I am a 54-year old woman, and I just finished my first sprint triathlon on Sunday. Although I was no speed demon and didn't break any records, it was AWESOME and I FINISHED!!! And it was with a BIG smile on my face and the question: "When is the next one?" I live in Central Florida and the heat was absolutely oppressive this weekend, with the temp into the 90s by the time I began my run (and close to 100 when I finished). Well, I was going to finish that triathlon NO MATTER WHAT, so I ran a minute or two, then walked for a minute, all the way through the 3 miles to the finish chute. And I was running when I went over that finish line with that ear-to-ear smile on my face. My 3 mile "run" took me about 42 minutes, which averages out to about a 14 minute mile, but I didn't care. It was all about finishing my FIRST TRIATHLON.
I have only been running for about a year and a half. I am not a strong runner to begin with, and I absolutely hate running in the heat, but I DO like running. I run outside as well as on a treadmill but I try to run outside more. Over the past year and a half, I have definitely improved but I'm still in the11.5-12 minute mile range on average. What can I do to improve my running endurance, so when I do future triathlons my running is stronger? I realize Sunday's heat was a big factor, but I just could not get a running pace going. I did not have shortness of breath or a sense of imminent collapse or anything like that and right after I finished, I actually felt great, but during the run I had no energy at all to get "in the groove."
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
What I found really helped me was ChiRunning. I highly recommend it. With a few simple techniques I was able to double my running endurance. More importantly I was able to eliminate some basic technique problems that exposed me to injury. Check it out for yourself.
Best of luck and way to go!
CONGRATS to us! I could copy and paste your first paragraph and put it here. I am a 50 year old female who also did my first Sprint Tri this past Sunday. I had mixed emotions when I finished as I was confused by my time (they had the Olympic start time posted, not mine so I thought it took me a lot longer). Once I saw my times I was elated. I finished each segment below my desired time and was thrilled that I made it. My goal was to finish and not have to walk. I too average a 11-1/2 minute mile so am slow but it took me a couple months to get to the point where I could run 30 minutes.
The hardest part for me was the swim. I've been in the pool 3x a week for several months, but the open water swim and not being able to see where I was going really threw me off. I couldn't get my stroke into any kind of rhythm so that 15 minutes in the water felt more like an hour.
Learned a lot! like i need to make my T1 faster. But I loved it! Just signed up for my next one at the end of August. By that time in Michigan, I'll have to deal with the heat you had.
Sorry I don't have any running advice. HOpefully you'll get that from a more knowledgable running post.
Just wanted to say CONGRATS on your first Tri!!
Congrats to YOU, also! It is an awesome feeling of accomplishment, isn't it? And it sure is addicting! My first one was in the fat tire category on my mountain bike, so it's hard for me to judge my time, but I averaged about 16 mph. My swim was a quarter mile in the ocean and I was surprised at myself because I LOVED it and actually did very well time-wise, considering it was my first ocean swim. I, too, had just been swimming in the pool 2x a week. I don't know what it was but once I got into the ocean water and began my freestyle, I developed a pace and rhythm and just did it without stopping. It actually felt exhilarating to me, and when I got out of the water I was again surprised because I wasn't tired. To get to the transition area we had to go up the beach approach and across the highway to where the bikes were, and I ran all the way from the moment I got out of the water and my feet hit the sand!
Anyway,good luck on your next triathlon! I'm so motivated to kick up my training and do another one, I can't wait!
PS - I also bought a new road bike yesterday, so I'm ready! I'd been looking to get one for a while, and decided to go for it yesterday (nice reward for my first finish!).
Wow, I'm impressed with your Ocean Swim AND your run up the hill. Your swim experience and transition were the opposite of mine. I'm not sure what I need to change in the open water. Somehow I found it very difficult to try to keep looking for the Bouys I was to swim around and couldn't get into my stroke at all. Hmmm. Need work there. And unlike you, I was exhausted and had a very slow T1 as I recovered.
Cool you got a new bike! I rode my mountain bike with road tires and averaged only 12.5 mi on the hilly course so i have to pick up the pace! My trainer says to get much faster tho I need to buy a new bike. Was your new road bike expensive? I don't want to invest a lot for a couple of years of Tris. But I'm hooked for now. Signed up for my next one yesterday; training continues and looking forward to the Aug 23 event.
I think my ocean swim was less confusing because it was a straight 1/4 mile swim (south to north) with no turn-around. We just had to walk a quarter mile down the beach to start. So I found it easier to stay focused because there was a large flag/ buoy at the halfway mark and then another at the finish, making it a straight shot from begin to end. For my bicycling leg: no hills to speak of in my part of Florida, so I could ride a lot faster than I would have been able to in the hills! Sounds to me like you did great.
