General Discussion Introduce Yourself!!! » Interested in getting started Rss Feed  
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2019-09-08 7:59 PM


Subject: Interested in getting started
Hi everyone, I've never done a triathlon, but plan on doing at least a Sprint next year and progress from there.

I'm in the 'burbs of Chicago, so the weather will be turning cold sooner than I'm ready for. Does anyone have advice for someone in my shoes to get started training? I have a long time(I think) to train, but won't be able to get outside to run or ride.

I currently swim three times a week and do about 2500 yds. My running and biking aren't great at this point. Should I just work on building volume at this point and jump on one of the available plans as the new season rolls around, or try one the plans now and repeat?

Not really sure how to get started at this time of year. Any thoughts would be helpful!


2019-09-08 8:05 PM
in reply to: Struck

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Columbus, Ohio
Gold member
Subject: RE: Interested in getting started
Hi and welcome!
I would advise substituting some spin classes for the cycling workouts for now, to get your legs stronger, and do running/walking on a treadmill or indoor track.

Honestly you can run/walk outdoors in any temperature as long as it's not icy.
I used to live in the near West burbs of Chicago and trained at the YMCA in the winter, and then rode the Prairie Path in the spring, summer and fall, and ran on streets around my neighborhood.

Spinning isn't an exact match for cycling, because the bike posture and setup is different, but it will get your legs used to the cadence and motion and it's way better than nothing. Even better would be to buy a bike "trainer" for your real bike, which puts a resistance wheel under your back tire, and then you can ride your real bike indoors all winter.
2019-09-09 1:07 PM
in reply to: #5262371


Subject: RE: Interested in getting started
Thanks for the advice! I've been running on the track, so I'll continue that and will do some spin classes once it gets too nasty out.

I lived in Wheaton for a few years and was about a mile away from the Prairie Path. Such a nice thing to have so close to home.

Thanks again.
2019-09-10 5:59 PM
in reply to: Struck

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Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Interested in getting started


Don't let the "cold weather" keep you from training.  I enjoyed winter running (in Peoria and Northern Utah).  Everyone is different, but it really doesn't take a lot to run year-round even in Chicago.  It's easy to overdress!  Rule of thumb is if you're comfortable in the first 5-10 minutes, you're overdressed and risk sweat-soaking your clothes before the end of the run.  

Above 50°F, it was usually just shorts and a short-sleeve t-shirt.  
40-50°F I might wear shorts or tights, long-sleeve t-shirt, and knit gloves.  
30-40°F I'd wear soft-shell pants, t-shirt, and a long-sleeve t-shirt and knit gloves.  Maybe a ball cap.  
(Or a t-shirt and soft-shell fleece)
20-30°F I'd wear tights and wind pants or heavier fleece, long-sleeve t-shirt, and heavier fleece.  I'd also switch to fleece gloves below 25°F.  I'd wear a headband, ball cap, or fleece cap.  
10-20°F I'd wear heavier fleece pants, a heavier jacket, heavier fleece gloves, fleece cap, and maybe a muffler/scarf/face cover.  
I could add additional layers for colder weather and/or windproof jacket/pants if it is windy.  I had some gear that I wouldn't wear unless it was <20°F because I'd overheat too easily.  

I ran 3-5 miles even in -4°F weather.  I ran 12 miles on a 9°F day.  During the last half of the run, my hearing got strange (like I had my head in a barrel).  When I finished and pulled off the knit hat, my sweat had frozen into ice cubes over my ears!  

I wore regular running shoes most of the time and might switch to trail shoes for light snow/ice.  Some hardcore runners will take an older pair of shoes and put sheet metal screws in the soles for traction on ice (just make sure the screws don't go all the way through the sole!)  

Biking is similar, but windproof becomes more important.  Arm warmers, knee warmers, toe covers, beanie under the helmet.  Covering the face is harder.  I'd ride my trainer staring at the back door...

2019-09-10 11:17 PM
in reply to: McFuzz

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Subject: RE: Interested in getting started
No advice from warm, sunny FL, where 50s is COLD! Just a welcome. =)
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