Home Training for a Triathlon

0 to Olympic in 3 months

Hello,

So I was visiting my brother in Nice and saw adverts for the Ironman there and started wondering if I could run it to make money for charity. Then I realised it was in June and there was no way in hell that would happen. Then I discovered that they have a regular Olympic triathlon in October so I got to wondering again whether it was something I could do.

 

The reason I thought this would be a good idea is because I am entirely unsuited to triathlons because of my prior experience:

Cycling: This is my strongest part in that I have done it before. I used to cycle what google maps is telling me is 15 miles on a mountain bike when I was 15. I am now a month away from 30 and have not ridden in the interim.

Running: Last time I ran was house cross country at school. I had to run because we needed somebody to fill a space and I was a senior student in the house. I came so extremely last that everybody but the timekeeper had left by the time I finished. I think that was 2 miles at most.

Swimming: I went swimming with my family during that trip to Nice. We have a video of me attempting to swim with the aid of a pool noodle. My kicking makes me go backwards. I can just about breast stroke but it's slow and I end up drinking a lot of water.

So there we go, out of practice cyclist; terrible runner; can't swim.

The ideal progression here would be manage to do the Olympic without being disqualified in October and then maybe try the ironman the June after.

My current plan is to sign up for the gym (the closest thing i do to exercise is walking for an hour or two if I have time before or after work to skip the train. If I know I won't walk at all in a day I try skipping, of which I do 120 jumps in a row and only trip on the rope a couple of times), get on the treadmill, get on the cycling machine and get somebody to teach me to swim. Once I'm managing to do all those without dying, I'm looking at taking it outside. Before long I'll also pop to a doctor and get them to make sure I'm actually physically capable of any of this.

As for gear, I have a pair of swimming trunks, I will need goggles and a nose clip; I have invested £30 in decathlon in some underwear, t-shirts and shorts that might suffer my sweat better than my fully cotton wardrobe currently does; I need a bike and a helmet at some point.

For the running portion I'm hoping to go minimal. Being that I don't run at all, I figure I'm in the same boat learning to run barefoot as I would be learning to run shod (I'll be wearing VFFs because I already own them and am aware that both gyms and triathlons are wary of people being barefoot. Currently I walk around barefoot a lot so the feet themselves are happy to pound the ground all day without any cushion; I may regret saying that after 10K).

So the question is, how much of this is at all possible for somebody with a job? Any advice from people who know about these things would be much appreciated. Feel free to openly mock me if i'm being silly (either because my situation is so impossible or because it's so very common place and your granny can do it).

 

PS. Hello, I'm new here

 

Edit: Why did nobody tell me it was 4 months. I feel like such a fool now

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Comments

  • Andrew4Andrew4 Posts: 190

    It should be doable. You will need to be very structured (look at some of the plans in the training session) and disciplined.

    The two areas I would be concerned about, based on the above are:

    1. Getting your swimming nailed down and a workable technique. You will have to spend a lot of time focusing on this to be comfortable and safe come the open water swim.

    2. Running - if you aren't in shape pounding out the miles on the vibrams could thrash your ankles (I train and race regularly and even then there are limits to what I could do in vibrams and the training required to do a Olympic would be beyond that for me). Given your timeframe you can't afford an injury setting you back.

    I think you could complete but it'll be very hard work and you will have to be 100% committed and be militant about sticking to your plan.

  • gavinpgavinp Posts: 168

    Hi

    Just wondering where you live?  Have you thought about getting a coach to help you through?

    I wouldn't go barefoot / minimalist (which is actually what you mean).  It takes a long time to get to this point.  You'll end up doing damage to yourself.  Having said that, if you already have a base of barefoot walking then you may well be 'ok'.  At the end of the day it's up to you. Just go easy and build very slowly.

    A generic plan won't advise you or look at things like this for you which is why I mentioned a coach who will keep you injury free and get you fit in the right way.

    Good luck with your race

  • shadebugshadebug Posts: 23

    I did my first session at the gym (nothing impressive, 2k on the treadmill and 5 minutes on a watt bike) but, more importantly, I now have the number of a swim coach and a personal trainer will be getting in touch shortly, so we'll soon find out how much of a challenge this really is.

