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640 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jun 11, 2009 1:17 PM by billprice005
uclakev8 Rookie 3 posts since
Jun 8, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 8, 2009 10:07 PM

newbie thinking about registering for first tri...need pointers


i am thinking about training for my first tri and needed some feedback as to what equipment to buy, how to train, how much i need to train. etc.  I'm thinking about training for a 1 mile swim, 26 mile bike and 10k run for my first tri but i'm kind of worried it may be a little too much too soon?  i am in pretty decent shape, i lift weights and work out about 3-5 days a week.  i've recently started swimming at the local gym and have improved drastically since i first started last year.  i am thinking about registering for the kaiser permanante la triathlon on october 4th but am not sure whether to register for the long distance or sprint distance.  i do not have a bike either and need some suggestions for a reliable 2nd hand bike (price range $400-$500) that i can purchase.  if anyone could throw out some ideas of how their first tri went and any pointers they could give, it'd be greatly appreciated.  is it too short to train for only 3 months for the longer tri i mentioned? 






  • IronMakeover Community Moderator 738 posts since
    Jul 7, 2008


    Hi there,

    You'll find plenty of tips & resources in this community.



    From June to early October is an ideal amount of time to train. You could train for a sprint event in late august/september, see how that goes & then bump up to the Olympic. You could finish either distance. I'd say it depends on your current level of fitness, you flexibility in training hours, your goals for the event (to finish, to go nonstop, etc) and if you can train properly without going too hard too fast & getting injured.



    The Triathlete's Training Bible has a fitness evaluation that's helpful. You take a test looking at your natural abilities & your mental skills and then do timed tests in the pool, bike & run. It helps you identify training areas & measure progress over the season.



    And women training for the Trek Triathlon series do a short eval measuring their skills/cardio endurance, to help identify training needs. Questions like:



    - I can swim in open water with ease & enjoyment.

    - I can do a u-turn on my bike without putting a foot down.

    - I can ride my bike comfortably and without stopping for 12.1 miles (distance in the Trek series.)



    Finishing a sprint triathlon is significant. It'll mean more to the person who gives the most in the training. A sprint can certainly challenge athletes of all abilities, it's not just a beginner event. Read about's expert Jessi Stensland recent race report from her last sprint here.



    And you'll find encouragement for triathletes on my site.

    Race-day checklists, Your First Triathlon, Things I Wish I Knew & more.



    Best to you & your training,




    Sara Cox Landolt

  • Joe_h1 Community Moderator 1,833 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007


    here are some generic training plans for an olympic distance tri one 10 week and one 18 week take a look at them and see if you think they are doable with your family/work schedule




  also has some plans too but I think if you want to do it you have plenty of time to get prepared don't focus on time goals the first time out. focus more on finishing with a smile.



    as for a bike my .02 if you don't know anything about bikes then go to a good local bike shop they will help you find one that fits you and your budget. you can find deals at ebay and craigslist but if it's completely the wrong size for you it isn't a deal.  and Mountain bike and hybrids are fine for your first race though a road bike maybe a little faster






    good luck and ahve fun



    goals for 2011:

    break 19minutes for 5k

    break 2:42 for olympic triathlon probably Anthracite olympic

    break 3:16 for marathon ( a long shot but it's fun putting yourself out there)

  • kcaballeros Rookie 1 posts since
    Jun 9, 2009

    Great Feedback....   I plan to enroll a triathlon thats, roughly, 2 weeks away...   Here are the specifics:  1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike ride, and 3 mile....  Great for a amature (so I think)...   If this were your  first race, and given the time frame, would you enroll?

  • Joe_h1 Community Moderator 1,833 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007


    I signed up for my first race w/ 4 weeks to go beforehand. barely back into running shape, no bike, no swimming in previous 7 years.  it wasn't pretty but I survived and came back for more the next year. 2 weeks is not enough time to do anything worthwhile training wise so you have to be able to cover those distances? if you can't then you should wait and find another race



    goals for 2011:

    break 19minutes for 5k

    break 2:42 for olympic triathlon probably Anthracite olympic

    break 3:16 for marathon ( a long shot but it's fun putting yourself out there)

  • Barry11 Legend 332 posts since
    Dec 5, 2007


    Welcome to the sport.  The above posts give some good plans.



    You can also do a search and  find many other posts on the topic of what to buy, what to expect, etc.



    When you say your are working out 3-5 days a week.  Is that running, biking, etc?  Assuming its aerobic, I would think you could easily build to this race between now and October.  A key part of the training is rest.  make sure you take a day or 2 off each week.  A general rule is don't increase your mileage by more than 10% per week



    The race your are considering is approximately an olympic and to be elite, you need to finish in 2:15, and the average person is 2:30 to 3:30.  The real question is "Do you want to race for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours". If so, go for it, if not a sprint will be a little more than 1/2 of that time.



    As for the bike, not sure, but $4-500 may not be enough. Try your local bike shop for a used bike.



    Equipment to buy:  1) Good running shoes, 2) Bike Helmet 3) goggles. 4) THE SKY IS THE LIMIT........



    Good luck



  • billprice005 Pro 75 posts since
    Dec 8, 2007

    As far as a bike, I found a 2 year old $1000 Trek on Craigs list for $200.  There are always triathletes upgrading their equipment or dropping out.

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