General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Weight room to 70.3 Rss Feed  
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2018-09-23 12:57 PM


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Subject: Weight room to 70.3
Hello everyone.
I signed up for my first ever event which just so happens to be a half ironman.

I am primarily a weight lifter and recreational bike rider/fitness enthusiast.

I am starting swim lessons with a friend of mine (national level swimmer) and doing a few small runs at the moment and longer rides on the weekend.

I am in decent shape (personal trainer) and have a solid background with nutrition (which will be important in the coming months, I'm sure).

I have until June 30th to get in shape for this event.
I have a few questions that Dr. Google keeps giving me mixed reviews on and would love some feedback.

I may join a mentor group as well because I truly have no clue what I'm doing and could use the community that this forum seems to have for itself.



2018-09-23 7:58 PM
in reply to: #5249658

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Franklin, TN
Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
Welcome! Nothing like jumping in the deep end with a 70.3 as your first! It’s certainly doable but you need to build up your swim technique and fitness pretty quickly. If you’re in good swim shape, the 1.2 mile swim should feel like a nice warmup for the rest of the day. You should try to work up to 8000-10000 yards/meters of swimming per week (3 swims per week minimum...4+ would be better).

If you have an indoor trainer for your bike, TrainerRoad has training plans for every triathlon distance. You’ll want to be in the neighborhood of 100+ miles/week (as you get closer to the race)..that would be 2-3 midweek workouts plus a long ride on the weekend.

Running: most of your running should be at an easy pace. As a personal trainer you probably know this already. I’d say if you could build up to 25-30 miles/week you’d be in good shape.
2018-09-23 9:20 PM
in reply to: #5249660


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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
The swimming is what really makes me nervous, especially with my build. The bike should be no issue but of course after the swim it will be a different beast I imagine.

I have the strangest fear of the water all of a sudden lmao
2018-09-24 12:32 PM
in reply to: #5249663

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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
What event? If the swim is current assisted or wetsuit legal then you can get away with less swimming in your training. I did Augusta 70.3 yesterday and was sick to my stomach about the swim. It was a breeze because it was current assisted. Get in some open water swims in training. A lot of people hit the water and went into panic mode without a black line to follow during the swim.
2018-09-24 2:56 PM
in reply to: #5249683


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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
I'm doing the couer d'alene 70.3 in June.
I do believe if I read correctly that a wetsuit is required with how cold the water will be, I could be mistaken.

Open water lake swim.
2018-09-24 3:33 PM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Franklin, TN
Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3

That's a beautiful venue.  it will definitely be a wetsuit swim.  I imagine the bike component will be beautiful but challenging...3445 elevation gain over a 56 mile bike is a lot.  The run looks like it is rolling...not to bad though.



2018-09-24 5:59 PM
in reply to: #5249706


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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
We are spending a week there prior to the event and I will be up there for the christmas holiday.
My wife's family lives there so I can at least see the course and possibly run it lol even though it will be very, very cold in December.
2018-09-24 7:52 PM
in reply to: 0

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
I have done CDA 70.3 and it is pretty tough. Plan on a cold swim. Definitely wetsuit legal; you might also want a neoprene cap under your race cap if temps are really low (like close to or under 60). It varies year to year but usually in the 58-64 degree range. There can be some chop in the lake depending on wind. On the plus side, it's a self-seeded wave start (you start with others based on your estimated swim time) and they only release five or six swimmers at a time into the water, so it's less of a mob scene than mass or age group starts. The course is very well-marked and pretty stress-free as far as HIM swims go.

The bike route is very, very hilly. I don't recall much flat at all with the exception of "false flats"--you think it's flat but actually you are going very slightly up or down. I felt like I was always struggling up a steep hill (some are long as well) or freezing while flying downhill at 40+ mph. Never felt like I could get into a rhythm and struggled with cramps for much of the last 20 miles. There are several places on the course where road signs say, "Chain Up" or "Brake Check" for cars (in winter). This is one way I judge the toughness of a hilly ride in Idaho! It was one of my slower bike splits. Then again, the bike is not my forte and I probably picked the wrong course--due to my living situation last year (in Vietnam) I'd hardly done any training on actual hills--95% trainer and a few flat outdoor rides. It tends to be quite windy in this area (and much of Idaho), particularly in the morning, with breezes off the Rockies to the east.