  • shadebugshadebug Posts: 23

    Also, thanks for the advice, I'll talk over the barefoot side of things with the personal trainer (and, if they seem clueless, find myself a trainer that knows minimalist running) and work out what I can realistically do. The treadmill was a big ol' strain on my calves but I imagine that's to be expected.

    One thing I've learnt already, my gear gets good and stinky after a workout and I barely even worked out.

    Also, my flatmate, upon learning what I was doing, has declared that we'll be running 5K on thursday and the guy signing me up for the gym demanded I join his spin class tomorrow, so apparently I'm going full swing with the cardio

  • Andrew4Andrew4 Posts: 190

    It is good news that you have access to a wattbike. They are fantastic training tools. I would try and work out an estimate of your MMP and your max heart rate and you can then use the wattbike to really build bike strength and power in a quantifiable way. The getting started section (http://wattbike.com/uk/guide) should be really helpful for you in working out what you should be doing and should help you build your base fitness and give you some session ideas.

  • shadebugshadebug Posts: 23

    Ooh, there I'd just been using it as a stationary bike. Looks like that guide wants me to be somewhat fit so I may leave it a couple of weeks before I get properly stuck in.

     

    For anybody wondering, yesterday I did a spin class and it was horrible. Halfway through I had mostly given up on doing the standing portions and was being very liberal about how closely I followed the instructor's instructions as to how high to turn up the dial. I did often consider just stopping but never did, so that's nice.

    Today I took my iPad in, set up on a bike on a medium resistance and just pedalled for an episode (call it 24 mins) then did the same on a treadmill and went for a 9km/h jog (with a 6km/h break halfway through) that got me over 3 km. Nothing amazing, but definitely better than the 2km and 5 mins on the bike that I did on Monday. I also discovered that having a water bottle is a wonderful thing, if only because being hydrated meant I didn't buy out the local supermarket afterward.

    My calves are not my friends anymore but, happily, my back is absolutely fine and I've not noticed my shins complaining (apart from when I walked into a fence stepping out of the gym on Tuesday but we'll pretend that never happened) which means I'm doing much better than my teenage self.

    My flatmate is under the impression that I should be in constant pain if I'm training right (as opposed to extremely tired all the time; I really need more sleep) but I figure I don't want to do myself an injury and need to focus on my cardio initially, but I may be very wrong. Anybody still reading and have any suggestions as to how much pain I should be in?

  • Andrew4Andrew4 Posts: 190

    Sore calves is to be expected, especially in Vibrams which almost necessitate a forefront strike and therefore in essence use the calf as a spring, so I wouldn't worry about this too much. They will get strong with time but doing some calf raises will help general ankle and calf strength.

    If you can do a 45 minute spin class you can at least do a wattbike MMP test (its 3 minutes of unparalleled pain) to get your "zones" and then the guides let you tailor your level of effort based on those scores, i.e. a pro's zones will be much higher than mine, but if we both do the same workout at the same percentage of max of FTP we should both be similarly knackered - so I wouldn't worry too much if talk of 80% FTP or whatever seems daunting, its all relative.

  • Pain can vary. I feel more pain running now with the effort that I can put in that when I first started.

    If you're sweating alot, dont just drink water - get some salts in there.

    My hubby tells me he cant believe I can walk properly the day after a hard training session or race - I put it down to replacing electrolytes & protein, eating within 20 mins and not sitting down or stopping immediately - keep walking and then do your stretches - ask your trainer to show you how to do them properly if you're not sure.

  • I think you're very brave (or mad) by the way! Took me a couple of yrs to build up to Olympic distance. x

  • shadebugshadebug Posts: 23

    OK, I'll wait until I can get through a spin class without hating life and consider doing the watt bike properly.

    I've been considering making a litre of weak squash and chucking a teaspoon of salt in there. Would that do the job or should I really be getting some of the pricey stuff?

    How much should I be doing resistance training because I'm just not at the moment for fear of knackering muscles that I could be using for cardio (a few years back I had a pop at going to the gym and in my free PT sessions we had one of my goals as "register anything at all on the lung capacity meter" so I think that cardio might be important)? I should be getting a PT soon so hopefully they'll be able to give me some useful advice.

    As for eating within 20mins, that should be easy tomorrow because I'm planning to do my first morning session and, since the gym is next door to work, that means straight to breakfast. As for today, I did what my flatmate assures me was at least 4k but I dunno if I'd call that a run. I'm definitely understanding why they say you either walk or you run in VFFs and never jog.

