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2016-12-20 9:00 PM

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Subject: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group

GROUP FOCUS:  The maturing athlete.  Did you notice your body beginning to slow down as you got into your 30’s?  Then in your 40’s you started losing strength.  In your 50’s you just hit a wall and everything got harder. The competitive fire burns as brightly as it ever did; yet times get slower, your arms and legs often feel heavier, weight invariable begins to creep up, and recovery times are much longer.  Most of the training plans reflect the training and recovery levels you could sustain in your 20’s, 30’s and into your 40’s.  It just isn’t the same when you hit the magic 50 and beyond.  In our earlier years we were constantly striving to lower our times.  As we age, our paradigm gradually changes from reducing time to mitigating time increases; from increasing strength to mitigating lean muscle loss.  The focus of this forum is to help the maturing athlete get to the starting line healthy and cross the finish line feeling like a champion – regardless of your experience level or the distance of your race.

NAME:  Scott K (k9car363 – BT Screen name)

STORY: I swam competitively from age 11 through high school and college. I was also as a member of a club swim team. I was an elite swimmer during the 70’s and early 80’s and fortunate to have held an individual world record for a brief period of time. I was further honored to be a member of several World and American record setting relays. When I hung up my competitive Speedo in 1980 after the U.S. Olympic fiasco, I began coaching age-group swimmers and eventually focused exclusively on helping Triathletes improve their swimming ability. Over the years that has gradually morphed into triathlon coaching.

My triathlon journey really began in 1982 with Julie Moss on her hands and knees crawling to the finish line. That was, to this day, the most heroic athletic achievement I have ever seen and I knew if I truly wanted to call myself an athlete, I had to do an Ironman.  Back then, there were no coaches, no nutrition plans, and no specific triathlon gear. We literally learned by trial-and-error.  There was no “book” telling us the best way to prepare; indeed, we were "writing" the book.

A couple decades later, after life had intervened with a career and family, training became increasingly difficult to work in and my Ironman dream faded like the morning mist. During those years when I wasn’t actively training with a purpose, I was only too happy to tell anyone who would listen that, "I could have done an Ironman."  Then several years ago, I went to a client's house and there on the wall of his home office was a picture of him crossing the finish line in Kona. Of course, my first comment was, "I could have done that!" After a year of him hearing about how I could have done that, he finally called me out in May 2012 by saying, "You’re going to go to your grave bragging about how you could have done it, or you can do it." His gentle 4 x 4 to the head helped me set my goal to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The rest as they say, is history.  Having once been an elite athlete, "good enough" was going to be nowhere near good enough and I jumped back into training with with a dedication and focus I hadn't had in decades.  But I was over 50-years old and things had gotten a LOT harder.  I had to adapt my training methods to my new reality.  Triathlon has now quite simply, become my passion and my way of life.

FAMILY STATUS: Very happily married 30 years with one daughter and two sons, all grown. We have 7 Grand-kids and had we known they were so much fun we would have had them first!

CURRENT TRAINING: Currently training 8-10 hours per week.  That will ramp up to ~ 20 hours per week as we get deeper into the season.

2017 PLANNED RACES: March ’17 – CA, Desert Olympic Triathlon, Apr ’17- CA, HITS NAPA Olympic Triathlon, May ’17 – IN, Indianapolis 500 Festival Half-Marathon, Jul ’17 – CA, June Lake 70.3, Aug ’17 – UT, Goliath 140.6, Oct ’17 – KY, IM Louisville

WEIGHTLOSS: Back in college, weight was never an issue.  Now, it’s a constant battle.  My goal is to be down to my college weight by June.

WHAT WILL MAKE ME A GOOD MENTOR: I like to understand the “how and why” of things and my quest for knowledge is unending. I am constantly reading and furthering my understanding of the body’s physiological response to training stimulus and how we can become stronger and faster. As the years continue to go by, I have begun to take a much closer look at training response in the older athlete.

