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Thread: Beginner's Triathlon! Nutrition & Training Advice Appreciated.

  1. #11
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    That is a fab site Trigirl. Thank you - I think I may have found my new online obsession after having a quick look around there!

    I also found this on the Irish Tri website for beginners. Beginner’s Triathlon Training Plan | Irish Triathlon - Your base for all Triathlons, Duathlons and Adventure races in Ireland
    Just wondering if anyone has any opinions on it as a training schedule. I will also check out the plans on I reckon I am better off following a proper programme than just trying to muddle through myself.

    I really appreciate all the help and suggestions so far (even if you are rolling your eyes at my cluelessness!)

  2. #12
    Well I guess it depends on your goal. I would definitely find a program (or modify this one) with a bit more speedwork in all the disciplines in stead of just going at the same pace for different lengths of time on all your sessions. Also I would probably change the brick so that it is just bike and then run, since this is the most tricky situation. How long do you have to train for this? And just keep asking if theres anything!!!

  3. #13
    It's on in early June so I have roughly four months from now. I was thinking about the speed thing today when I did one of the C25K runs - that I will need to increase my speed over time as I get a bit better at running (but that is some way off still) So that suggestion about varying the speed struck a chord tonight! My goal? Honestly - it is to actually finish it & even better if I am not last :-) I have never done anything in my life like this - I was so unsporty in school - I was that girl sitting on the sidelines in PE Class, muttering about hating sport & rolling my eyes. Part of the reason for doing this is to just see if I can - a personal challenge, I guess. I had a viral illness last year which knocked me for six - and after a long recuperation I am really enjoying having enough energy to do some exercise.
    You could end up bombarded with questions over the next while!

  4. #14
    Well 16 weeks should be plenty of time, so don't overdo it to begin with. Enjoy being able to mix 3 different workout types and have some fun with it. When I help people out with a running program I would say spend 3-4 weeks getting into just being able to run the distance/time prescribed without any breaks. Then when your somewhat comfortable with that I would do one day of easy speed work every week, doing a mixture of intervals, fartleg and temporuns. Always spend 10 minutes or so warming up (running at your normal pace), and remember that speed work doesn't necessarily have to be "all out puking after your done" pace, it should be an increase in pace such that you are feeling uncomfortable, but am able to keep up the pace for the entire interval and the next one too. The same approach can be translated to the bike where you can do sprints or hill climbs to increase the intensity. Just use the gears (or resistance if your on an indoor spin bike). I actually find that even though the speed workout is togher than the base workouts, they are a lot more fun to do and the time flies by much faster.
    As for swim I would probably spend more time on drills to improve technique rather than speed, since technique is everything in that discipline. As mentioned earlier if your not a great swimmer, it's a good idea to spend some extra time in the pool improving your crawl technique (or breast stroke if thats your level).

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by TriGirl View Post
    As for swim I would probably spend more time on drills to improve technique rather than speed, since technique is everything in that discipline. As mentioned earlier if your not a great swimmer, it's a good idea to spend some extra time in the pool improving your crawl technique (or breast stroke if thats your level).
    Yes! Technique is extremely important! Little corrections in technique can go a long way. Especially if you get "bit by the bug," which is very easy, you'll be happy you didn't spend months ingraining bad habits.

  6. #16
    My dd is a great little swimmer & is in a swimming club, so although you might laugh, I was asking her for tips on Sunday in the pool. She was trying to teach me when to breathe & how and that my head was too high in the water. I think she quite enjoyed giving her mother advice! I was actually thinking that I might ask the coaches in her swim club for advice on how I'm swimming. I'm quite nervous about the idea of river-swimming so I will think technique first (avoiding drowning is my first goal!) and speed as a secondary consideration - thanks to Trigirl & archer for the suggestions.

    I am such a novice that I will have to go & google some of those running terms Trigirl. This is a whole new world to me :-) Until this week I thought a brick was something used by builders. Do you do coaching?