    Thanks for all the advice and encouragement guys.

  • shadebugshadebug Posts: 23

    TL;DR: Skip to the bottom for questions about learning to swim.

    Weekend I had off. Wanted to see what it would be like to not have aching legs.

    So yesterday was my first swimming lesson. Was meant to be a half hour lesson but thanks to some generous helpings of upfudgery by my gym it ended up being half an hour.

    I can now swim 5 metres of actual front crawl. Just need to do that another 300 times in open water and I'm home free.

    What I've learnt from this is I definitely need goggles (I ordered some blue seventy hydras because people seem to swear by them and they were the cheapest I could find which were well regarded and had some sort of UV protection) but I may not need a nose clip and a swim cap is down to how long my hair is in three months.

    On the nose clip front, I am really not a fan of breathing out through my nose. I'm not sure if it's just that I've always been taught in through the nose and out through the mouth but all of the slow breathing out through the nose I try goes very wrong.

    Now I have an understanding of what aching everywhere that isn't the legs is about.

    I tried the bike after and did 20 mins of switching between fast but easy and slow but high resistance followed by 15 minutes on the treadmill alternating between 9km/h and 12km/h. I didn't think that the swim had drained me all that much and I thought the rest days would mean I would be fitter than ever but apparently not because I was suddenly far less able to keep going. That said, it may just be because there was no 4G in that gym so I didn't have anything to distract me but the clock. Dunno if that's good or bad.

     

    So anyway, the learning to swim issue. Turns out that swimming lessons in central London are not cheap on a one on one basis. If the groups of lessons are anywhere near what one lesson cost then I flat out cannot afford it. So what options do I have? Now that I know what a front crawl should look like, can I get away with just practicing alone or do I definitely need more training? Is there a cheaper way for me to train? The trainer yesterday was fantastic and managed to do more in 30 mins than I've learnt in the past 30 years but how much more will she be able to teach me? (Not saying this in a condescending kind of way, actually looking for advice on how much more technique there is to learn and how much is just practice, practice, practice)

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  • Andrew4Andrew4 Posts: 190

    I can't help much on the swimming front. Alas I learnt when very young.

    Just as an FYI on the swimcap fron you will HAVE to wear a hat if the swim is open water (it will be a luminous colour making it nice and easy for the event safety crew to spot all the bobbing heads). You may want to consider whether you think you will need to get used to wearing one (I wear 2 when I race) and you can pick up a cheap one for a couple of ££s but, after a few triathlons you'll have more than you know what to do with!

  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 418

    As as swim teacher and coach working in the age range of 4 to 84 I sympathise with you and your experiences. Having observed many adult 'swimming lessons' I've always been saddened by the experience. When you teach kids its all about fundamental movement skills in the water; you know agility, balance, coordination, kinaesthetics, rotation, gliding, striking, catching etc. When kids have these skills swimming itself is a lot easier. Adult lessons often look at how someone swims then try to alter the movements so that they look like those of a top swimmer. No regard is given to the fact that those fundamental skills are missing but are essential. 

    Anyway back to your question. I suggest you look at one on the Total Immersion 2 day swim courses. Cost around £380. They start from scratch and build the movement skills that lead over the 2 days into sound swimming skills. I teach adult learners following a similar model over a weekend with lots of success. If you do their course I would then get a 1-2-1 with a swim coach to knock off the glide which too often appears. You could of course come to our course in North Yorks but the next one isn't for a while.

    Hope this helps

  • risris Posts: 1,002

    agree with andrew - get used to the swim cap. you'll need it in the race so it doesn't hurt to train with it. 

    you'd be amazed how much a coach can keep finding out about your swim technique. obviously, after 10 years my coach sounds more like a broken record than an insightful genius, but that may be more down to me than than them!

    you need to put their suggestions into practice (and plenty of it) and then make sure they see it to check that you are getting the technique right. bottom line is that you don't have a lot of time to work with - 3 months is going to fly right by. you might not need to see the coach every week, but you will need to see them often enough to make sure you are in the right direction. 

    perhaps don't see the coaching as money for triathlon, see it as a useful life skill gained! 

    as for the breathing - do whatever works for you! there are plenty of nose-clip wearing swimmers out there, so you won't be alone if you swim with one. 

