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Newbie, background and inevitable questions

Hi Everyone

I finally decided to get my rear into gear and give a triathlon a bash next year. Its smoething I've always been fascinated by and having done a couple of Great North Runs, I fancied giving something different a go....

....then I went a step further and decided that by the time I'm 30 (I'm 27 in February) I want to have completed an Ironman :D

So, that being the case, a couple of questions I have:

I dont own a bike at present. With winter coming, would it be better to get a mountain bike for the bad weather and then have a look at a proper bike in the early part of next year to get me into biking routines and start training asap?

Would it be a good idea to practice my swimming technique in a pool prior to getting into open water (Theers a pool at the local gym but I'd need to severly work on my crawl lol)

Are treadmills and exercise bikes advantageous or detrimental to real life technique as I am sceptical that they may do more harm than good when I get out into the real world?

I think thats about it for now but I'm sure I'll come up with some more a bit later.

Oh and Hi btw!


  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Hi Peter, welcome to the forum.

    Firstly I'd say 3 years should be enough to smartly build up to IM-distance.

    -Bike: if you can and want to afford both bikes,then get a MTB and a road/tri bike next year. But make sure you buy decent stuff( I didn't say expensive, though expensive is good [:D]).

    -swim:this is mostly about technique, so sort that out first. Straightening wrong technique is harder then practising to gain swimming fitness; that comes along with the drill training.

    Might I add: a club can do lots of good things for you. I trained solo for2 years,which was really great. Now I'm in a club for 2 years, and thats even better. You get extra swim lane opening hours(for free), group rides/runs, coaching, swim drills,...... and maybe some nice people to tri with if you want.
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Further to benny's comments.... if you can't afford both bikes, then buy a road bike now: firstly, last year's models are available at excellent prices at the moment; secondly, and this may horrify some of the turbo-trainer addicts around here.... road bikes can be used outside in the winter. [8D]....

    ...although I'll admit it can be pretty damned miserable.

    Anyway, there's another option for you: get a road bike and a turbo trainer.

    Next, if your front crawl is poor at the moment it is most likely that you are doing it wrong. Don't bother racking up the distance until you have had at least some guidance on what is wrong with your stroke. You will be hurting yourself, getting demoralised and reinforcing bad technique. Don't bother giving yourself the extra difficulties of open-water until you can do the stroke.

    Exercise bikes are OK, but you won't learn proper pedalling technique (i.e. you don't use cleats on a X-bike.) A turbo would be better.

    Dunno about treadmills as a long term solution. You're probably more experienced than me if you've done a few half-marathons. Long distances will always be best done on a real run, but the treadmill/exercise bike combination can really come into it's own for brick sessions.

    Did anybody mention brick sessions? No? Oh dear..... enjoy.

  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    A thought on treadmills...

    Aside from the tedium, I think they're ok, though they won't give you a indication of what your real speed outdoors might be. The only real hard and fast rule is to make sure you always run on an incline, as there's no air resistance in a gym and the carpet is moving beneath you so, although you are exercising, you are mainly just propelling yourself up in the air and landing again - if you put it on an incline, you have to drive yourself forward as well. I never run below 2% except when I'm running a programme on the machine.

    They're also cushioned, so you are probably doing your joints less damage than running on concrete. That said, it's good to get out and run on different surfaces too.

    Umm, can't think of anything else.

    Oh, if you're injured, aquajogging is great. You'll look like a tit, but it's good exercise and practically zero impact.
  • sfullersfuller Posts: 628
    aquajogging? I can work out what it is but how do you do this in your local pool?
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    When no one else is looking..
  • sfullersfuller Posts: 628
    haha yeh but... how do you do it from shallow to deep.....??
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Is that what those old buggers keep doing width ways in the pool when I'm trying to do lengths! argh! hehe.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    sfuller wrote:

    aquajogging? I can work out what it is but how do you do this in your local pool?

    They have specialfloating devices forthat (nonotwetsuits).
  • For the winter cycling lots of good quality winter/windproof clothing is a must!

    No such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Keep a training diary - record distance, heart rate, average speed, weight weather conditions. Apart from being a coaching aid it also acts as a great motivator and source of inspiration if and when you feel low.

    Also buy GOOD QUALITY kit ie the best you can afford. Regardless of what anyone tells you, this is costly but worth it as it makes you more comfortable, faster and also you have to justify it!

  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    I read a study indicating that trained runners on a calibrated treadmill were found to exactly match their effort and speed compared to running on the road when the treadmill was set to 1.8 degrees of incline.

    Wish I could find a link to it... but ever since I read that I've always set the treadmill to 2 degrees and pretty much ignored the absolute speed, just used it to compare my pace week by week. I never try to gues my road speed based on what the treadmill says.

    On the subject of aqua-jogging and other aspects of hydro-therapy, I'll be an expert on this shortly as my surgeon says this will be my main form of physio following my impending surgery, firstly in deep water wearing some kind of suit/appliance/whatever so I won't be putting any weight on my hip, then later in shallower water to increase the load... hopefully concluding with full weight bearing and blistering 30min 10km times (lol, I wish).

  • PeterPeter Posts: 6
    Cool, thanks for the info, very insightful!

    I think I'll go the MTB route first just to "get back in the saddle" as they say with a bike and different routes/roads while the weathers still a bit off

    Fortunately, my gym offer swimming lessons so I might engage one of their trainers for an hour or two to get me going. I thought that might seems a bit daft at first but I suppose you dont ask, you dont know!

    I've adjusted my treadmill running so now I'm on a 2deg incline everytime apart from the warm down walk and waiting to hear from a couple of local clubs about their meetings.

    I'll report back with progress once I kick off properly

    Cheers dudes!! [:D][:D]
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Everyone gets a 2% incline in my gym...wether they want it or not!

    I have a picture of Bop in an 'appliance' in the deep end...cue jaws theme. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...
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