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a few newbie questions

I decided on the bike, after peoples advice am going for the giant SCR4, I found it for £305 which is a bargin !


swimming, i have always gone down the pool and banged out a mile twice a week, week in, week out. i used to do breast stroke and am now trying my hardest to switch to front crawl. i am finding it really hard and i don't actually go that much quicker. are there any techneuqes i can use to help the swicth easier ? ie fartlek tips, floats between the legs etc ?? i have a sprint in 5 weeks and need to be able to do 400meters. which i can just about do but will be whacked for the rest of the race. i am actually thinking of doing 2 lengths crawl 1 breat stroke in the race so i don;t kill myself but would preffer to do crawl. i think half my problem is pacing myself when doin crawl. i seem to go full out and then get out of breath after 200meters..... not good !


I eat really well, i only eat meat at weekends as a rule. i eat fish and pulses wid week (stems from my old veggie days, don;t ask !?!?!) i don't eat sweets and crap. i am however lossing weight to quickly ! i have dropped to under 12 1/2 stone from 13 after only 4 weeks of training. which is ok for now but i don;t want to lose too much more. 1/2 a stone more and then i will be at a happy weight. i am trying to find some diet tips on the net, or even a plan for athleathes but everything i find is just trying to sell me a tonic rather than a healthy diet. do any of you have any links or tips on diets ?

running, its going really well, i was doing 2.5miles about 4 weeks ago and was then shattered. i put some hills in the run and am now doing 4.5miles without any problmes. oh how good is an MP3 player..... do think they will let me use it in the race.... lol..

any help appreciated !


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    i dont think you're ever allowed an mp3 in a race for safety reasons but i reckon its fine to mix the front with breast stroke in a pool tri at any rate. Ive only done sprints but have seen plenty people doing that. And in fact lots of them only use breast stroke.

    im looking at bikes too. how have you found the giant? where did you get it?

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    TeaJayTeaJay Posts: 29
    the MP3 bit was a joke really. its the diet and swimming i need help with.

    getting the bike next week (payday)


    this is the cheapest i can find it for.....

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    toadtoad Posts: 104
    Hi tea Jay

    best advice with the swimming I can give is just relax in most tris the real racing is in the bike and run, most triathletes like to preserve their legs during the swim this can be done easily with front crawl however breast stroke is a bit more demanding on the legs so I like your race plan of doing 2 lenghts crawl then 1 breast stroke.

    I find doing interval training in the pool is quite a good way of increasing endurance, try things like swimming 3 sets of a fast 50 mtrs ,set yourself a time you want to do each 50mtrs in and only have short breaks say 10-20 secs between each rep then a longer recovery break, then once recovered do the same thing at 75 mtrs, then a 100mtrs . Some forumites have described swim programmes where they do pyramid intervals eg 3* 25 mtrs / 3* 50 mtrs / 3*100/ 3*50/ 3* 25 .This has worked well for me and makes pool sessions less boring. Also throw in a bit of distance and some swims with the pull buoys between legs.

    Re Your diet

    I think your weight loss is normal if you have just taken up triathlon, most triathletes like to be as light as possible without compromising muscle mass. Your diet sounds fine and sounds like your weight loss will plateau soon, if it doesnt then I would probably see a dr or nutrionist to find out whats going on.

    I find using a food diary very good, I write down what I eat each day and then on my training sessions I rate how i felt, if I have a session which goes really well I have a look at the diet I had the day before and try and stick with those foods, likewise if it is a bad training day I try and avoid the foods or combinations of food I had the day before.

    Also important for me to consider the amount of sleep I have had as i always train poorly if I have had less than 6 hrs.

    Hope this is helpful.

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    Hi TeaJay

    This worked for me when changing from breaststroke to freestyle, try doing a pyramid to build stamina, I swim in a 50m pool so you may have to adjust the number of lengths










    Gives a total of 1250m

    Try to swim each set reasonably 'hard', have a 'rest' between each set, I started with 30secs or so, as the weeks go by reduce the 'rest' time, this should help to build stamina.

