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Absolute Beginner !

Hi All !

I have decided to try the sport and start training ! I am an absolute beginner, and would be extremely grateful for any hints on tips on getting started.

Does anyone know of any good Triathlon Personal Trainers in the London area ?

I have never run a marathon or a long distance race ... I have very little cycling experience, and can swim (front crawl) approx 3-4 lenghts before I am totally out of breath ! :-)

Thanks in advance for you help !


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    NickNick Posts: 66
    hi II. i would recomend that you also have alook on tritalk lots of coach/training advice. cheers nick
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    I am no expert and this is my first season too but if I was to offer some suggestions, they are as follows...

    Don't get hung up on times or specific techniques just yet. Get in the pool as often as you can and start to build your stamina and your confidence - after 2 to 3 weeks, you should be able to knock out 15-20 lengths no drama but don't try to go too fast. At this stage, it's all about rhythm and a good stroke - the speed will come later. If you want a good headstart, get the £35 SwimSmooth DVD - I did and it has transformed my swimming!

    Cycling - again, just get on the bike and knock out some miles. I probably do not have good technique but I have based this summer's training on working on general fitness by cycling as often as I can.

    Running - very important to start off slowly. Do some gentle 20 min runs to get you started then increase these gradually. I really like running but get a bit bored (and knackered!) after an hour but you won't have to do more than 5-10k to start with (unless you are a complete masochist and fancy a 70.3 or full Ironman as your first race!) so forget trying to do 15+ miles.

    So there is my approach to my first year - just focus on having fun, getting fit and then taking stock 2-3 months from now. I have done 2 Sprint races, with 2 more to go and have loved it. In February, I could barely do 3 lengths without hanging on to the side and panting like an asthmatic labrador. This morning, I knocked out 1500m at Liquid Leisure and have decided to have 1-2-1 session with Richard Stannard this Saturday - he knows a thing or two about the swim leg!

    If the bug bites, then it's the time to think about getting some decent gear and possibly investing in some good quality tuition. For now, get some decent running shoes (£80) some decent goggles (£17) a crap bike (mine was £200 off eBay, and it's gonna be winter soon!) and a heart rate monitor (£30 upwards).

    There is loads of great advice on here, also www.Tri247.com and various other sites. Read lots, ask lots of questions and remember this...everyone starts somewhere!

    Have a fun!


    PS OK, I admit it...am about to invest in a Superlight Pro from Panet X but don't tell anyone!
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    tony btony b Posts: 57

    I could write loads here based on personal experience but I'll pick out a few key things that helped me.

    Swimming - develop as good a technique as you can before worrying about distance. Everyone struggles with the crawl at first but persevere, you will get there. Try to relax as much as possible. This will seem impossible to do but, again, work at it and never get wound up.

    Bike - The bike doesn't need to be much cop (so long as it's safe!) but right at the start, start to find a good position, as it doesn't happen overnight. You can then take this on to your nice new one, when you decide to get it. And don't push big gears. Teach your legs to spin; it;s good practice anyway, and you'll be better in the run for it.

    Run - Try to focus on good technique before distance. Learn to enjoy running by varying the scenery and route. And get your gait checked for shoes as soon as you can.

    And enjoy!!!
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    Great to hear that you are getting involved in the sport.

    Here is the advice from another newbie.

    1. Sign up to a race, the season is running out so you need to get your skates on. You can find a load just by asking here and on other forums. Go for a super sprint or sprint distance to start with.

    2. Swimming. Get your technique sorted and don't worry about fitness. There are some good technique videos with some simple practice drills that you can watch on Youtube. Just type swimming technique into the search box.

    3. Get confident with your swimming but don't obsess about it. You'll spend less time in the water than on the bike or on your feet.

    4. Cycling. Don't go mad getting a top of the range bike. There are some threads on tri forums which will give you some good advice on buying a cheap bike. Even when you get good and buy a carbon speed monster the old bog standard bike will be useful for training on.

    5. Get used to a fast cadence (the spin speed of the peddles) it help no end when you go from the bike to the swim. Make sure you have toe clips or clipless peddles and practice pulling up on the peddles and pushing forward with your toes as well as pushing down. This will help you get a smooth peddling rhythm.

    6. A cycle computer is a big help but not essential.

    7. Running. Is the best cardio vascular exercise, it gets the heart rate up higher and quicker than the other two disciplines.

    8. Start slow and try to build up the time that you are out on your feet. It helps to overcome the psychological barriers of running long.

    9. Make sure you have the right running shoes. Go to a proper running shop and spend at least half an hour trying on shoes and running on the tread mill. Don't worry about how much they cost get the right ones for your feet. This is the only part where I would say hang the expense. Bad shoes can do real damage to your feet, ankles and legs.

    10. Try to do pairs of exercises. Cycle to the pool and then cycle home again. Go out for a ride and then jump into your running shoes and go for a run.

    11. Enjoy it. There is a great buzz at triathlons and you will feel part of a great big community.

    Hope this helps.
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