific plan until I get into longer races. Advice on that is welcome! When I started running a few years ago there was no plan. I just went out and hit the pavement going longer and faster whenever I could.
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