Home Chat General Chat

Sorry but I was hoping...

Hello to all you gurus, [8|]

I am completely new to this triathlon lark and am entered into two this year, a sprint (400m swim, 20k bike, 5k run) and then 6 weeks later a slightly longer one (800m swim, 30k bike, 7.5k run). I am now 4 weeks out from the sprint triathlon and have not had any guidance so was wondering if i was on the right track... I have read soooooo much info on the internet that i am confusing myself especially as it mostly seems to be in technical speak for the professionals! [&o] Basically, I want to know what fitness level i should be at 4 weeks before a sprint triathlon and what are good entry level speeds. Currently i cycle 9km twice per day 5 days a week but on two of those days I run 8km instead of cycle (so that's 8 X 9km cycle and 2 X 8km run pw). I do the cycle on the roads in about 20 - 23mins and the run takes me 45 - 50 mins on the roads. I also swim twice to three times per week at 50 X 25m laps in 25 - 30mins and add in 6 X 25m fast laps. I occasionally do a longer ride but to be honest i've cycled to work every day for the past year and a half (used to cycle 20km each way but then moved closer to work) and i do not notice too much of a difference between cycling 9km or 20km. On the weekend i try to combine a cycle and run and sometimes i do this during the week too (but usually shorter distances). [&:] Am i doing enough? Not enough? I am getting a bit frustrated [:@]because i am waiting for that magical moment when it get's easy and i actually look forward to going for a run... but it hasn't yet hit me... In fact yesterday i stopped my swim early because to be honest it felt like i was swimming through sand... oh there's another question, should i be holding my arm out in front of me until my other arm gets there because i think i picked this up from one of those websites but that is very difficult for me...[:o]

Another question I have is that I was towards the top of my healthy weight range when i started training and initially i was very careful watching what i ate etc and i think i stayed the same or maybe lost 1kg [:(]and so i gave up with all the giong hungry lark and am now eating what i would normally eat (which is pretty healthy i must say but includes a few treats...) with just cycling to work (no running or swimming) and i've actually put on 2 kg. why?

I'm sorry to all the old hats out there [>:]- i know it must be tiring to see my lack of knowledge about your sport, but I do want to learn (I've just bought a new bike so that's a bit of a commitment...)




  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    Wow, it's not only yourself you're confusing. For some very basic advice I would say relax abit. From what I could work out from your training it sounds like you are doing enough. Be careful not to do too much, if training is becoming a drag and you're finding it harder you may be entering the realms of overtraining. Make sure you work some rest periods into your training. As for times, don't worry. These are your first triathlons, relax and enjoy them. You will learn far more about how your training has been going by doing these races then either I or any training manual will tell you. If you get the bug, which I'm sure you will, then start to focus on the times etc. One las bit of advice is don't over due it the in the week leading up to the race, cut back on your training and regain some energy. Good luck with your race season, remember it is just your first so enjoy it and learn from it.


    P.S. Don't go hungry.
  • PC67PC67 Posts: 101
    Jaysus, you're miles ahead of me!

    I commute by bike so if I'm not traveling abroad I actually do 80 miles a week on the bike. I'm running more frequently - like you I now run home the 8 miles once or twice a week and I look to do a tough 1 hour run taking in acouple of steep local hills on a Sunday - and am starting to do my brick sessions (maybe a 30 min run straight after my 8 mile cycle to work, though it means getting up a bit earlier).

    I think it's useful to do a few longer rides as well but the regular commuting means that your "cycling legs" should be in good order.

    I'm jealous of your swimming.

    I've 2 kids under 4 so getting time in the evening and especially at weekends is tough for me. My technique is getting better though and I'll get swimming fit before long I hope.

    Here's one thing I have to say though and it's purely my own personal observation:

    So much of tri training is common sense. At a certain level it's not as scientific as coaches or 220 magazine etc. make out.

    How do I get fit to cycle bike? Cycle regularly.

    How do I get fit for the run? Run regularly.

    How do I get fit for swimming? Swim regularly! However, because swimming is more technical it really is a case of making sure you practice well, not reinforcing bad technique.

    How do I get better from bike to run? Cycle and then run a bit straight afterwards.