The run is of average difficulty as far as HIM go--two-loop course with one long, gradual uphill and downhill each time. Nothing particularly hard as long as you don't burn yourself out on the bike. It was one of my better run splits, even though I again struggled with cramping toward the end. I think it is a fairly fast course.

One other thing to be aware of (if you are from the Pacific Northwest, you probably know this) is the potential for really cool or hot conditions, or even both in the same day. The latter would be typical for that time of year if skies are clear. If they aren't, probably more moderate but cool temps throughout the day. When I did this race (last year), it was in the high 40's at the start (lake was about 63-4); well into the 90's by the time the back of the pack finished. I finished around 5 1/2 hours and I think temps were in the low 80's then. You'll want to keep this in mind when thinking about clothing, etc.

Don't want to scare you off, just don't underestimate this course! I would make sure you are a confident swimmer for this distance and comfortable swimming in a cold lake in a full wetsuit, get in plenty of harder/big-gear intervals on the bike and ride some hilly courses outside so you are familiar with efficient gearing on the bike and your body is used to the constantly changing effort levels of the course, and gradually build up your run endurance.

There are plenty of beginner programs on this site. You could pick a beginner program for a sprint (even if you're not actually going to race it), do it, and then move on to one for the Olympic, and then HIM. If you're already beyond the beginner level in one of the sports (biking?), then you can always do longer/harder workouts in that area or "borrow" them from a more advanced plan or other resource.

Edited by Hot Runner 2018-09-24 8:05 PM
2018-09-25 6:59 AM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
Welcome to the sport. I have recently transitioned to triathlon in the last 2 years. It all started with a charity race that I loved and I just kept signing up. I used to play rugby/american football in my younger days. So, endurance training was new to me. The mentor groups on this forum are great. I definitely would not have gotten through my first race successfully without the advice here. Do you live in a climate/area where you can cycle outside all year. If not I think a bike trainer might be the most important investment I made in my triathlon training. I use Trainer Road now but there are tons of options for indoor training.
2018-09-25 10:39 AM
in reply to: #5249658


31
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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
Wow! That was extremely insightful, thank you so much!

I appreciate all the feedback.

I live in a very flat, hot area so I guess I'll be making a small drive to mountains this winter to get used to the cold and the elevation. Should I possibly add in more interval type training to better simulate the changing elevation or at least mimic the different energy demands?
2018-09-25 11:52 AM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Master
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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
Elevation in the sense of thinner air really isn't an issue--CDA isn't high enough that most people would notice, or high enough to affect performance. But it is a really hilly course, and any actual riding on hills and intervals on the trainer would be helpful in preparing for it.


2018-09-26 10:22 AM
in reply to: #5249774


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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
Oh, I ment just the hills not necessarily the elevation in the sense of oxygen demands. Lol.
I tried the spin bike today because I have a mysterious flat on my bike. It is a completely different feel than my actual bike. I think I spent more time adjusting the bike seat and bars than actually riding Haha.
2018-09-26 11:02 AM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Master
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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
My mom says the same thing LOL. She can never get happy with the seat on anything but her own bike. I would recommend getting a trainer (like a stand that you put your bike in so you can ride and adjust resistance with the gears and/or the trainer knob; there are also "smart trainers" that will adjust the resistance according to pre-programmed workouts or courses) so you can ride your actual bike. The spin bike is fine for high-intensity stuff like classes or short workouts if you are traveling or need to fit in a workout at the gym, but it's not ideal for tri training, particularly for iron distance. Your legs and your butt need to get used to being in the saddle on the bike you're going to be riding, for a long time.
2018-09-26 2:24 PM
in reply to: #5249832


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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
Huh, I'll look on Amazon or another site. That would be excellent actually.

One nagging question that I've had recently is can I fly with my bike? I could drive but it is about 16 hours and I truly dont want to have to do that.

That freaking spin bike had me cussing like a sailor by the end of 15 minutes lol it felt so wrong!
2018-09-26 5:46 PM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
Yes, you can fly with bikes. Most US domestic carriers charge a bike fee over and above the regular luggage charge, since they are oversize. Check the fees when deciding which airline(s) to fly. I usually fly with my bike in a cardboard bike box as the assembly/ disassembly process is a bit faster. If you travel a lot with bike in tow, you might want to consider a rolling bike case. Often, but not always, those require removal of the back as well as front wheel, plus the handlebars, seat, and pedals. Most bike shops can provide a cardboard bike box and will pack the bike (in a box or bike case) for you for a fee--just make sure you either know how to put it together again (and then repack it after the race) or make arrangements in advance with a local shop that will do that for you. (CDA's a pretty small town. DON'T just walk into a bike shop on race weekend assuming they could do that without prior arrangement.) You will need to bring basic bike tools (multi-tool with different sized wrenches, pedal wrench) as well as strong tape and scissors if using the cardboard box method.