My bike cost $849 - it's a 2010 Specialized Allez Sport, and I love it. So lightweight and fast after riding a mountain bike for the past 15 years, too! I looked around online (learned a lot about bicycles I didn't know before!), and this was the one I thought was best for my level and needs (and also my budget). It also helps to have a good local bike shop - I've been using the same one for the past 10 years. They helped me get a good fit (right frame size, saddle height, etc.) when I bought the bike, and they have great follow-up service (free lifetime tune-ups, help when I need it, etc.).
I'm doing another sprint this Saturday (gotta see what kind of time I can do on my new bike;\ ) and then I will kick up the training and do another one in October that my cousin's wife is going to train and do with me. Hopefully, it will be cooler then!
Good luck in your next one!
Congratulations, your story is spiring. And i see you are hooked in thisTRI thing.
I have an advice, in order to run faster you need to have fresher legs after the bike, so i will suggest more time on the saddle get stronger on your bike, so you will have better legs for the run. Then there is a thing called Brick workouts for bike/run with this your legs will get used to the transition and during the event you will feel yours legs right away. I read something else that i am keeping in my mind, "If you want to run faster then train faster", look for any kind of information about the correct running technique, it is very important because you need to keep the momentum going, breathing easly.
I wish you the best in your next event, keep us posted.
Thank you so much for your suggestions. I just bought a new bike so any excuse to ride more is welcome! All joking side, I will definitely add a bike-run brick workout to my training, as well as putting in more run time itself. Running is my weakest sport and I need to work at it more!
Congratulations on your first finish!!! Nice job finishing on the run and for your improvements in speed over the past year.
Jeff Galloway, active.com expert & Olympian, says you have to run faster to get faster. Check out this article, 5 ways to improve your 5K speed. http://www.active.com/running/Articles/5_Ways_to_Improve_Your_5K_Speed.htm
Also, I bet you'll be more confident & feel stronger next time knowing you've done this before, you've finished one event already. Each race is different & has its own challenges, but it'll still help knowing you've finished a tri already.
I hope you'll encourage someone to train with you this summer!
Sara Cox Landolt
Way to go on finishing! I did my first Tri last weekend too, in south Georgia, so I hear you on the HEAT.
Heat effects the performance of everything. Cut yourself some slack. As you train more, you will improve you ability to manage the heat. Not much you can do about the ambient temperature but be sensible about your training times, and keep hydrated. Running in FL in 95 degree heat takes a lot better conditioning than running in cooler climes. Keep it up, but be sensible. Good luck.
Thank you! I am already EXTREMELY addicted to my new sport.... I actually did another one this morning (encouraged to enter by another fairly new triathlete I have gotten to know) and was so thrilled with my finish - my swim time was 7 minutes faster than last week and with my new bike I knocked off 12.5 minutes from last week's time, AND I placed 3rd in my age group! My run was about the same as last week, not very impressive as far as my time went, but I guess I didn't do TOO shabby. I definitely need to work on my running; it is my weakest leg (no pun intended). But I was so encouraged again this week by the fantastic people I continue to meet -- I don't think I have EVER encountered such friendly, supportive athletes as I have in the triathlon community!
Now it's time for me to really kick it up and focus on my training, and maybe in a couple of months I'll be ready for another one. I DO have a training buddy for the Orlando Women's Triathlon in October, so we're going to start cycling and running together now and then (she lives about an hour away). I know I have to work the most on my running. I'm OK with my swimming and bicycling, but any advice anyone has on how to improve my running will be greatly accepted and appreciated. I've gotten some great suggestions from people in this Active "Newbies Community." Thanks, everyone, for everything! You all continue to make me smile and very happy to call myself a member of the triathlon community! Looking onward to the future!
Cool! CONGRATS on another one Already! You did great! I was really interested to know how much the new bike would help. So you had a good impact with the faster bike. Keep up the great work!. My trainer tells me I need a new bike before I'll get faster. I'm ready to get speedier but not ready to invest the big bucks for a bike. We'll see. Did you find your second one easier mentally since you'd been through one before and new what to expect.
I totally agree with how relaxed and fun the Triathletes are. I did my race with a friend who is a marathoner and she said it was a much more relaxed, fun atmoshpere than before a running race. I'm hooked too; after just one race.
I'm sure a new bike would really help you, too. Maybe you could look into buying a used one, if you don't want to pay for a new one. My local bike shop sells used road bikes, so maybe you could start there, if you have a good one close by. Also, your local Craigslist may have something; of course that's "hit or miss" as far as what is available, too. Riding mine yesterday it was so much less effort pedaling, more like gliding along rather than pumping up and down and pushing along, and the ability to get into the drop position really helped when I wanted to pour on some speed. I was still nervous before the race, but mentally I was relaxed because I could visualize it and knew what to expect. I also improved my transition times yesterday, which I think was because I knew more what to expect there and how to do it just a little bit better. I'm sure that will come with time, too.
I have done a lot of 5Ks over the past 2 years and although I have met some very nice and friendly people at the running events, I find that the triathletes are so much more interactive with each other and so supportive and encouraging to us newbies, too!
Thank you for your kind words! Keep me posted on your progress -- I'll do the same this TRI thing has me hooked!