Triathalon training

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Triathalon training

Postby Kunoichi » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:42 am

Hi!

I've been doing general training for the last year... 5 k runs, weightlifting etc. I was wondering if anyone had any advice for how to train for a triathalon? There's a comp next year that's 1.5k swimming, 40k bike, and 10k run. So far I can run 5k's at 25min so i'm goingto have to improve a bit. Any advice will be welcomed :)
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Postby MikayP » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:36 am

well i can say its good to have a running background imo. the run is at the end, and its good to have your personal strength at the end so you can be confident that you can finish strong

do you swim/bike at all? if not id suggest you start getting used to the swim/bike and run distances by themselves. depending on how much time you have you should try to do do each sport at least twice a week. ideally 3-4 times a week, but that would require two workouts a day sometimes. you obviously dont need to be able to swim the 1.5k immediately, but ease into it with 10 minutes in the water for example if you are not used to it.
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Postby xrodolfox » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:41 am

^ ditto
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Postby skoptic » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:52 pm

Everything from the guys above is good.....

The only other obvious type of training (apart from each discipline separately) is known as a brick session. Usually this is to practise going from bike to run (because your legs tend to be quite wobbly off the bike at the start of the run). This can be as simple as once a week, going for a 1 or 2 mile jog after one of your bike sessions. It's not about knackering yourself just getting your body used to it over a period of weeks.

You can go loads more in detail - but these are good starting points :-) Happy training!
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Postby Kunoichi » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:01 pm

Thanks for the advice! I have been riding a bit. The longest has been a100k ride. But they've all been at quite slow paces (20km/h). To get my speed up would I just ride a certain distance over and over and time myself or is it more important to do weight training, hills, etc.

Also, when riding in a triathalon, do I need a specific bike? Or is a hybrid ok?
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Postby divergirl » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:41 am

I totally agree on the brick sessions. It may not seem like such a big thing going from one discipline to another - as in oh yeah, we can all swimg, we can all bike, we can all run (well most of us anyway - and note I did not say well!) but add them together with the transition of muscles required to do these activities and can I just say WALL - as in if you're not prepared you can hit the WALL!!!! It's not bad it just hurts and your legs generally feel like lead on the bike and on the beginning of the run. You can get thru it tho (I did cos I was pretty slack on my first tri with brick sessions) Afterwards tho I recognised the benefits of the brick training.

I have no comments on hybrids sorry. My first tri was with a wonky mountain bike (not even a road bike) and sure enough I got my first road bike just shortly after my tri and I immediately could tell what a huge difference it would have made!

Good luck and I'm sure you can do it - it's well worth it and the sense of accomplishment is great! You will have done something that not many do :D
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Postby MikayP » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:24 pm

ya definitely true about the bricks. any athlete can talk smack about triathletes and that the fastest ones aren't even close to fast runners in just running races. but after the swim and especially being in a bike racing for 1+ hours....that gives a new meaning of hurt.

there's specific triathlon bikes called "time trial" bikes. but thats for athletes who want to be more competitive. if you got a hybrid or mountain, it really doesnt matter. thats fine. almost all triathlons welcome any type of bike. they understand that not everyone can afford spending $2,000+ on a bike
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Postby xrodolfox » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:05 pm

+infinity for bricks. Good stuff.

Also: for most local small tris, there are a significant number of people who decided to sign up and start training 2 to 3 weeks before the race. Those folks ride in borrowed hybrids, run in lace-up running shoes, and swim in board shorts.

They still finish, and although they end up near the bottom of the race results, they are not broken.

If you are putting any thought and training into it, you are ahead of the curve. You will finish, and you will do just fine. The hardest thing is showing up.
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Postby Mr. Cleetus » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:03 pm

^^what xrodolfox said about the hybrids. If you decide you are really into it, go for another bike, but seeing how it goes for now is not a bad idea.

Just to be a bit contra - bricks have gone out of favour in the thinking of many (coaches, etc). They just result in you running on tired legs and getting a poorer workout and increasing the chance for injury, etc. But "transition" runs are in favour. It's mostly semantics in the end, but a transition run implies a short run of maybe 15mins. Just enough for you to run thru the adaptation to running.

One advantage of proper bricks can be for time efficiency though - it's often much easier to stick two workouts together than to do separate workouts throughout the day. They can also be fun (or horrible). I've done hundreds of ride/run bricks in my life, but have never been a believer. :)

A few swim/bike/runs are not a bad idea either, just to learn how you respond.

For now a focus on consistent training in all three is key.