I trained for over a decade under a man who is arguably the greatest swimming coach that has ever walked a pool deck. I learned from the best how to motivate and inspire. I didn’t learn about training from a book - I helped write the book. I was there when strength work first began to appear in swimming. I was there when paddles were developed (actually they were first patented by my swim coach). I was one of the scientific guinea pigs that proved you don’t literally have to do “vomit” sets to improve and that you had to build an aerobic base to be successful.  I was being taught about periodization in training long before it was commonly accepted. I competed at the highest level and understand the mental side of competition and how important it is to success.

I love helping others and passing along my experience and knowledge. Nothing makes me happier than helping fellow Triathletes experience an “Ah-Ha” moment. 

Finally I have been honored to have co-mentored the Gray Guys/Girls group for the past 3 years.   Looking forward to another year.



Edited by k9car363 2017-01-20 7:29 AM


2017-01-01 6:46 AM
in reply to: k9car363

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN
Morning Scott.

Happy New Year to you and everyone else who joins the group

First cycle of the year done, 19 miles (13mph average). 4'c wet but no snow on the road (plenty on the hills!)

Have a great holidays.

Adrian
2017-01-01 8:20 AM
in reply to: adbru

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN

Originally posted by adbru

Happy New Year to you and everyone else who joins the group

First cycle of the year done, 19 miles (13mph average). 4'c wet but no snow on the road (plenty on the hills!)

Have a great holidays.

Adrian

Adrian, now I can officially say "Welcome to the Group!"

When you get a chance, please post a brief bio so as people join we can all get to know you.

Wow!  I haven't even had my first cup of coffee in the New Year and you've already got a workout in.  I'm gonna have to get to work to catch up!

2017-01-01 10:28 AM
in reply to: k9car363

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN
Hi Scott,
The joy of timezones enjoy the coffee

Brief Bio:
I'm Adrian, 50 year old and married 29 years with 3 grown up kids.
I live in the north of Scotland which makes winter training 'interesting'.
Workwise we did a life change last year and downsized, i changed jobs and have now gone semi-retired.
I have had 30 years in IT and now teach hardware and networking in the local university.

got the fitness bug big time in 2007, worked up to marathons before picking up too many injuries.
Then succumbed to the 'dark side' and started with tri's peaking with a 70.3 in 2010.

Then life/work/redundancy got in the way of training.
Now been talked into a 66mile etape in april so trying to build some mileage for that, possibly a 80mile etape in may.
If I also build my swim/run then there is a 'tricky' 70.3 in september that I have my eye on.

I can perhaps pass on my experience of overtraining the run to others, in return hoping to get back into the 'habit' of training.
Maybe a full IM in 2018 ??

Looking forward to meeting virtual training partners to swap stories and moral support with

Wishing everyone a successful and injury free 2017
2017-01-01 11:03 AM
in reply to: adbru

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN
I would like to join the group.

Brief Bio:
I have been active forever, always running and playing around with triathlons for 30 years. I am always looking for something fun and challenging. When I made to my late forties I decided I should actually learn how to swim, spent a few years listening to people and watching videos to become a slightly above average swimmer. Then I purchased an actual triathlon bike. Now cycling is my best sport. Once I got those pieces together I started to place in my age group. (either that or there was no one left competing by that time). I qualified for Olympic Age Group Nationals so this year I hope to train for that event in August. I usually do around 3 local events each year to minimize the travel. I have done a couple of 70.3's and one full aquabike. Longer events take more training than I can usually do so i concentrate more on Olympic and Sprint. I have never done a full but it is still a bucket list type of item.

I have been married for 31 years but my wife does not really appreciate my hobby which means I try not to have it impact the rest of our life. My 9 kids range in ages 30 to 13. The last one is a very good runner and I cannot keep up with her any more, but it is fun to train with her.

I have always done my Tri's by myself and have never been in a club. I show up, do the event, and then head home to my real life. So I am trying something new this year by attempting to be social. I guess we will see if I can pull it off.

David
2017-01-01 11:21 AM
in reply to: noldowney

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN

Originally posted by noldowney

I would like to join the group.

