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Newbie saying Hi.....Hi!!!!

Hi Jason, welcome the wonderful 'expensive/tiring/fun/addictive' world of triathlon!

4 months is more than enough time - that's what I did last year.

Swimming - My instructor told me to improve then swim 3 times a week - and I have noticed a massive improvement. (lots on the forums about swimming).

I would say on running and cycling try to build slowly, the worst thing is to get an injury because your tendons and joints take a little longer to adapt to the exercise than your muscles do.

But keep going and check in on the forum - it's a great motivator!

Good luck



  • Hello all,

    I am new to this thing they call Triathlon. I have just signed up with some friends to do the Henley on Thames Sprint Triathlonon the 21st June 2009. I have a small level of fitness, so am hoping that 4 months is enough time to prepare, although my main goal is just to complete it.

    At the moment I am able to do 10 lengths of a 25 mtr pool in about 25 mins....I know that is not quick but that was my first swim on a good few years...i'd actually forgot how tiring it was :)

    I am running 5 miles in 40 mins (i'm a big guy and my shins don't like it), however although I am doing well on the bike at the moment I havn't timed myself.

    I am really looking forward to it and hope to get some great advice form you hardened Tri-Athletes.
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Welcome indeed. Plenty of time to make sure you finish and do yourself proud.

    I'd also suggest 3 swims per week. Don't worry about how many lengths you can do in one go... just work on the total volume per session. If you're doing ten lengths now then maybe try to aim at 10 lots of 2 lengths with a timed rest. Keep working hard, but there's no point killing yourself.

    You've got plenty of time to find an improvers class, get a couple of 1-1 coaching sessions (or share a coach with a few friends) or go along to the swimming club a few times.

    If running is hurting you at this stage then be very careful. Maybe use a treadmill for a month while your muscles and tendons get used to it. A couple of people round these parts have suggested that newbies start off just swimming and cycling, which are both low impact and will get your body working better before you start trying to run too far. Makes sense to me.

    Your 'small level of fitness'... where does that come from, what's your sporting background etc? More information will help people give you better advice.

    Oh, and don't listen to me. Talk to an expert. [:D]
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Hay! Welcome to the fold!

    So the run thing is hurting your shins? if so are you stretching prior to the run? Shin splints use to get me after about a mile in and hurt for 2 more before they went, sometimes they would stay till the end. The only way to prevent them is to stretch them.

    As Bopo and graham said you need to start and build slowly!

    You really dont want to het injured now. Have you got the right trainers?

    Your 4 month traing limit before the race seems long enough to get a good base level. Its just onwards and upwards after that. ENJOY!!!!
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    The biggest threat to your chances of achieving your goal will be injury. It is so easy to get hurt if you are unfit, unused to it, and a bit on the heavy side too: it's all a load of sudden stress that your poor body has never had to cope with in the past! Watch out for any little niggles, and don't decide to run/cycle/swim through them. If you are unfit, then any kind of fitness training will help. Gym work, and non-impact cardio (cross training, rowing machine) will be very useful at these early stages. The gym work (an all over programming, but including good leg, core, back and stetches) is particularly important to avoid injuries. It might be worth focussing a bit on diet too - you can reward yourself after the first try! Best of luck - and you'll feel better/stronger/faster every day!

    [Another me too post to push the spam down]
  • Thanks for all your advice guys. My base fitness comes from Bodybuilding in the past and general gym work, I used to be a very good runner but that was in my less fat days. At 18st at the moment but not a huge fat one....well a bit fat :)

    I think the Swim and Bike idea is a good one, maybe leave the running to fields and softer ground although i can run, it's just waiting a couple of days to let my legs get better.

    I am fortunate to have a half decent road bike so racking up the miles on that should be okay.

    I also feel that the advice on some 1 to 1 coaching for the swim is a good idea, will defo look into that.

  • Hi Jason

    I too am new to all this, i starting training in January (although have been a regular in my gym for a few years). My one piece of novice advise is NOT TO DO TOO MUCH TOO SOON! You should start very softly, i got myself a training guide from amazon, i would suggest you get one - there's a few to choose from.