If you are doing 100km on the bike then you are well on your way with your endurance. Are you riding with others? That is often the first step - just "learning" that you can ride faster. Find a group of good cyclists and join them. Groups rides are excellent for that. Hills are a great idea for strength and muscular endurance. At some point adding in some longer intervals will be a good idea. Weights - if you have the time and are motivated.
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Postby notmilk » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:08 pm

One thing I would add to all the good advice above - if you can find one near you - join a tri club.
My swimming has improved significantly with weekly coached tri club sessions.
In the summer the club organises open water swim sessions.
We also do a weekly speed (run) session.
Great way to meet more people locally with the same (and bigger) goals which will all help your motivation and enjoyment of the sport.
good luck and the main thing - make sure you have fun!
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Postby Kunoichi » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:54 am

Thanks for the advice!!

I think I'll start working on transistions tomorrow to see what it's like. I think there's quite a few cyclist clubs around here but no tri clubs that I know of. So I might see what they're up to. Is there any special shoes for triathalons? Being vegan... are there canvas ones? They're usually cheaper too :)
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Postby Kunoichi » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:06 am

Just another question...

I'm in the process of getting a hybrid bike at the moment that costs $550. I was wondering if I should put off getting a bike for a while and getting a proper Tri bike. But since I've never been in a triathalon before and also don't know if I really like them, or competing... are tri bikes ok to ride around in general? Are they comfortable? good for long distance? Because my other interest is long distance rides, which I havn't done much of either. But it'd be nice to go away for a week or two :)

The only thing I've noticed about the bikes is that they have the handlebars where you can rest your elbows. Is there anything else special about them? They've got road bike tyres don't they?
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Postby Mr. Cleetus » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:30 am

A tri/TT bike will have a number of differences to a road bike:
1) the geometry - the angles of various things and the length of tubes. They will put you more forward on the bike with the idea of being able to get the front of your body lower
2) aerobars, usually with a basebar and not standard drop bars. Again to get your front end lower - hence the shifting will work a bit differently.
3) more aerodynamic** tubing and design **and plenty of marketing!!!

Tires are the same size as a normal road bike.

For riding in a group, a tri/TT bike is not a great setup, but people often do it; however that is what a road bike is designed for. On the TT bike with a group you've gotta stay off the aerobars as you are farther from the brakes and possibly a bit less able to react, etc (unless you know the others well!) For riding long distances ones set up on the bike is most important and you can be comfortable on either a TT bike or a road bike. If not training specifically for a tri, most people will choose a road bike for long rides though as you can generally be a bit more relaxed - but this is really dependent on the fit and position.

If you are new to everything and not sure where your interests are going to go, a road bike is likely to be the best choice as it is the most versatile. You can always add clip-on aerobars and do some adjustments to your position. It may not be as good for tris in some ways, but it is certainly not a bad option and people race like this all of the time. From what you've said it sounds like it might not be a bad idea to wait a bit and figure out a bit where your headed and what your goals are and then make some decisions. Do you have a bike to ride now? Used bikes are often the best way to go when just starting out. Up until recently I had a friend in Toowoomba who would have had plenty of bikes for you to try, but he's just got smart and come back! ;) Why the hybrid? Do you some interest in gravel trails?

No need to get tri specific shoes, and there are plenty of vegan options for both running shoes and cycling shoes - usually in lorica.
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Postby xrodolfox » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:27 am

I got a $500US hybrid when I first started biking. Big mistake.

They are not comfortable. They are slow. They are not even that good for commuting.

If I could do it all over again, i would have gotten a low end road bike. One where I could learn how to fix things. Perhaps a used road bike for $400 or less, with an investment in tools.

Then, I would still get my triathlon bike. That bike is so nice and fast and fun and GREAT for long rides and I love it more than I love most people. But it is fragile, and not meant for daily riding, and repairs are complicated and costly.

Unless you know that you like hybrids, and you have a specific goal for them, I would say to forget them. The handle bars do not allow for much comfort. They tend to be heavy as hell. They are hard to upgrade for speed. And the body position (upright) is much more painful than in the aero position of a well fitted tribike. I suggest you do not get a hybrid, unless you are quite convinced about it.
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Postby Kunoichi » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:42 am

Thanks!

I think I will hold off for a bit. At the moment I have an old mountain bike. So i can still get used to the movement of cycling and transitions etc I suppose. My dad also has an old road bike. The brakes aren't great but i'll see what I can do. I'll do some more running, cycling and swimming for a while and see how I like it. The only thing I'm worried about is swimming really. I love cycling and running :P
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