I'm very new to the triathlon scene. I just ran a 10K this June and have up'd my training since then. I now work both the bike and running in. In January, I am going to get a membership to the local YMCA to add swimming (I am a decent swimmer already). I live in Alrington, VA now and work in Georgetown (Washington, DC). I was just wondering if anyone could help me out in any way possible. I notice that sometimes after a combined session (35 min. bike, 30 min. run), my lower back seems really sore. Am I doing something wrong? I guess any help at all would be great because I would like to progress in this sport a lot. Thanks in advance for any help.
One common issue for lower back pain is incorrect bike sizing. You're frame may be too large or too small for you. Depending on how long you ride the pain will be come more evident.
Do you hurt after you do 10k runs? If not then I'm guessing that its the bike that could be the problem. The best way to see if your bike is too large for you is to go to a Local Bike shop (there are a few in Georgetown, Big Wheel Bikes, revolution cycles etc...) and have them measure you. Just out of curiousity how tall are you and how large is your bike? Also how tall are you from the waist up? (Some people have long legs, short torso and vice versa) You can probably go online and just google 'bike fitting' and you'll find a bunch of quick ways to see if your bike is approx the right size.
If it is the run that is hurting your back then there could be a number of issues. Posture (do you slouch when you run?), shoes (do you pronate?), running style (do your feet go up and down like pistons as if you were marching?) etc...
Thank you so much. I have actually been using our gym's stationary bike. I never hurt when I ran. I think the stationary bike is a big problem. The weather is getting bad, so it would be hard to do much bike work now, but is there anything I can do for the stationary bike. I'm guessing not. I will check out a local bike place this week. That helps a lot. I have another question for this thread though. Where is a good place to train around the DC/Arlington area? I don't really know where a swimming pool is. I would like to be involved with a group actually. Any more help that you all can give would be greatly appreciated. If you ask me questions, that would be great too. I am a beginners beginner in the triathlon world.
Arlington/DC has a few good biking/running areas.
Run: The trails are really good for this (i.e. W&OD, Mt. Vernon, Custis etc...) You can probably pick up an Arlington trail map at the Visitor's centre at Pentagon Row. The Mall area is good for runs as well because it's a gravelly type surface so its a bit easier on the knees.
Bike: Trails are not so good becuase they can get crowded and it'll be hard to get any momentum. Hains point is a favourite as is Rock Creek Park (I've never cycled there but I'm told it's nice). If you aren't afraid of winter riding (its not as bad as people make it out to be) then the trails are not too bad as they become much less crowded.
Swim: There's an outdoor long course pool out at Hains point and there are a lot of people that train out of there. If not you can try going for your local gym (Certain Sport & Health's have pools.)
Groups: Potomac Pedelers touring club - bikepptc.org
DC Tri Club
Welcome, here are a few quick and dirty tips to get you started off on the right foot. Starting with the "Off Season", which you are now officially in. This is the toughest part of the cycle for most triathletes as it is generally a time to de-condition, gain a few pounds and recover from what is usaully a brutal season. Most importantly it is the time to relax you mind from the rigors of training as well as let your body recover. That said, here we go. Start a weight training regimen, if you want to progress in this sport you have to be strong as well as fast, so start building that core, that will help with your back pain. What will fix your back pain is setting up the stationary bike correclty, here a few major tweaks to make on the bike: 1.) adujst the saddle height high enough so that when your heel is down and you are in the 6 oclockl pedal position, your leg is slighty bent. 2.) adjust the fore/aft position of the saddle so that when you are in the 3 oclock pedal position your knee directly intersects(while looking straight down) the ball of you foot as well as the pedal axle. The part of the knee I am referring to is the bony prominence that sticks out slighty on each knee, you know the one. 3.) Start with a conservative height for the bars and try not to hunch over to much on the bike when you are riding for long periods of time. These are basics, there is much greater detail you will need to research as far as bio-mechanics and form goes. You mentioned brick workouts(bike to run sessions), stop them immediately, these DO NOT need to be performed in the off season, the off season is to build a good aerobic base/foundation as well as to work on form to set the stage for the new season in 08.
Conclusion: Start weight training, work on form, take is easy and keep your workouts purely aerobic till you begin training for next season. Remember too that nutrition and recovery are key components as well as training, good luck!
Once you have solved appropriate bike fit... if you still have back problems... it might be a weak core. I had back problems for years, but someone suggested core training 3 times a week and after a few months of that, I havent had a problem since (and that included a 3-4 hour ride once a week all of last season). If you want to try it, here is a good suggested core workout...