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Could I please have some advice from experienced triathletes?

FiFi Posts: 31
Wobbly legs while trying to run after a bike ride, hmmm, that's an unusual one......That IS triathlon![:D] I'd just say practise basically. You're just lucky you experienced it before the real event cos many don't see it coming then on the day can't believe it. You should frequently do biking followed by run - you can do some short repeats of this too, bike 10mins, run 5mins, bike 10mins, run 5 mins or times of your own choosing.

On the sleep side, I don't think energy supplements are what you need. It may be that your body just needs time to recover. Doing tri training can be demanding and rest and recovery is a good thing. I know it can be annoying feeling so tired or 'losing' time to sleep but it is just necessary. There are also certain times of the day when everyone feels tired, it's quite natural.

In terms of tri clothing, wet suits will give you additional buoyancy but not normally tri suits. If you can,get to a shop and try some on and just see which is most comfortable. I use a two piece my g/f an all in one and both of us are pretty happy.

Hope that helps a bit, sure others will tell you more (hopefully not too different!!![:-]). Good luck with the event!


  • FiFi Posts: 31
    Hi there,

    I'm wondering if you guys/girls could please offer me some advice. I'm going to do a short distance triathlon in August. It's 16 lengths in the pool, 20K bike ride and a 3 mile run. I'm looking forward to it and have bought a road bike. I've come across three things which I'm trying to find answers to - I've been surfing this website and I can't find the information I need so any comments or pointers in the right direction would be helpful.

    1. The first thing is I tried to do a spin class and then a run and 'oh, my goodness' my legs...wobbly, heavy, didn't want to move...I'm wondering how I'm going to do the triathlon. Is there any advice people can give me with regards to bike to run, or ideal training sessoins to get used to it?

    2. I've lost heaps of weight since I strated training 8 weeks ago from scratch. I keep falling asleep - a couple of times at work and I've been sleeping between 9 - 11.5 hours sleep a night - yesterday I slept 11.5 hours, 2 hours in the afternoon and 10 hours last night! Is there an ideal energy suppliment that I could use to help me.

    3. I was speaking to this guy in the pool who was trying out his all in one tri suit and he said he was surprised as it offered extra bouyancy. I was wondering if I'm better off purchasing an all in one suite rather than a seperate top and bottoms because of less drag and the bouyancy factor.

    If any one could shed any light on these points that would be great. I'm really nervous yet about this triathlon...a bit concerned I'm going to come last and hold everyone else up.

    Thank you,

    Fi [:)]

  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I agree with everything transit has said, I will just add a few points of my own!

    As transit says the only way to reduce the jelly legs is to do bricks, and lots of them! This is why doing the short bricks are ideal, because it gives you 3-4 transitions in one session. Another aspect to look at is what you do on the bike in the last part of this leg, i.e. i find if i spin faster for the last 1k at say 100rpm instead of the usual 90 my legs feel alot fresher on the run.

    However I read somewhere you should do the opposite and spin larger gears slower, i personally think this is wrong because when i've tried it ive ended up with heavy, dead legs!

    In regards to the sleep, i think its just a case of you body adapting to all this new strains your putting on it. Did you have a fairly sedentary lifestyle before starting all this training? As transit says you just need to let your body recover.

    Im not sure if this will work for you, but i find monitoring my heart rate essential to knowing when my body has recovered as is ready for another session. This is easy for me as my resting heart rate is very low normally at about 40, but following training it stays at approximately 60ish for a good few hours, then it starts to gradually make its way back to 40. How long it takes often depends on how much strain I have put on my body, after a really hard session it can take over 12 hours. Therefore when I get up in the morning I measure it, if it isnt back down to 40 then I dont train till lunchtime.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Good for you for taking the plunge,

    1.jelly legs, at the end of the bike in the last 1 mile start to lower the gears so your legs spin faster but with less resistance,it may help,and don't try to sprint once you have racked the bike accellerate slowly.

    2.I wish I could sleep that much.Look at your diet rather than just supplements.Are you dieting as well as training as the two do not really mix.

    3.The extra bouyancy probably comes from the body being supported by the all in one forcing it into a more dynamic position in the water,rather than the material keeping the body afloat.

    Hope this helps,best of luck.
  • SamutriSamutri Posts: 143
    I was going to echo jon.E's comments on diet - I had a real problem when I ramped my training up for IM, my body kept trying to make me sleep to recover! Not always a good thing especially when I would fall asleep in traffic jams on the way to work!

    The trick for me was my diet, I wasnt consuming enough calories. Heavy training and recovery can easily push your calorific requirement to 4,500 Kcal per day (sometimers even higher!) unless you're getting the right amount of good quality calories (i.e. not from pizza and mars bars) you'll struggle.

    A further small point for me was the use of B group vitamins. In the early days, I was eating loads but was still tired and losing weight. I realised (being a very sad scientist boffin type!) that the energy wasnt being released properly because I was low in B vits. Rather than take a supplement, I started having a handful of sunflower and pumpkin seeds with my porridge in the morning. Within 2 weeks the change was remarkable.