  • Gary KingGary King Posts: 1

    I've just completed my first supersprint triathlon (400m/21km/5km) on the back of 8 months solid training. Last August I could swim breast stroke (slowly) and could not crawl at all, hadn't cycled since a teenager (am now 42) and couldn't manage to run for any more than a minute. I started walk-run-walk and gradually built until March when I completed my first Half marathon in 1:58:26 ???, I borrowed  road bike from a good friend and again slowly built up to rides of 65km (which are great fun on a sunday morning!) And my biggest achievement is that I now go open water swimming weekly, for fun! I love my wetsuit!-it has made such a difference. I started in the pool, determined to complete a length of 25m by front crawling and after swallowing lots of water, stopping and resting lots and continuing to visit the pool once a week throughout the winter, I can now swim 600m in open water - without drowning! I'll never break any records, but my god am I having fun! Aiming for Olympic distance next year. All the time holding down a full time job, staying married and raising two  kids, which proves that anything is possible ????????????

    I hope, if nothing else, this tale inspires you to achieve your goal! Get fit and Enjoy!

     

     

  • So

    I have been you. starting from scratch. I first couldnt have afforded the lessons. Then my shifts couldnt allow me to attend anyway. Then couldnt find anywhere to open water swim that would allow me to in my available time. 'health and safety quoted a lot'. I couldn't even find a wetsuit to fit my giant frame.

    So the answer is to write down all the things you cant do. Then laugh at them and look at it from a different angle. The only barriers are in the mind. Out of the three i knew swimming was my weakest as i was doing breast stroke. I spoke to other ironmen finishers who told me its about honest hours in and choosing to train your weak area the most. It is easy to go biking as you enjoy it more. I lived in the pool every morning so much that staff started pointing out my mistakes. Like head as far down in the water as possible will raise the rest of your body. I joined support groups on facebook that posted video of ex olympians swimming (it was beautiful). I studied this video every second i was not swimming. I found a beach in crosby and marked out the course distance and timed myself regularly. Sea swimming is the hardest if you can conquer that then a lake swim is much easier. If you have a support network you will be amused with how your problems become small as you see others with similar experiences.

    I also bought myself several books 'a life without limits' Chrissie Wellington, 'Cant swim, cant bike, cant run' Andy Holgate and 'The chimp paradox' Dr Stephens.

    I personally stayed out of gyms apart from my home gym. I prefered to bike everywhere then swim or run. If you bike the distances needed you can train in some awesome places.

    Finally if you train with others you will often lose the need to think about issues like breathing. You tend to forget niggles or issues when you are running with someone else.

    So honest hours in, concentrate on weak areas and finding time is doable as i have often been running and Woke up the squirrels. Good luck on your journey

  • shadebugshadebug Posts: 23

    Seems like I definitely need to ramp up my swimming then. I tried in the morning yesterday and I was definitely not good and still had some moments whe I was doing what I thought was the technique and  just staing completely still. it's amazing how much of a difference goggles have made as I can now have my head in and out of the water, see what direction I'm swimming and see if I'm actually moving.

    I've just realised that everything I'm about to write sounds like a lot of excuses. I promise I am getting on with it.

    So the issue I have with swimming is that I'm currently slowing down then slow lane. I can't do a full length (and somehow swimming the other way feels much harder) so I spend a lot of time letting the beginner breast strokers and little old men get by me (which gives me time to breathe because I'm knackered). I also had a moment when I decided to just bob my head in and out of then water to practice consistent breathing but I was very aware that people kept having to get round me to touch the end of the lane and I know I find that very satisfying when I actually do it so I dislike depriving them of doing it. I'm thinking tha I should find the money where I can for a few more personal lessons and then try beginner groups and see if I can get anywhere with that. That said, any advice on the etiquette side of things? Staff suggested that it was pretty much dead on weekends so maybe I need to give those up as well as my morning and afternoons.

    As for the cycling and running being the easiest. Running definitely isn't for me but I'll try another 5k this evening ad see if I've improved. I noticed a massive improvement in my spin class on Tuesday so maybe that's all round.

    The problem with cycling is that I live in central London and I refuse to cycle in the city. It's not a fear thing as much as a courtesy thing, London is not built for cycling in then slighest and that leads to cyclists with no regard for the Highway Code or fellow road users and motorists who will tar them all with the same brush. The best I can think of is finding a park and cycling round it. My local park is about 4k around so presumably I can just do10 laps. Of course, I needs a bike first.