Brief Bio:

I have been active forever, always running and playing around with triathlons for 30 years. I am always looking for something fun and challenging. When I made to my late forties I decided I should actually learn how to swim, spent a few years listening to people and watching videos to become a slightly above average swimmer. Then I purchased an actual triathlon bike. Now cycling is my best sport. Once I got those pieces together I started to place in my age group. (either that or there was no one left competing by that time). I qualified for Olympic Age Group Nationals so this year I hope to train for that event in August. I usually do around 3 local events each year to minimize the travel. I have done a couple of 70.3's and one full aquabike. Longer events take more training than I can usually do so i concentrate more on Olympic and Sprint. I have never done a full but it is still a bucket list type of item.

I have been married for 31 years but my wife does not really appreciate my hobby which means I try not to have it impact the rest of our life. My 9 kids range in ages 30 to 13. The last one is a very good runner and I cannot keep up with her any more, but it is fun to train with her.

I have always done my Tri's by myself and have never been in a club. I show up, do the event, and then head home to my real life. So I am trying something new this year by attempting to be social. I guess we will see if I can pull it off.

David

Hey David!  Welcome to the group!

I know a couple people that are working towards AG Nationals this year in Omaha  Sounds like you have the base to build upon.  If you have any questions, by all means, ask away.

Wow, keeping up with 9 kids would keep you in shape all by itself.  Bet the holidays are amazing at your house with that many people around the table.

The Gray Guys/Girls group has historically been a great group with quite a lot of interaction so you will have your chance to become "social."  Look forward to getting to know you.



2017-01-01 11:30 AM
in reply to: adbru

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN

Originally posted by adbru

. . . I have had 30 years in IT  

Hey Adrian,

I'm sorry!

On a serious note, I own my own I.T. Consulting business as my "day job".  As you well know, it's often days of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror!  I'm getting to old for that kind of stress so gradually making the transition to full time Triathlon coaching and away from I.T.  It won't happen soon enough!

2017-01-01 2:10 PM
in reply to: k9car363

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN

Hi Scott,

I've been here all along but I've been struggling with my motivation.  I've actually been training all along to keep my blood sugar under control and I just tallied up my 2016 training hours:

Swim 150:45:41     330,134.53 yds (301,860m)

Bike   221:55:59     3030.28 miles (4876.62 km)

Run   119:54:02      596.5 miles (959.93 km)      I do love the BT training logs to keep track of all this.

So far this winter we've had snow and colder than usual temps so everything is indoors for a while now.  I'm hoping January will warm up a bit so I can run outdoors but so far too much ice.  The first thing I did in 2017 was to shovel snow for 45 minutes.  I count it as "cross-training".

I'll write up a bio and post it PDQ.

2017-01-01 2:57 PM
in reply to: wenceslasz

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN

Originally posted by wenceslasz

Hi Scott,

I've been here all along but I've been struggling with my motivation.  I've actually been training all along to keep my blood sugar under control and I just tallied up my 2016 training hours:

Swim 150:45:41     330,134.53 yds (301,860m)

Bike   221:55:59     3030.28 miles (4876.62 km)

Run   119:54:02      596.5 miles (959.93 km)      I do love the BT training logs to keep track of all this.

So far this winter we've had snow and colder than usual temps so everything is indoors for a while now.  I'm hoping January will warm up a bit so I can run outdoors but so far too much ice.  The first thing I did in 2017 was to shovel snow for 45 minutes.  I count it as "cross-training".

I'll write up a bio and post it PDQ.

Hey George!

Welcome back!

Impressive training totals from last year!  You continue to be an inspiration.

I remember "cross-training" with a snow shovel!  Great core work!

Glad you're back for another season.

2017-01-01 5:51 PM
in reply to: k9car363

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN
Hi, Scott!

I only got four sentences into your bio and thought "I have to get in this group"! Your words spoke to me.

I love the sport of Triathlon. Beginning in 2006 I started doing mini-sprints and sprints and continued through 2012 with a few Olympics. I attempted a HIM but missed the run cut-off, I was not fully prepared for it and accepted that about my training.

In 2012 tragedy struck our family, we lost three family members ages 26, 46 and 58; it was a devastating year. It has been a struggle to find my emotional and physical balance.

I have attempted to make a comeback the last two years but just fall short. I so agree that in your 50's things change, in my mind I should be able to bounce back, stay strong and accomplish whatever physical goal I set for myself, but it has not been that simple.