  7. #17
    No I just help out friends whenever they need it ;-) Talking to a local swim coach and maybe even getting a one on one lesson would be a VERY good idea, even though I'm sure your little personal swim coach is a big help as well...
    As far as some definitions and inspiration on the speed work, heres a small definition (definitely still google and ask around)
    Intervals in running can be done by distance or time. If you have a local track (400m entire distance around) close by two easy beginner drills would be something like: (If you do not have a track you can do them on the road after time, as shown in the brackets.)
    800m warmup, 3*400m at a fast pase (should be tough the last few meters) with 400m easy recovery jog between, 800m cooldown. (3*2min fast / 3min recovery)
    800m warmup, 6*200m at a fast pase (should be tough the last few meters) with 200m easy recovery jog between, 800m cooldown. (6*1min fast/2min recovery)

    The first few weeks I would probably do fartleg, since its less structured. I would say you could start this as soon as you can actually run the specified time without breaks. Fartleg is just like intervals, but instead of doing it for a specific time or distance, you structure it by feel. So after 5-10 min warmup, you do small bursts of speed, fx run fast until the next light, bench, that tree, run fast up that hill, run fast between every second street light etc. After each speedburst you keep going at an easy pace until your heart rate is somewhat steady again. This is actually a lot of fun even though you look like a crazy person.
    Tempo runs consist of dividing your scheduled run into a warmup and a cool down and then doing the middle part at a faster pace (race pace). The pace should be faster than you would normally run but not so difficult that you are not able to complete the entire time/distance. So this is just one long interval.
    On the bike you can do the exact same just make the pedaling tougher by making the gears higher (simulating a hill), or keep the same gear but make changes in your pedaling speed. I don't know if you belong to a gym, but if you do and they have spin classes, ask the staff if they can tell you which instructors do roadbiking themself. Their classes will often be a really great way of getting some winter biking in that actually resembles what you see on the road. And it is probably more fun than to go alone all the time.
    All of this speedwork is right in the spirit of primal living since it's just a structured way of doing sprints, so you can probably find a lot of inspiration in the forum and in Marks fitness book. Wow that was a lot hope some of it made sense!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I was the same as you when I first started...I could barely swim 25m without a rest (and that's how I did my first triathlon !) After that I decided that I would join the local swim club and trained once a week with the group and the coaches which helped enormously - after just a few months, I could easily swim a mile without stopping. Unfortunately I then broke (and killed) a bone in my wrist, so ended up switching to duathlons, but that's another story !

    I agree with TriGirl that speedwork will elevate your performance significantly, it can be done alone, but ime it is more beneficial to do speedwork with a partner, especially if you are close in ability.

  9. #19
    Trigirl & sjmusic2 - you've been very generous with your time & advice & I really appreciate it. A one-on-one swimming lesson to improve my technique is something I am going to look into. My gym does a spinning class but I haven't been brave enough yet to try it. I was up in the gym tonight & on of the girls was telling me that a poor novice spinner was in bits after 5 minutes in the class! That did nothing to instil confidence in me! There is also a running track locally - I must check out if anyone can use it or if it's only members of the athletic club. I am debating entering a 2 mile cross-country run that's on in Dublin on the 18th of Feb. As of today - there's no way I could run steadily for two miles but in another few weeks I might make a reasonable attempt at it. I think I may need to put my money where my mouth is - at least that would be a start.

    Sjmusic - did you complete a triathlon swim at 25m + rest? That gives me hope! What a shame about your wrist but it sounds like you've found a good alternative.

    Thanks again everyone - I'm delighted with the advice that I've been given. Btw one of my colleagues who agreed to do this triathlon is making noises about chickening out. If he does I am even more determined to do it! Damn my competitive nature. Lol.

  10. #20
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    The thing about spinn classes is that you actually determine how difficult they are going to be since you are the one putting on the resistance. I would probably try and catch the instructor after her class and talk to her about it. Also if this class is so tough ask if they have a beginners class, since you'll definitely need some help the first time you spin in order to fit the bike correctly. If this is not an option I would just use a stationary bike, but definitely incorporate some of the above mentioned speed work from the beginning to make sure your pushing yourself. The 2 mile race sounds like a great plan, that would give you a deadline and a short term goal.

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