An alternative is using a service like TriBike Transport. They will pick up bikes at designated shops in some major US cities and then get them to/from the race and take care of assembly/disassembly. You just go get your bike the day before the race from their area and then put it into transition, return it to TBT after the race, and pick it up at the shop some time later. Not sure if they serve CDA 70.3 or which US cities have it. I've lived mostly overseas for the past two decades--I've used similar services for a few races and it was really nice, particularly after a long event I'd flown solo to, not to have to stress about the bike!

For CDA, most people would fly into Spokane, which is a short (20-25 miles?) drive down I-90. I think the local airport might not have commercial flights. Don't fly into Boise-it's nowhere close (a very long day's drive through the mountains on 2-lane roads).
2018-09-26 7:39 PM
in reply to: #5249864

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McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
My first Triathlon was a 70.3. I went a little more conservative than my little brother who started with signing up for a full Ironman race. I picked my brother’s brain as I started training and tried my hardest to find some local triathletes (not easy in a town of 5,000 with on bike shops for 35 miles and no running clubs, no swimming groups, and no cycling groups. Finding The website and more importantly the mentor group was a god send. I came from a run background with not cycle racing nor swim racing in my background. I spent 4 month building my run volume the started swapping out run time for swim time and cycling time for four months. Then I raced and enjoyed so much more than pure running that I have been doing triathlon for the past 4 years.


2018-09-27 9:31 PM
in reply to: JACKEDjames123

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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3

The swim at CdA is no joke.  You need to be a good swimmer, even if you seed yourself near the back.  Swimming in cold water (it will be cold) is not like the heated pool.  Also there can be chop.  Get some open water practice, preferably in a lake with the wind blowing.  Learn to love the pool.  (You can fake loving it.  That's what I do.)

2018-09-28 7:25 AM
in reply to: #5249880


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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
I was going to check out the course in December. My wife's from there and her entire family still lives there so I'm lucky that lodging and what not will be taken care of lol I was thinking of shipping my bike to her parents a few weeks in advance.

The lovely woman who talked me into this just told me what her times were getting out of the water..........24-26 minutes.

I'm having the hardest time finding somewhere to let me swim. The 3 academy's in town are full up so I'm buying a commercial gym membership, it just sucks because it's a decent drive away vs right down the street. I'm gona make it work no matter what though, I refuse to not be prepared for this race.
2018-09-29 7:54 AM
in reply to: Hot Runner


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Subject: RE: Weight room to 70.3
Hot Runner's comments about IM Cd'A 70.3 are pretty spot on. I did (and finished) the inaugural 70.3 in 2016 at age 61. I was signed up for the 2018 race but a health issue forced me to scratch. I live in the Cd'A area. In 2016 the water temp was 61* and the air temp got into the high 80s for those of us who were back of the pack types. In 2018 the water was warmer but as I recall the air temp got into maybe the low 90s later in the day. Cd'A has been having Ironman races in this time slot for 15 years, as the 140.6 used to take place in late June. I've seen temps vary from low 60s with rain on the run course to 107 degrees (on the full IM). Recent years have seen warmer temps than races 10 years ago, but anything can happen in late June in North Idaho. I've seen wind on race days from calm to blowing 10-20+.

Cd'A's elevation of around 2300' isn't too bad. I am used to it as I live in the area. I would think running at a mile high or higher would be an issue. The elevation gain on the bike course is considerable but not insurmountable. There is a long but not particularly super steep climb up Mica Grade outside of town. Running through the neighborhoods of Coeur d'Alene and through the big urban McEuen Park is a gas. You will have plenty of enthusiastic volunteers and spectators cheering you on. Cd'A has always been one of the top (if not the top) Ironman destinations for volunteer and crowd support. The 70.3 is less of a spectacle for the town than the old full IM, but the 70.3 still draws quite a crowd.

Get used to swimming your wetsuit. Sleeved if you have a choice. I was one of probably about 20 folks swimming in a sleeveless wetsuit and I was happy to get out of the water after a little over 50 minutes in.

Enjoy your "scouting" trip to Coeur d'Alene this winter and remember: it WILL be warmer in June!
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