    For me, on both the bike and the run I think it makes sense to be able to do more than your target distance in the race comfortably. So I'm doing an Olympic distance in June. Therefore I think it makes sense to be comfortable over 35 or so miles on the bike stand-alone. Likewise my run is 10k on race day, so stand-alone I'm trying to be comfortable doing about 15k.

    Every now & again I get in some hill work just to make the sessions harder, both running & on the bike. From spring onwards I'll takea detour home taking in the Hampstead hills home from work. Tough on the legs but after a few weeks of doing it 3 times a week it makes it easier to push yourself.

    One thing I've been meaning to do, but haven't been able to yet, is to do the 45 minute spinning class in my gym and then immediately follow it with a 45 minute run. My instinct is that by doing that 5 or 6 weekends in a row it'd really get me used to race conditions.

    I'm no oracle - I'm certainly not quick - but don't get any inferiority complex because some people have very technical training plans. It really is pretty much common sense in my opinion.

    Good luck.
  • PC67PC67 Posts: 101
    Sorry, missed out two of your questions. On the swim I do almost a full "catch up" i.e., I very nearly wait for the recovering hand to meet my outsretched hand before changing arms. I find it best to get a rhythm going over a longer distance.

    On the weight issue, my guess is that your metabolism has got used to your new degree of activity and has adjusted itself. I too lost weight after I started cycling to woirk but put some, but by no means all, back on again. Only normal. I'll be ****ed if you think I'm going to give up booze and curries just because of a couple of silly races!
  • Hi Barbara

    I am doing Ironman Uk this year, at the moment I am putting in 3-4 quality sessions in each week. Now to some that may not be enough, but I am comfy with that, I am not getting worried because as long as they are good quality sessions, then for me thats enough.

    My main target is to enjoy, I am no world champ, the more you relax, the better it will all be.

    Don't get me wrong, I am a serious Triathlete, I aim to do a sub 12 this year, but I don't want to push so hard that I burn out, or worse, lose interest. It is a very fine line, as I suspect you are now finding.

    Your program looks great for the tri's you are going in for. I am sure once you have a couple under your belt, as the chaps have already stated, you will know where to target your training. And your times will fall for sure.

    Anywho, good luck.


  • hound doghound dog Posts: 293
    Wise words by the other two replies. Dont get too wound up about it all. Your doing enough to get you through the two events youve entered. Then you can check your results against other triathletes the same age, sex etc as yourself ( I wish people would put their details on their profiles[:@]) I take it your female? If your 80yo your doing just great, if your 18yo Id say you've to to put more effort into it! lol.

    As for your weight gain (which Im sure wont take a lot of work to burn off) Its possible that as you said you were on a very healthy diet, then reverted back to a normal diet. The body will naturally store fat if youve been starving it, in case it gets another "famine". Itll level out or you can always cut a few treats out.

    The main point is ENJOY TRIATHLON, if your swimming through sand take a break, you will feel better for it.

    Im not very technical about it either but I have found a heart rate monitor to be a useful tool, also keep a log of what you do. Good luck [&:]

  • Wow guys thanks heaps for all the advice! I was feeling a little overwhelmed by it all and of course i'm slightly competitive [:-] so don't want to come last... my friend is doing them too and she seems to be doing less training than me - but we do block sessions on the weekends and she seems to do them the same as me... never mind, i shall do as you all advise and get an idea from my first couple.

    Oh yeh - my other huge fear is that i am going to be completely [:@] overwhelmed during the swim! I've seen pictures and heard stories about how people climb all over you, knock off your goggles and generally smash you around a bit (heh) [:'(]during the swim and being that i find it hard to deal with other people in my lane at all in the pool (i know, i'm a horrible person...[:o]) i dunno if i can handle it.

    Ok, now I am going to try to make this my last angst ridden post! [8|]

    Thanks again to all for your advice!!! ps - what times should i try for - i need something to aim for...
  • Hey Hound Dog,

    I'm female, 27 years old and 23.3bmi...

    I was reading the "what training have you done today" posts and they all look so impressive... I do feel better about what i'm doing now thanks to all you guys [:)]

    Thanks heaps!!!!
  • hound doghound dog Posts: 293
    Thats the spirit[8D] Im 41 my first ever sprint was last year 760swim 20kcycle and 5k run was 1:21:38 Im laughing at it now as Ive just been out for an 11mile training run. First ever Tri was a novice the month before (how the stomach was churning that day) 400swim 10k cycle and 3k run 0:39:05.
  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    Hi Barbara,

    My first ever tri was the Ironbridge Tri '05, olympic distance. I had never swum 1500m before and had my first open water session the Wednesday before and I'm a shocking swimmer. The moral of the story is you will get through it. I've never done a pool based tri before, so can't offer much advice if that is what you're doing. If it's open water then find a position you are comfy with, I gave everyone head start, and put your goggles on under your swim cap. That way if they do get knocked off you won't loose them.