    Tha said, I definitely plan on running everywhere as soon as I feel like it's something I can do without ruining my day (The good thing about being in London is that everything's within running distance).

    As ever, thanks for all the supports and advice, guys. It's great to see people in similar boats and nice to see nobody flat out rejecting the idea as yet.

  • rob chalmersrob chalmers Posts: 113

    WOW! first of all, fair play to you!! I did my first sprint tri a couple of weeks ago (cheshire tri)  all I can say is prepare to be addicited.

     

    It took me 6months training a couple of hours a week (my 2 daughters train all the time and there chuff all opportunity for me to train!) I went from barely being able to swim 25m to knocking out the 500m in just over 11mins with only 1 actual coaching session.  My Bike section was probably my strongest eliment as I've rode long distances before, mainly because I couldn't run, old karting crash,car crash, football etc etc injuries mean I have one rebuilt knee, one shot knee and two mullered ankles.  Hence my running still is beyond poor in general terms.  

    I kept a blog of my training, budgettri.wordpress.com it's a little boring and heavy going in places but it may cover some of the areas you'll be doing - granted not anywhere near the distance or timeframe you're attempting! 

    The simplist bits of advice I can give you are:

    1 enjoy the journey

    2. don't be affraid to ask questions. If it's on here, a coach or a random fellow competitor, you might gain insight, you might gain a friend, you might figure out who to avoid

     

  • One thing you will definately experiance along the way is BIG gains. Certain elements of how you swim will improve and shave so much time off your swim that you will be beaming. I worked on leveling my body to reduce drag with the legs. Massive time saver. Outdoor swimming for a couple of weeks had me breaking pbs when back in the pool. If it is your first triathlon may be worth staying to the back in clear water as it can be a bit of a fight sometimes. 4 people tried to swim over me at Ironman....they had to get off as i was too long.

    You seem really motivated and that is the biggest part. Let me know when you are choosing your bike. I'll see if i can help. Work out your budget first. There is always a decent bike in every range.

     

    Good luck

  • shadebugshadebug Posts: 23

    The bike budget is what had me worried. I really don't want to top £500 and would much rather go cheaper but I don't know that that's an option. I've heard I can rent bikes wherever I go but I'd still need something to train on because a standing bike is not the same as riding a moving vehicle up a mountain and back.

    Either way, the important thing now is to find money I don't have to pay for enough lessons that I can actually get to the end of the pool.

    That and a swim cap. Just need to find an appropriately ridiculous one.

  • rob chalmersrob chalmers Posts: 113

    I'm currently using a Triban 500se (£330) with a set of tribars (£25ish)  and I seem to be romping past people of TT bikes!

    Decthalon did a full fit with me on a turbo, changed the Stem for free and all new bikes get a free 3month service.  

  • ok

     

    Heres a thought. I know two people who have used this bike

    http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/road-bikes/carrera-zelos-road-bike-2015

    Its a hard reliable and quality considering the cost. Its robust as when i biked Jon O Groats to Lands end on my nice expensive trek another man started on the above bike. It is the ultimate test of gears (Scottish mountains) and reliability (over 1000mile) You can always upgrade pedals and get bike shoes. so you can upgrade it. I think this would work as will free up cash for lessons in your swim. I know a second person who uses this bike for 100 mile races. Its dependable.

     

    http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/road-bikes/boardman-road-sport-limited-edition-black is top end of your range. It will be lighter and therefore a smoother ride and Boardman are getting much more reliable. Its a nicer bike but it depends on what you want. A lot of people start with the cervelo as if you dont get hooked you havent committed to an expensive bike. Trust me its a slippery slope as My brother has just upgraded his cervelo after 3 years to a Dolan (Exceptional bike).

    It is also worth trawling through bike magazines in the classified as people sell good bikes at daft prices. Look out for Trek, Specialized and Kuoto. There are many other quality bikes but they from personal experiance are good.

    With regards to cycling in London. I agree it can be easy to get caught up in angry traffic. Justifiably angry as a lot of hired on the day bikes are pedalled through red lights and people wearing black. A good ride is to start very early as the suns coming up. Start at Big Ben on the riverside and ride out on the road next to the river (Has cyle lane) follow it out through past battersea power station. (sun rising over that cant be beaten) You can head out to box hill (Countryside and a small hill used in the olympics) Its a nice ride. Or if you dont like biking in london jump the train from waterloo to Surbiton. stunning biking with lots of scenery and coffee shops. Low on traffic

    What event are you entering as would be good to know what challenges the course has ie hills, location etc.