I hope that you will accept me into this mentor group, it would provide me with much-needed support and comradery to finally make my comeback. Oh, and at 55 I am currently a full-time student working on my Bachelors, then Masters of Social Work. I plan to work either in the area of Hospice (I currently volunteer); or I want to work with adolescents and young adults with emotional and behavioral disorders.

My goals for this year (2017) are to do a few 5k's, 1/2 marry, two sprint tri's and an Olympic if possible. My eye has always been on the IM, Louisville to be exact. I plan to volunteer again this year; I hope to see you there!

Here is to an excellent 2017! I hope I can be an encouragement to you and the other members as well.

Amy
2017-01-01 6:57 PM
in reply to: amy mutz

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN

Originally posted by amy mutz

. . . and thought "I have to get in this group"!

. . . I have attempted to make a comeback the last two years but just fall short. I so agree that in your 50's things change, in my mind I should be able to bounce back, stay strong and accomplish whatever physical goal I set for myself, but it has not been that simple.

Amy

Hi Amy,

Welcome!

What my bio doesn't talk about is my history the past couple of years and why there's no races last year.  Gall bladder surgery, shoulder surgery, and finally surgery to remove part of my pancreas that was damaged by the pancreatitis associated with the Gall Bladder.  Back when I was swimming in my twenties, I could fall off a twenty-story building, bounce, get up and go to workout.  Now, it seems I trip on the porch step and I'm down for a week.  Things change as we get older.  I've found the surest way back to athletic success is perseverance and consistency.

IM Louisville is kind of my 'home' race.  I was born and raised in Deputy, Indiana, down by Madison - which happens to be about 40-miles from Louisville!  Yep, I'm guilty of being a Hoosier also!

Look forward to getting to know you and help in any way I can.  We historically have a great group with lots of experience.  Don't be shy about asking questions.



2017-01-01 9:46 PM
in reply to: wenceslasz

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN

Here's my Bio:

Name - George, racing age for 2017 is 67.

Story - Historically, I didn't start any kind of training before I turned 60.  Except for chopping wood I was pretty much a couch potato.

It's been a long road basically starting from zero and learning how to swim, bike and run.  On the positive side I swam and biked a Time Trial just before Christmas and I'm seeing improvements in my swimming and my bike TT was my fastest yet and I finished feeling invigorated rather than wiped out.  I definitely felt stronger through 2016 and I'm hoping to feel stronger again this year.

2017 will be my 6th season of Triathlons, Granfondos and general training.  I do seem to be getting slower each year although my swimming improved in 2016 when I started swimming 4X/week.  

Family - A good supportive wife (she Captains the package pickup for several races and is a fantastic sherpa when I go on my long bike rides in the summer).  We have 4 grown kids and 7 grandkids (2 are driving already).  Our youngest girl (38) is considering a first sprint or Olympic race this summer.  The only hope I have of beating her is if her swim is very weak).

Current training - This last week has been an easy week but starting tomorrow I have:

Weights - Monday and Friday 90 min (15 min rowing/ 1 hr weights/ 15 min easy run)

Swimming - 1 hr Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 

Indoor Cycling - 1 hr Tues and Thurs; 1:30 Saturday (Saturday rides slowly increase until mid March when we finish with a 3 hr Zn2/3 ride)

Running - Long runs on Wednesdays and an easy T2 run on Saturday after the Cycling session.

All of these will gradually increase over time building and tapering to suit my races for this year.

2017 Races: - Tentatively, Cherry Blossom Sprint, Kelowna, May 11th; A half Ironman in Victoria or Oliver or Penticton in June; 120km Velocefondo (just a fun ride) in July; I have to squeeze in an Oly somewhere in that time all building up for the main event in August the ITU World's Long course Tri.  I could do another Oly in September and in November we have a local  "To the Tunnel 20km Run".  10km uphill (2% grade) then turn around and run downhill all the way back.

Weightloss - @#$%***, My January 1st weight is my highest of the season and as we get into the new season I quickly drop to 178-ish but for the last 5 years I can't drop below 175 and I can't keep it down there either.  I'd love to be a fit 170 for my August race that would be great.

