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Help please

Hi everyone,
After a bit of help ref training and plans. Bit about me, I am a 42 year old bloke who has just learnt to swim, the reason for this is I like a challenge and want to do a Olympic distance Triathlon this year, plus I can now get in the pool with the kids.

I have no idea about tng and was hoping someone could recommend a good tng plan or give me some tips.

Thanks for any help.

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    Hi Midnight, Congrats on learning to swim. It might help us to know where your skills lie. Would you consider yourself a runner, cyclist or swimmer predominantly?
    I'm sure ther are plenty of plans you can look up on the internet, but I always write my own plan which works a bit like this:
    What distances do I need to be able to do 12 weeks before my event?
    Then I gradually increase the distances I am doing every week up to the full distances.
    Then I have a period of 8 weeks which combines all 3, increasing again, while also having some smaller run, swim or bike sessions over the week. This is to aclimatise myself to the event and also give me confidence that I can do it.
    The remaining 4 weeks before is a tail down - shorter distances so that your body can recover from the training. Still combining all 3, and some off off sessions, but tailing down until the week before the event is just very short sessions.
    While you are in your core training, make sure you include some bricks: Swim and bike, bike and run. Practice your transitions on these bricks which also help you get used to adapting to the change from one discipline to the other.
    The best tip I had for training was this: Don't do anything new in the event. Everything you plan to do in the event, you should do in training. This includes drinks, food, no new socks, no new shoes, wear the same kit. Even though this was my mantra in training, I went without socks on my bike ride on a 1/2 IM (which I had never done in training). I regretted it when I found blisters at the end of the bike ride, then faced a 13 mile run with blisters at the start.
    I personally concentrated more on my swim in training as it was my weakest disclipine. This really paid dividends and gave me lots of confidence.
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    The other thing to say is start getting used to comsuming food and drink while cycling and running. Some peopl have a lot of trouble with this, but you will be a mess if your body can't cope with digesting food on the go. The gels are pretty good, but start in the training you do now to amek sure you can cope with them.
    The other thing I did was write myself a rewards program - If I complete all my training in 4 straight weeks I would reward myself with a new bit of cycling kit (don't use food as a reward). This really helped motivate me.
    That should get you started. Any questions on all that?
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    Just read your post again, and it suggests you are an absolute beginner at swimming. The pool can be quite daunting during on OD swim. Lots of people thrashing about right behind you and next to you. I suggest some of your training should include getting used to swimming in a very busy pool so that this doesn't phase you on the day of your event. The busier the better - just keep weaving in and out of people, and look at is as an experience rather than an annoyance.
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    Thanks for the advice Backtothecaves lots of helpful stuff in there.
    Little bit about me , I am quite fit physically, enjoy running and cycling (now), I would say my worst discipline will be the swimming as I have no technique, so I know that I will waste a lot of energy when on the swim phase.

    Hope to start tng next week and see how I do.

    Thanks again
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    gavinpgavinp Posts: 168
    Hi Midnight

    If you are aiming for an Olympic then it's going to be an open water event. I suggest getting some swimming lessons starting now. Either join a local tri club (who will become your new best friends with the amount of tips and info they can give you) or find someone to teach you to swim (i.e. look for someone who will teach you to improve your technique, not just give you a session to swim to).

    As soon as the open water season starts, get out there (with your newly joined tri club ) and get used to swimming in the open water. The last thing you want is to get dragged out of the water after 20minutes not able to complete the race.

    Having said that, have fun training and have even more fun racing!
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    Agree with gavinp on the open water swimming. It took me a while to acclimatise and not get phased by reeds, not being able to see under water and the general openness of the water. Don't let that put you off though. The good thing is your wetsuit gives you extra bouyancy, and really mostly it's just your mind playing tricks on you. As an alternative to Tri clubs there are also plenty of places which offer open water swim sessions. Watched over by lifeguards and with a plotted course, these are great if you prefer to dip in occasionally. I went to Bray lake a lot last summer which was brilliant, and by the end of the summer I was starting to feel really comfortable in open water. Can you swim crawl (freestyle) or will you be swimming breast stroke?
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    Thanks Gavnip and Backtothecaves, I had not really thought about the difference with Open water swimming and will look into trying to get a few sessions in, ref my swim I am more comfortable doing front crawl, but can sort of breast stroke as well.

    One last question which may be a bit silly, ref wet suits what should you look for ? How much should you spend to start ? Would you say practice swimming in the wet suit as I have not used one before ?

    Thanks for all your help and taking the time to reply.
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    Front crawl is much better in a group swim so you are best continuing to train front crawl. Breast stroke swimmers tend to take up a lot more room and will find they are catching others around them with their arms.
    For a wetsuit - it must be tried on before you buy. Go to a specialist Triathlon shop such as TFN. They will help you figure out the best one and size for you. Only buy an entry level wetsuit - unless you are aiming for elite times they are fine. You can sometimes get a deal whereby you try before you buy, or you rent a new suit, then pay the difference if you decide to buy it.
    The shops will give you a lot of advice which you simply can't get off the internet. Fit is crucial. Too tight and you will be uncomfortable, too loose and it won't keep you warm and will create drag. While you are at it, buy some lubricant - I think it's called Easyglide. You put it on all those bits of your body which can rub on the wetsuit and it prevents soreness (you can't use vaseline as it will react with the wetsuit). It's also useful to put arouns your ankles to help the wetsuit off. Another thing you will need to practice is getting your wetsuit off in transition. You can do this in the garden with the use of a hose or paddling pool.
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    gavinpgavinp Posts: 168
    Midnight wrote:
    Thanks Gavnip and Backtothecaves, I had not really thought about the difference with Open water swimming and will look into trying to get a few sessions in, ref my swim I am more comfortable doing front crawl, but can sort of breast stroke as well.

    One last question which may be a bit silly, ref wet suits what should you look for ? How much should you spend to start ? Would you say practice swimming in the wet suit as I have not used one before ?

    Thanks for all your help and taking the time to reply.
    Gavnip - I like it

    Yes do front crawl. I was kicked in the ribs once by a large man doing breastroke: A) It hurt like buggery and I actually thought i'd broken a rib. B) I was winded so badly I couldn't swim for a while and had trouble staying above water needless to say I manned up and got on with it

    Your first time so I would say hire one for the season (unless you are happy to buy one of course ). My local shop in Northampton does this:

    http://www.tri-running.co.uk/

    Or there are plenty of others around like TFN etc. whoever you choose, make it a shop close by so that you can try it on and get advice from them.

    And yes, practice, practice, practice in open water as much as you can - not half hour before your race
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    Thanks again for all the advice Gavnip and Backtothecaves, now to find a club.
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