    You will never look back once you have started biking you will get hooked.

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/high5-zero-xtreme-electrolyte-drink-tablets/rp-prod55056

    Pop them in a water bottle. I find they are a good booster at the start of a ride. Taste nice as well.

     

     

  • shadebugshadebug Posts: 23

    Things have been going odd for the training, worst of all was my instructor didn't show up for my lesson on Monday but I got an hour of what I could do in and did another half hour yesterday morning. Hopefully I'll be able to get in another session today. Breathing is what's killing me, possibly literally.

    The tri I'm plannig to run is Nice in October so I'm guessing I'm looking at a warm salt water swim, hilly bike ride, reasonably flat run and presumably a healthy lobster tan and complete lack of hydration by the end.

  • rob chalmersrob chalmers Posts: 113

    Don't stress the breathing. I struggled to do 25 without stopping at each end clinging onto the wall, panting like a fool. 

    Are you breathing once everythree stroke or once every two? 

    I also found doing "breath drops" helps. Go to the deep end. tread water vertically. Take a lungful of air, then stop treading water, you should float or sink(slowly sink depending on body density) then let all the air in you lungs out  and you'll start to sink faster. when you get to the point when you feel you're actually trying to push out air that really isn't in your lungs - stop, see how long you can count before you need to get back up to the surface. Repeat this a few times, try breathing out through your nose, mouth and/or both and see which feels more natural. 

    This will teach you two things, Firstly your body will learn exactly how long you can go without breathing. Secondly, its a bouyancy thing, I found I felt I was sinking, I'd panic and take short breathes. Thing is the less air you have in your lungs the less bouyant your chest is. Relax, glide, rotate and take a decent breath in. It may feel slower, it may actually be slower between the walls at each end of the length BUT, you have to spend less time (if any) at each end recovering you oxygen debt from panic breathing and the occompanying increase in pace as you desperately try to get to the other wall.  

    Are you paying this trainer in advance - if so I'd want a refund for any missed sessions or at bare minimum 'store credit' for a subsequent session

     

     

  • shadebugshadebug Posts: 23

    I am well aware of the stopping for a breather at the end of the pool, also the stopping for a breather in the middle of the pool, sometimes stopping for a breather at appropriate other intervals.

    My gym's pool never gets deeper than 1.5m so the drops might be tricky but I've been trying to work on the breathing anyway. I've tried just breathing out, dropping in, popping out, stop breathing out so I can breath in, repeat and I've tried a similar thing while hooking my legs to the side of the pool and just trying it while flailing my arms but nothing seems to prepare me for actually breathing while swimming.

    I also tried doing very slow strokes so I'd go stroke, glide, stroke, glide, etc. but I still couldn't translate that into staying on one side long enough to get a breath in.

    I've compromised for the moment on popping my head out and then following the next stroke with my head out of water so I can breath in. I find that if I try to do it in the one stroke I end up breathing a whole bunch of water. Hopefully my instructor can do better but for the moment I'm now able to swim entire lengths of what looks somewhat like a front crawl.

    I think I must be starting to do it right because when I got out of the pool and went to walk to the shower my body mostly disagreed and decided that leaning against a wall was a far better plan.

    Speaking of my instructor, I was given a free session (or rather, one I'd already paid for) on Friday so I'll find out what happened then.

    As for the bikes, I always just assumed that Halfords must be a bad place to buy bikes. That said, I went into Evans the other day and explained I needed a bike for my first foray into biking and specifically for a triathlon and the girl there just walked round saying "this is good" without explaining why in any useful way.

  • rob chalmersrob chalmers Posts: 113

    Not a huge fan of Halfords...  bought two bikes on seperate occassions, both 'built and safety checked by our experts' One didn't have the brake cables tighten and my daughter made an undignified flight over the rockery at the bottom of the garden. The other had a loose stem and lacked the ability to turn, weirdly, my fiancee did n't find that this suited her riding style and now refuse to ride it (even though I've now been through everything on the bike)

  • Not necessarily saying anything about Halfords in general. More the bike. I know that particular bike is capable as a starter bike of Jon O'groats to Lands end and 100 milers. Its a very reliable road bike for the cost i think its one of the best in that range. Also spares money for funding your swimming

    I think the servicing is why top cylists learn to service their bikes. I've had Evans and Halfords service my trek. Evans days before a race which turned out to be full of gear issues and ended with a snapped spoke. I also bought my first bike at Evans and when telling them i need a bike for a triathlon they took me to a £5000 bike that was way to small. I'd of looked like a clown on a mini cycle.