I'm looking forward to meeting our new group and hopefully many of last years group.

 

2017-01-02 10:55 AM
in reply to: k9car363

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN
Hi Everyone!

This kicks off my second year of tri's. I only did 2 sprints last year due to a lot of family issues, work issues, etc., but hopefully a lot of that is ironed out now.

Story: I have been running off and on for many years. I added cycling and swimming as I got older as a way to deal with hip issues (which started, incidentally, after I got pregnant with my first daughter). Last year my exercise was spotty, but I am making changes this year, such as setting up my bike trainer in the den - the guilt factor of sitting on the couch while the bike stands idle is enough to motivate me. And yoga really helps with muscle tightness. I am scheduled to do an indoor tri next weekend - really looking forward to it!

Family Status: Married to the same great guy for 27 years, 2 daughters, 1 dog, 3 cats, a turtle and several fish.

Current Training: Following one of the BT programs.

Planned Races: Work in progress, except for the indoor tri next weekend. I did an outdoor tri last March, but the water was freezing! Won't be doing that again.

Weight Loss: 10 pounds appeared out of nowhere in the last few years. I am starting a 30-day weight loss challenge this month, so we'll see.

Good Luck to everyone this year!

Kathy
2017-01-02 11:23 AM
in reply to: kszelei

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN

Originally posted by kszelei

Hi Everyone!

This kicks off my second year of tri's. I only did 2 sprints last year due to a lot of family issues, work issues, etc., but hopefully a lot of that is ironed out now.

Story: I have been running off and on for many years. I added cycling and swimming as I got older as a way to deal with hip issues (which started, incidentally, after I got pregnant with my first daughter). Last year my exercise was spotty, but I am making changes this year, such as setting up my bike trainer in the den - the guilt factor of sitting on the couch while the bike stands idle is enough to motivate me. And yoga really helps with muscle tightness. I am scheduled to do an indoor tri next weekend - really looking forward to it!

Family Status: Married to the same great guy for 27 years, 2 daughters, 1 dog, 3 cats, a turtle and several fish.

Current Training: Following one of the BT programs.

Planned Races: Work in progress, except for the indoor tri next weekend. I did an outdoor tri last March, but the water was freezing! Won't be doing that again.

Weight Loss: 10 pounds appeared out of nowhere in the last few years. I am starting a 30-day weight loss challenge this month, so we'll see.

Good Luck to everyone this year!

Kathy

Hi Kathy!

Welcome to the group!

Setting your bike up in the den - I love it!  I don't know about your bike, but mine talks to me; it taunts me if I ignore it too long!  Having it right there in front of you will be hard to ignore!

A race this coming weekend - you get the prize for first race of the season!

2017-01-02 4:08 PM
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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN

Scott ... hope all are well and I guess it's time to get back in gear.  I've begun some training over the last couple of weeks, but it's time to get structured and down to business.  George ... I trust it's OK to use (plagiarize) your outline - so thanks in advance.

Name - Dorm, racing age for 2017 is 60.

Story - Historically, I didn't start any kind of training before I turned 54.  Except for woodworking, golf and snow skiing, I was pretty much a couch potato.

I started cycling during the fall of 2010 and decided to do my first tri in March of 2011. I still remember the inspiration to start doing triathlons, even though this was 7 years ago.  I was cycling with 2 of my sons-in-law (SIL) in 2010 and we had to stop to allow people to run across the road after these swam across the ocean sound in Wrightsville Beach, NC.  One very fit, white haired woman had a huge smile on her face and as she ran in front of me, she looked me in the eye and her look said," I'm doing this and you're not ... why not get going!" I later realized this was a fall triathlon in Wrightsville Beach and after looking at ages, speeds, sizes and results felt I could definitely participate.  I'd never be podium material, but I could still participate.

2017 will be my 6th season of Triathlons, one Granfondo and general training. Cycling is my strongest discipline of the 3 sports.  I'm currently battling with some Plantar Fasciitis in one foot.  My cycling seems to have gotten slower each year, but I've also increased my distance quite a bit from when I was faster.  So this seems a bit of a tradeoff.  Running - I simply hate running, but I have found that the more I run - the better (easier) it is for me.