    Apart from that, its all good! I've never been this motivated for anything in my life.....hope you will find the same.
  • Hi Gary,

    Thanks for the advice. I too am getting very excited about the prospect of completing my 1st triathlon.
  • deeessdeeess Posts: 150
    3 swims a week??? now i know where i am going wrong. how do people fit 3 swims in along with running and cycling? there are not enough hours in the day
  • welcome welcome welcome,

    i agree with gary, slow at first, i found that for the first month or so, dont over do it leave your run swim bike like you could do a little more at the end, dont burn yourself out ( like bodybiulders do..)

    Then add 10% every week, you may find this hard to do with your background as a bodybuilder but you'll feel the benifits later and wont lose heart.

    Theres absolutley loads of advice on this forum, i know i've learned loads of here

    Good luck big man!!!
  • jason, i agree with all the above.

    1st - youre gonna love it

    2nd - dont overdo it, i set myself back couple of months last year by overtraiing. my achilles were wrecked!!

  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    Jason I am also really new to Tri - my first will also be the Henley Sprint - but have been running for a while now and I agree with what has been said don't try and do too much too soon, as you can injure yourself and or get burnt out a little. With regard to your shins, be careful youdon't want to get shin splints, there is plenty of advice etc on google or other places, it is really worth bearing it in mind. also get your gait analysed to ensure that you have the right trainers - that can really help.

    Good luck with the training, hope it all goes well for you!
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Deeess in order to fit in 3 swims you need to fracture your leg like me, all i can really do it swimming, I did 9 sessions last week! on monday and tues I did one in the early morning and one in the eve! But I am swimming so well now!
  • deeessdeeess Posts: 150
    ahhh - never thought of that option. will give it a try and report back
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    I would say get confident with the swim - this will get you off to a good start on the day. If running is hurting you get lots of stretching in and as the others advised start small but build up steadily, same goes for the bike. It is also a good idea to join a small cycling group as apart from everything else your cycle training will be more constructive and comfortable, and you get to know those beautiful roads around Henley.

    Good luck.

    oh One last thing spend all your money on kit - you'll go much faster!

  • Hi there,

    Although in a race swimming is by far my strongest discipline - I find that if I don't get at least 2, preferabley 3 swims in a week, my form drops dramatically. However if I dont run for a while, there's not such a big difference.

    Focus on the swimming if you feel that might be your weakest point. Despite being a very strong, confident and long-standing open-water swimmer - I can still get panic attacks at the start and it's only the long and frequent training sessions (as well as a few strategic little tips I employ) that prevent this.

  • I am going to go down the 3 swim route. 2 Cycle Sessions and 1 Run for now as I really need to work on my Swim Base.
  • Xyzee_ukXyzee_uk Posts: 100
    Another Newbie here. Started training in Jan.

    I am starting with the just swimming and cycling to start (due to knee ligament injury in September). The non impact discaplines have really worked for me.

    Currently doing 3 swim sessions per week, 3 cycles per week (plus to and from work) and 3 or 4 gym sessions a week (allows me to use the cross trainer as my physio won't let me run yet) at least 1 weights and the rest cardio.

    Gotta say absoluely hooked! But I keep being reminded to make sure I have at least one day off!

    I found a few training plans here http://www.trinewbies.com/ - Don't know if any of the guys who know what they are talking about (basically not me) have any feedback on the site!
  • jonnnijonnni Posts: 32

    Pretty new myself - 1st Tri Sept 2008

    4 months is loads of time

    I had a good (but slow) running base but zero cycle or swim competence -and I really mean zero!

    Had about 8 weeks training for a sprint - although did little running except bricks

    I agree about build up slowly esp. for running but my training plan was "do something every day". Maybe not text book but it kind of worked.

    Some days I would only do 10 lengths but it was a good habit and I always think worst case just going to pool, getting changed and getting in the water burnt more cals than sitting on my arse and then I would think as I am here now I might as well do something.

    Anyway like many here I am now hooked big style - doing Grendon sprint in May, Windsor, a couple of Dorney mid-weeks and the Warwick sprints (if I can persuade Mrs Jonnni)

    All pretty slowly mind you!
  • Thanks guys, some rally good constructiver stuff. Have now complete 3 swims and 10 miles on the bike and feel really good. The run I know I can do, so I am going to work on the swim first.
  • MowfMowf Posts: 272
    I think you have already done the right thing – starting early! There’s nothing worse than reading a training book for first time with 12 weeks to go, that tells what you should have been doing for past few months.

    As someone who has paid the price for being a weak cyclist - my one piece of advice is to get the miles in your legs (obviously gradually etc).
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