    You won't be the only novice there.
  • pigletpiglet Posts: 86
    Hi Barsarama

    Looks like you've had great advice. I can possibly help on "swimming through sand". I found if I hadn't eaten enough carbs about 1-2 hrs before a swim I would hit a wall like you said. I also found that on some days I couldn't do my 1hr-1hr 30min swim without taking carbs during the swim. My pool will allow sports drinks as well as water -as long as it has a non- spill top (most brands do anyway). I find if I start drinking the energy drink after 20 mins and keep on drinking it thoughout my session I don't find the pool has turned into a sand box.

    hopes this helps

  • Iain MIain M Posts: 9
    sorry Boycie, your first triathlon and you picked the olympic at Ironbridge? are you completely insane? No gentle sprint warm-up event just straight in to the severn swimming up current with a bunch of ball fisted sadists. I made the mistake of doing the sprint at Ironbridge in 2004. I almost drowned. First OW swim. Then their is the near vertical first half of the bike....

    Is there a harder triathlon in Britain?

    Sorry not to answer your question barsarama
  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    Dear Iain,

    ignorance is bliss.

  • BARNYBARNY Posts: 157

    I just read this post and was thinking the same as you last year when I seemed to be training so hard but not really improving much…. So here you are, the things that had really worked for me…

    · 1) Cycling – SPINNING CLASSES once a week – the high intensity of it has made my legs so much stronger and the high cadence has also helped me speed up.

    · 2) Cycling - taking the LONG way back from work twice a week moving it up from 15k to 40k….. its great when you take the short way back because you can go so fast. – You don’t have to go the quickest route home!

    · 3) Swimming – keeping the elbow high – although took a while to work out what the hell they mean by this once you do it all comes together. Basically if you see that you are pushing back water and nota load of air escaping from your hand as you push it back then you are doing it right. (I think anyway!)

    · 4) Running – HRM training – once you run for an hour at a low heart rate 50-70% you still feel like you can sprint off…. Das is good

    Weight – I find it difficult to get rid of the little fat around my belly…. A certain amount of that is beer so I just accept it…(I’m not going to be the best so there is no point being anal about it all is there!!) however – I now replace my lunch time carbs with bean (like chick beans or butter beans etc.) and this fills me up nicely till dinner – my lunch is salad, tomatoes, tin of mackerel or tuna, wholegrain mustard + some beans. An oatmeal+natural yoghurt+ banana + frozen fruits smoothie for breakfast is also really nice and fills me up better that anything else.

    Basically I reckon you need to:

    1) Add a few longer low intensity workouts 2 hours low intense is so much easier than 45minutes of high.

    2) Swim how you feel is best!

    3) Do some group high intensity stuff like spinning.

    4) Drink at least 10 pints (or equivalent) on either Friday or Saturday day or night most weekends….. or nobody will like you… J
  • Hi Barbsarama

    It looks ok to me but as one or two of the others have said it would be worth doing at least one longer ride per week. The bike training also has a carry over effect to your running fitness with less risk of injury.

    Something I dont think any one else has pointed out is that muscle weighs more than fat so that could answer that one for you.

    Best of luck and enjoy.
  • BarbsaramaBarbsarama Posts: 73
    Hey Guys thanks again for all the advice! I'm still training away, although this week seems an easy week because i am stupidly busy with work... What do you think a good entry level time is to aim for? I was initially thinking I could do the run in 25 mins but have just realised that my training runs that I usually do fresh take me about 30mins! Argh i'm slower than i realised!!! [:o] I've also stopped doing the 8km runs and just doin the 5km runs which seem to be getting harder - mainly with my breathing. I have asthma which seems to be impacting which is really frustrating because i feel iu could go faster if i could just breath!!!

    What do you think are good entry level times to aim for? What times should I be doing in training?

    Thanks heaps folks!!![:)]
Sign In or Register to comment.