Family - A very good supportive wife.  We have 3 grown/married daughters, 4 grand kids and a 5th due March-2017.  I've competed along with my 3 daughters and one SIL in several triathlons and duathlons over the past few years. Also 2 SIL's cycle and are great fun to ride with ... one is a brutal coach as well.

Current training schedule involves ~3 ... 1hr to 1-1/2 hr sessions per week.  These are mainly bricks, but I have a ski trip planned for late Jan - early Feb and so aside from spin,run,swim - I'll also work in some strength training for the ski trip ... mainly leg work. 

Cycling training is done while following training plans per: Winter Cycling Plan - Power and using TrainerRoad. 

Sessions will gradually increase over time building and tapering to suit planned races for this year.  New ones interested in a structured cycling plan could check out the Winter Cycling plan (link above).

2017 Races: - Tentatively: Azalea Sprint, 3-Little Pigs Sprint, Rex-Garner Sprint an Mountains of Misery Grand Fondo.

Weightloss - @#$%***, Ones returning from last year have read my whining about this subject.  My efforts this year will start by focusing on a "whole 30" style menu which is sort of a hi-protein, no dairy, bread, legumes, etc.  Too, I'm looking to see if this regimen might help identify food allergies.  I'd be really pumped to drop 25lbs prior to first race and hold throughout the year.

I'm looking forward to meeting new ones with group and hopefully ones returning from last year as well.

Ciao ... Dorm



Edited by Dorm57 2017-01-02 4:29 PM
2017-01-02 4:54 PM
in reply to: Dorm57

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Subject: Flip turns ...

Scott ... need some help with this I think.  I've seen ones flip turn super fast - mine are not fast.  This causes me to wonder if I should stick with the easier open water turn (at the wall) or try to get faster with the flip turn.  There's a lot of debate on the forum as to which method is better ... what are your thoughts?

Dorm



2017-01-02 7:53 PM
in reply to: Dorm57

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Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN

Originally posted by Dorm57

Scott ... hope all are well and I guess it's time to get back in gear.  I've begun some training over the last couple of weeks, but it's time to get structured and down to business . . .

. . . I'm looking forward to meeting new ones with group and hopefully ones returning from last year as well.

Ciao ... Dorm

Hey Dorm!

So glad you're back for another round.  Yep, breaks over!

2017-01-02 9:15 PM
in reply to: Dorm57

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Subject: RE: Flip turns ...

Originally posted by Dorm57

Scott ... need some help with this I think.  I've seen ones flip turn super fast - mine are not fast.  This causes me to wonder if I should stick with the easier open water turn (at the wall) or try to get faster with the flip turn.  There's a lot of debate on the forum as to which method is better ... what are your thoughts?

Dorm

Dorm,

Thanks?!?  Second day into the new group and we are going to take on one of the most controversial, hot-button topics we can!  Cool!

I'll at least acknowledge that I come from a swimming background for those that are new to the group that may not know - in the interest of full disclosure!

Let me start off with this, do you HAVE to do flip turns?  Nope!  There is nothing that says you must do flip turns.  Of course, there is nothing that says you must use clipless pedals, a tri-bike, a tri-suit, or expensive running shoes either - yet people do all those things, including flip turn.  So if you don't have to do it, why should you?  In the case of all the things I mentioned EXCEPT flip turns, the motivation is fairly clear - it's faster.  However, the rationale for a flip turn is not so obvious.

The simple reality is that when you (not YOU, but you figuratively referring to a swimmer in general) open turn, you get a rest break.  I know the argument - "I don't hang on the wall, it's really quick."  Yeah, that's nice, but it's a rest break.  You get that big breath of air and for that split second, however brief, you are hanging on the wall.  A flip turn on the other hand - you get a breath a stroke of two out from the wall and you don't get another breath until a stroke or two after the turn.  It much more closely approximates open water swimming.  Never mind that it is significantly faster.  I know, that really doesn't matter in the case of a triathlete, but let's face it, we all like to go faster.