  • shadebugshadebug Posts: 23

    So learn my way around whatever bike I get and never ride on a bike I don't know works. OK then.

     

    I really need to start looking into these bikes seriously but it's occurred to me that I should probably check with work if they have a cycle to work programme because that might mean I can get away with pushing my budget. What sort of features am I most going to notice? Keeping in mind that, by the looks of this photo, I'll have a hill or two to climb...

    http://www.triathlondenice.fr/image/galerie/1427380171_velo_open_triathlon_de_nice_25.jpg

    http://www.triathlondenice.fr/image/galerie/1427380171_velo_open_triathlon_de_nice_25.jpg

     

    I'll let you work out where the swim is.

     

    Today I went for a run without my flatmate and, because of that, didn't take the right exit and ended up running a kilometre more than I was hoping. Probably a good thing but I don't 'alf feel like a ninny. Run keeper kept bleating a pretty consistent pace in my ear but that pace was 10m 44s per mile which I think makes for a 4 and a half hour marathon so I should probably be looking to pick up the pace while I'm under 10k.

    In other news, I think starting off my training by always doing a bike then a run means I feel weird just doing one thing.

  • rob chalmersrob chalmers Posts: 113

    when it comes to bike, take things with a pinch of salt. 

    Most run the same size tyres (700c)  and roughly the same gearing, 50 or 52 front ring and max 12 or 11 tooth small cog at the back. Think is most of us never actually spend much time in the tallest gear, so a 'low geared' 50/12 bike like mine isn't the worst thing in the world. What is important a good spread of ratios, obvious a 9 or 10 speed gives you more options and more likely hood of keeping your leg rate where you want.  

    Weight seems to be a big thing for a lot of people.  MY £330 special weighs in at 9.5kg (advertised 10.6) with tribars and cage pedals. if you're going to do hills I'd recommend looking to get a lighter bike. But just remember performance is based on combination weight (you+bike). You can loose 500g-1kg just from a good poo. buying a bike thats that much lighter might add hundreds or thousands to the cost of the bike!!

    For me the biggest thing is Comfort. You're going to be spending a lot of time training on the bike and 1.5hrs+ during the race, you'll want to be as comfortable as possible to get off the bilke and stand a good chance of being as fresh as possible.  Whoever or wherever you buy the bike from make sure that they fit it to you and that you are comfortable with it.  You should be able to adjust a bike to you but some people just don't get on with certain manufacturers bikes (me+specialized's) ask to ride-before-you-buy. For me I'd happily carry 500g-1kg of heavier bike and be comfortable than buy some unobtainium wonder bike that gave me back pain, vibration white finger or a frozen shoulder.  

    Apart from that, wheels, because they make you look like you know what you're doing and a general rockstar.  

  • shadebugshadebug Posts: 23

    The comfort thing is actually something I've been meaning to ask about. A couple of times now I've gotten off the bike at the gym and found that my nether have fallen asleep. This is not an encouraging sensation and it worries me somewhat.

    For people keeping score, my swimming instructor cancelled on me today. The swimming instructor company have now booked me with a triathlon specialist instructor so hopefully that'll end up being a bonus for me.

    Instead I went for a swim by myself and I think I managed 250m over the course of an hour. It's amazing to think how much effort that takes compared to running that far. It's worse because I have trouble understanding how much exercise I'm doing when I swim. I'm constantly out of breath and afterwards everything hurts but while I'm in the water I just don't really feel it in the muscles. It's all very odd.

    Right, I guess I'm off to look for cool bike wheels...

    Ooh, almost forgot, tomorrow I'll be going for a BUPA fitness exam, courtesy of my mother (she wanted me to get the full Health MOT thing but doctors I don't pay have lead me to believe that tests you don't need are a bad idea so I'll stick with the much cheaper alternative). Presumably that means I'll have facts and figures about my fitness by this time tomorrow.

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