    You should also have a few lengths warm up and cool down (this is where I get my fix of breaststroke!)

    As you get stronger you can just increase the sides of the pyramid and reduce the 'rest' time. Every so often do a 'normal' swim and see how much you have improved.

    I also do a set





    This at least means it gets easier after the first one.

    I personally hate fins and floats etc, and as I said before this works for me but it may be of no use to anyone else!

    You should also try to get someone to look at your stroke to advise corrections but often when changes are made times may get slower initially as you may get even more tired by using a different technique.

    Good Luck


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    TeaJayTeaJay Posts: 29

    some top advice there thanks !

    I will copy down what you have said on the swimming and see how i get on. i always thought interval training was for stregnth and Fartlek (sp) was for endurance.... ether way i need to try something different. as for the legs, that's exactly why i want to get to a possition of just doing crawl, i presume even if i am only as quick doing crawl as with the breast stroke then over all i gain because i will not use my legs when doing crawl. anyway, i will try some sprints as you suggest and see how i get on. push come to shove i will stick with the 2 / 1 method for the first race.

    As for the diet, the trouble i have is sleep. if i eat too much i don't sleep. Since pushing up my training i am now down to maybe 5 hours max. i will start a diary, i used to do this when i was really into squash so i know it works.

    thanks for the help !

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    ashthetashashthetash Posts: 164
    Try http://www.swimplan.com/

    I have just started using them and the first few sessions they gave me were very well matched to my ability (or lack thereof).

    When you first join they ask a series of questions regarding you targets, current ability, and time and facilities available. They also ask that you do a 5 minute time trial and supply the distance covered. They then supply a session. You cna get further session whenever you want and if you find them too easy/difficult you can get sa session with a different intensity. You can redo the time trial anytime to update the data.
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    TeaJayTeaJay Posts: 29
    cheers guys, plenty to put into action there !

    re- the diet, are there any suggested plans available on line to make sure i am getting the correct levels of everything ?

    or do i really need to be counting what i eat on a day by day basis... sounds like slimmers world to me (not that i have been)

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    transittransit Posts: 163
    Re swimming: I haven't looked at that link but my thoughts are pretty similar to the others, however, based on the info. you have provided - target of 400m swim, new to the stroke I would start all sessions with drills of 25/50m, really concentrate on technique - if you search this forum there will be plenty of examples. If you can get the technique better then even if you don't get quicker you will be less tired.

    After that I would do the intervals - virtually all my swims are intervals of some sort. Again, this maintains technique at higher intensities - depending on races intervals can be any distance from 25m-1000m+. For you I'd say do intervals of 50-100m with a total set of 400m (target) - 600m. If you feel good you could always have a longer rest then repeat. I think doing any longer intervals than this as a novice front crawler may see deteriation in your technique and intensity and not be beneficial. I don't like to disagree with others but do think that doing the pyramid with a 250m interval when 400m seems to be a challenge is a little too much too soon. The pyramid is a great set but needs working up to.
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    en51nmen51nm Posts: 41
    Hi TeaJay,

    I'm no expert, but here's my advice:

    Swimming - I was new to front crawl as well when I started training, but found that the best improvement I made intially was from learning to relax more when doing the stroke. This helped keep my breathing under control and I went from (just about) being able do 100m continuously to being able to bang out a 100m - 500m pyramid in only a couple of weeks (I was going to the pool 3 time a week). I found going for longer strokes working all you can out of each one stretching forward as much as possible helped as well over longer distances.

    Running - Have you had your running shoes fitted? You should be able to go down to your local sports store and they'll be able to analyse your stride and advise on a good pair which suit your particular style of running.

    Bike - Sounds like you got a good deal, Giant make great entry level bikes (IMO) and have some great contenders when you start looking for your next upgrade! [;)]
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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    If you can't sleep if you eat too much, are you eating late after training? A heavy meal later? Or training late? All of these may have a negative impact on sleep patterns.
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    TeaJayTeaJay Posts: 29
    i've always had sleep problmes. it just gets worse if i over eat.

    anyway, i won;t worry about the weight, as some said it should even itself out.

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