I'm one of the few that argues triathlon swimming is different that swim-meet swimming.  However that really applies more to which energy pathway you are training, not the act of swimming itself.  At the end of the day, swimming is swimming.  Swimming is a highly technical sport.  With that in mind, it seems reasonable that you would largely mimic what swimmers do.  Swimmers use flip turns.  You learn flip turns at the most novice level of competitive swimming.  We triathletes however tend to be a type-A bunch that "know better" and the adult onset athletes among us largely reject the need for flip turns.  Of course, they also reject the need to learn swimming fundamentals - but all you have to do is go to your local 'Y' to see how that's working out (sorry, another topic for another day).

As I said, you don't have to flip turn.  However, if you truly want to become a stronger swimmer, I submit one of the steps is to learn flip turns.  You will become more comfortable in the water, you will become more graceful in the water, you'll have a better understanding of your bodies position in the water, you'll improve your training by eliminating extra rest breaks and you'll feel "like a swimmer."

As to the forum debate - people come down into two groups.  The "swimmers" will all tell you that you need to learn to flip turn.  The "triathlon swimmers"  (for lack of a better description), consisting largely of adult onset swimmers, will tell you that flip turns are unnecessary.  It's interesting to note that the "swimmers" all tend to share a smooth, powerful stroke; while the "triathlon swimmers" largely tend to 'beat the water into submission' as they attempt to move through the water.  We've all seen examples of both types of swimmers at whatever pool we regularly train at.

Now, to your question specifically.  Don't worry about the speed at which you flip turn.  Regularly using the flip turn will improve the turn without you really even thinking about it.  Of greater importance than the speed of the turn is that the turn is a smooth reversal of direction at the wall.  Let's face it, you likely aren't going to be using your flip turn at too many races.  The speed of the turn will come of it's own accord.

Finally, in case it isn't obvious, I think you should continue to flip turn. 

2017-01-02 10:43 PM
in reply to: k9car363

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Subject: RE: Flip turns ...

Adrian - Welcome to the group.  I like, "Train hard, Pee clear."  Good advice and so important.

David - Welcome to the group.  You sound faster than me so my comment may not matter much but I find I feed off the chatter back and forth between myself and other athletes during a race.  Especially the longer races.  I encourage people and cheer them on and I get it back as well and it really energizes me.  In my time trials I also find if I do it with a group, even without interacting with anyone, my pace is easily 10% faster than if I do it alone at home.

Amy - Welcome to the group.  Hopefully you'll find the group informative and inspirational but also as a student - a good place to vent or just de-stress.  

Kathy - Welcome back.  Have fun this weekend.  How exciting to have a race this early in the season.  Looking forward to hearing all about it.

Dorm - No problem plagiarizing my outline because I stole the basic outline from Scott.

Scott - Interesting reading on the "flip turns" debate.  Up to now I've just avoided flip turns. But, I have a sprint in May in a pool that has high walls at each end rendering open turns very awkward so I need to learn flips specifically for this race.  I guess I'll be practicing very soon.

2017-01-03 1:37 PM
in reply to: k9car363


27
25
Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN
I was interested in joining your training group. I will turn 50 this year and have spent the last few years learning that my body can't handle what it used to. I am trying to be smarter in my training. I have done several sprints and an olympic distance race last year. My goal this year is the half-distance in June. I am following a training program in Don Fink's Book, Iron Fit Secrets, that seems to be sensible.

I have been married for 20 years and have two boys ages 10 and 14. I have tried for years to get someone from my family interested in racing with me but that hasn't happened. So I train and race solo and try to read all that I can to increase my knowledge. I am hoping to be able to ask questions that help me with preparing for this season.

I lost a lot of weight and functional strength last year so I have been working out three days a week in addition to running and swimming. I need to start biking again.

I teach children with emotional and behavioral disorders so I need to remain strong enough to keep them safe. I am trying to balance my need for strength with my desire to train for longer races.

I would love to train for a full distance next year but now I am focusing on the half in June.

2017-01-03 1:45 PM
in reply to: k9car363


27
25
Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN
I forgot to add, my name is Chet.