  • jon_gjon_g Posts: 318
    All the above advice is sound, one point to make though, transit said wearing a wetsuit will make you more buyount. as the tri you are training for is pool based, you wont be able to wear a wetsuit!

    good luck with the training![:)]
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Can't offer any more advice than the other guys have given you....

    a bit concerned I'm going to come last and hold everyone else up

    Don't worry, Fi.... Firstly, you're not going to come last. Secondly, even if you did, you wouldn't be holding anybody up as you will all start in waves, and you'll be in with people of similar ability. Third... who cares! So long as you achieve your goals you will be the winner [:D].

    Enjoy your training, enjoy your race, enjoy going for your personal targets and enjoy your applause when you cross the line.... You WILL cross the finish line.

    ...and welcome! [:D]
  • BARNYBARNY Posts: 157
    Yep bricks - for me spinning class then running is the most accurrate experience in terms of how you will feel for teh race (just dont hang around for the stretches).. do more,

    !Sleep - Firstly I wish I could sleep for 10 hour just for one week every night WOW!....I think i woud explode with energy... seriously though you say you have lost 'loads' of weight... you lose weight because you are burning more food than you eat, You need food for energy.. I think that all that sleep isn't healthy - you need to eat more, of the right foods.... nuts, protein, fish, veg, prunes personally my only rule is to avoid sat fats (everything else is iether good for you or will be burnt off).

    3) DOn't speak to strnge men in pools - Perhaps he had one of the orca swimskin thingys?
  • 1: bricks ,bricks and more bricks this seems to be a common answer

    2: i'd check i was eating enough good food and maybe take B vits or a good multi vit

    3: tri suits don't help you float . all in ones can make transition a bit quicker , but i'd try one before buying i can't wear them they cut me in half or are to baggy .

    don't worry about being last, you won't hold anybody up ,and there'll be more people to cheer you over the line ,we are a friendly bunch good luck
  • FiFi Posts: 31
    Wow lots of advice...brilliant! 'Bricks', I've never heard of them, sound like the way to go. I've purchased some elastic laces so that should help. Thanks Transit I'll try the bike 10, run 5 etc...but very slowly at first and will build up each session. With regards to diet, Sumutri I'll give the Vitamin B a try - I've always been active at sports and my diet is good. I think I'm struggling because it's suddenly 3 sports plus gym sessions + I've been doing a lot of digging at my allotment so I guess that takes it's toll as well (although I've noticed digging has helped me with my swimming!!!) I've lost 6cm from around my waist! I think I'll just go with the flow with the sleep. I've found a tri suit I would like to buy if it fits OK - it will go with my shades so at least I'll look really good. Talking of looking good, Barny, I just had to speak to that strange man in the pool he looked sooo good in his tri suit! Thank you all for your feedback and information. I'll monitor my diet and food intake over a week and do some number crunching! That's the problem with high intensity exercise, it's very hard to know how to fuel it. But training for a tri is sooo good, I'm really loving the diversity of this sport, it's great.


    Fi [:)]

  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    BRANFLAKES! Thats what you need mate, they have extra B vitamins in as well and will give you loadsa energy!

    also PORRIDGE! this is the staple of any triathletes diet, you will find that out in about 5 mins when the others read this! or if you check any other threads, about anything! they all lead back to porridge and shaving in the end!
  • SamutriSamutri Posts: 143
    I mentioned porridge before but it bears repeating!

    Excellent source of carbs and if you blend in some dried fruit or ground seeds its a powerhouse.

  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    I've read quickly through these replies, and there is good advice. However, in my experience spinning classes are nearly always high intensity classes. While they definately have their place they may be a bit heavy to do before a run if you're new to triathlon training. Brick sessions are the way to go but maybe do the bike section at a lower intensity.

  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Agreed that most spin sessions are high intensity but you can always dial it down for the last 5-10 mins, I would assume that you have spoken to the instructor so they know why you are leaping off your bike & running out of the door when everyone else is cooling down & stretching. I always give HR parameters & RPE ranges when I teach, you can always choose to go lower.
  • FiFi Posts: 31
    Thanks for the additional replies. I'll start introducing Porridge with fruit for breakfast and Bran Flakes for supper - hopefully that will help. Britspin, what does RPE mean? (Yes, my instructor does know what I'm up to but the rest of the class don't - they probably think I'm off to the 'ladies room'!) I've checked out the bike course and I'm lucky it's down hill towards the end so that will help...right?

  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Apologies..chucking around jargon. RPE is rate of perceived exertion, which can be used instead of a heart rate monitor. I usually use a 0-10 scale, 0 being nothing at all, sat still relaxed, 10 being maximum effort all out.

    Aerobic endurance is roughly 3.5-4 (65-70% MHR), Aerobic development 5-6 (75-80% MHR), lactate threshold 7-8 (85-90% MHR), 9-10 (92.5-95-100%) sprint efforts, high intensity short bursts. MHR= max heart rate.

    Hope this clears that up.
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