2017-01-03 1:47 PM
in reply to: k9car363


6

Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN
Scott, I would like to join your group. I did my first Triathlon for my 50th birthday. It was an Olympic distance. I finished it with walking at least 1/2 the run distance. Following that I did 3 Sprints over the next two years and just kind of fell off the consistent training wagon. I could make excuses for myself that my job was too demanding of my time. It was, but I could have fit training in if it was a priority. I am now 57 and want to get back in the game. My social circle does not have anyone else interested in Tri's, and am left with self-motivation and solo training. I think if I am going to be successful, I need some help and need to be accountable in some way to others besides myself. I am great at making up excuses not to get to the gym. I am in Omaha so most of my training will be indoors for the next 8 weeks. Maybe outside for a run hear and there as weather and road conditions permit. I feel I need to lose about 20 pounds to be realistic about doing an event. I just started swimming again on Dec 30th. .5 miles in 32 minutes. I ride a stationary bike at the gym and have a bike trainer at home. Logging about 45 miles/week for the last 3 weeks. My running distance has really slipped. 10+minute miles and usually I get bored on the treadmill after 2 miles. I have a wife whom I have been married to for 36 years, and no children at home My wife thinks I am crazy for wanting to do this at my age and fears I will injure myself but supports me. I work for an Architectural Engineering firm as an IT PM. So like most, I do a lot of sitting in a day. I look forward to building new relationships with this group of like minded folks and seeing positive outcomes.

Ray
Omaha, Nebraska
2017-01-03 1:58 PM
in reply to: k9car363

New user
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Gladwyne, Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN
Scott,

Have room for one more? I'm 52 and feel that it is now or never to reach my goal. i have started the last handful of years with the solid promise to myself that i will work up to a half IM sometime during summer but each time life seems to find a way to intervene to derail the effort. I think one of my big learnings is that you can't really do it alone and as such, am signing on for all the advice/support/encouragement/abuse it will take to be successful.

Looking forward to nailing this challenge and maybe moving onto getting a full IM in the not too distant future

Mick
2017-01-03 2:56 PM
in reply to: k9car363

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Extreme Veteran
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Raleigh, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Flip turns ...

Originally posted by k9car363

Thanks?!?  Second day into the new group and we are going to take on one of the most controversial, hot-button topics we can!  Cool!

Finally, in case it isn't obvious, I think you should continue to flip turn. 

Well ... we all do what we can and I'm glad that's out of the way - for now.

Ciao ... Dorm

2017-01-03 3:17 PM
in reply to: AkronChet

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Official BT Coach
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Indianapolis, Indiana
Gold member
Subject: RE: Gray Guys/Girls Maturing Triathlete Mentor Group -- OPEN

Originally posted by AkronChet

I was interested in joining your training group. I will turn 50 this year and have spent the last few years learning that my body can't handle what it used to. I am trying to be smarter in my training. I have done several sprints and an olympic distance race last year. My goal this year is the half-distance in June. I am following a training program in Don Fink's Book, Iron Fit Secrets, that seems to be sensible.

I have been married for 20 years and have two boys ages 10 and 14. I have tried for years to get someone from my family interested in racing with me but that hasn't happened. So I train and race solo and try to read all that I can to increase my knowledge. I am hoping to be able to ask questions that help me with preparing for this season.

I lost a lot of weight and functional strength last year so I have been working out three days a week in addition to running and swimming. I need to start biking again. I teach children with emotional and behavioral disorders so I need to remain strong enough to keep them safe. I am trying to balance my need for strength with my desire to train for longer races.

I would love to train for a full distance next year but now I am focusing on the half in June.

Hey Chet!

Welcome to the group!

I know exactly what you mean.  It took me several years to hear my body saying things had changed and then a few more years to figure out what "sensible training" meant for an old guy.  By all means, ask away.  We'll try to answer any questions you might have.

It's good that you recognized you lost functional strength and are attempting do reverse that trend.  As you've probably already realized, adding strength becomes more and more challenging as we add years.

Lots of time before you half in June.  A full next year is certainly doable with some focused goals and training.

Look forward to getting to know you and answering any questions I can.

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Find a mentor. Make a list of at least three people that you could approach for help, list your specific needs and then be courageous enough to begin asking.