Background: I've done two sprint triathlons in the past year, and I'm probably in the best shape of my life. Long story short, exactly a year ago (to the day of the olympic triathlon 3/14/10), I was in the worst shape of my life, 327 pounds and on blood pressure meds at the ripe old age of 29. Now I'm down to 224 and off blood pressure meds. So sprint triathlons were done, great feeling, but now I want to try something more. So I've been training for the last 16 weeks for the olympic triathlon.
This time around I've been so focused on my swimming because its as with everyone else the hardest part to improve. I've improved vastly, but I'm pretty sure I'll still be the slowest of all the olympic triathletes. Just for good measure what's a ....decent time on 1600 meters? Not front of packers, because I'm in no way in shape to keep up at that pace, but an average time.
on the bike, is a bottle of water enough for 24 miles? Or should I carry a secondary bottle? I plan to have two bottles, one on the bike and one at the transition, as well as extra water bottles in my bag. I do not have a road bike, although when money permits I'd like to buy one, I do have a hybrid, and it's an almost flat city course.
I'm mentally prepared to be exhausted by the time I hit the run, although I should be fine as I've trained enough for it. But although I'm in the best shape of my life, I'm still a bit on the heavy side (even at 6'1") Probably will look like a bull in a china shop trying to finish the 6 mile run, so any suggestions to mentally prepare for that?
First of all, 100 pounds off is awesome. I think shaving more weight off will cause your cycling and running times drastically improve.
I noticed a very significant improvement over 18 months since I started cycling. I was 210, heading for god-knows-how-much, but woke up and now I'm 185 but with a whole lot more muscles @6ft.
Last year I put down 210hours of effective training (cycling mostly), but this year I'm going to up that number considerably - closer to 300. Efficiency is important too, as I don't have much time for training.
I have not yet participated in a triathlon, but did a criterium race last year. This year I've got my mind set on a few olympic distance events, which I'm quite certain is defined by 1500 meters swim, 40km cycling and 10km run.
One large (0,7l) bottle might be enough for the ride, but it all depends on the temperature. If it's hot - I'd bring two bottles.The genreral advice I've got is 0,5-1,0l per hour. I would recommend you use an energy drink and not (just) water.
Staying well hydrated is one challenge, but you'll need to refill your carbs and salts too. Energy drinks does that. If you can set an alarm on your cycling computer - set it to 10 minutes and try to take a couple of mouthfulls of the drinking bottle. If you have to stop to take a leak, you're drinking too much . Figuring out eating and drinking habits is an important part of the training.
This is just a theory of mine, but I find it much easier to drink while cycling than when running. If you use the cycling leg to top up your carb levels, you won't have to drink very much during the run leg.If you've got enough carbs in on the cycling leg, then you could finish off the event on water.
In regards to times, I don't know much about whats good or not, but I have looked around to see how I can place based on what I do now. The run will be my biggest challenge, but I hope to finish in less than an hour. I still swim breast stroke - and my goal is 35 minutes. Total time goal is 2h45m total and that should be within range. Around 2h30m I'd be in the middle of the pack - result wise.
congrats onyour excellent progress and for taking on a big challenge.
my .02 don't worry about times. train hard and have fun on your first oly. next one you can worry about breaking the course record the first one is about the finish line.
my .02 you should look at energy drink or water and gel for the bike. a longer event like an oly will probably require a little more calories than just water. check w/ the race director cause some races have a bottle exchange on the bike so all you will need is one bottle and they'll give you another during the ride. BUT check w/ the RD to be sure.
I'm a big fan of mantra's to keep me focused and going forward. soemthing that speaks to you and keep you inspired.
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)
Congratulations on your achievement, It sounds like you have made great progress! I have a similar situation as yours, and will be doing my first Olympic distance tri this weekend. I have lost 50 lbs with the help of triathlons, and I would agree with Macro that the more you keep working and shaving off a few lbs, the times will decrease.
I always prepare for more water than I need, so better to have too much than too little. Most triathlons also have a water station on the bike, so you can always fill up mid-bike. Also, don't forget about nutrition - energy gel packs and sport beans are a great way to replenish during the race.
As far as times are concerned, I always look at breaking down the paces.
Run - 9 min/mile will give you 55 min 10k. 8 min/mile will give you a 49 min 10k.
Bike - If it's hilly ride 14-15 mph average speed will give you 1:42 for the bike. A flat ride of 20 mph average speed will give you 1:12 for the bike.
Swim - For the average or below average swimmer, open water swims are about 10-13 min / 500m. The good swimmers can do 5-7 min / 500m.
Thanks for all the advice I really do appreciate it!:
I'm 20 pounds lighter than I was last Thanksgiving, which incidentally was when I did my second sprint triathlon on the same course as this olympic triathlon. Not at all worrying too much about the time, I just always like to set a bar that I must beat myself based on my practice times It's good to know all my hard work has paid off in the swim leg. It used to take me well over an hour to finish 1600 meters, I've got it down to 40-45 minutes.
Will definitely ask about that bottle exchange on the course and definitely taking into consideration gel packs, didn't need them on the sprints, but I'm sure I will on this olympic one. Hadn't even thought about gatorade on the bike ride, but it makes sense. On the two sprints I had gatorade in transition and just took water on the bike.
I'll let you know how it goes and good luck!
I agree with the others.. times aren't particularly important, but if goals are set carefully - they can help you push through that last mile.
In regards to energy drinks and gels - don't make it more complicated than you have to. For most of us, the 0,5-1,0l of energy drink per hour is enough for a normal race!
Gels are highly concentrated sources of carbohydrates, but my body doesn't seem to react very well to them.
For an olympic distance tri gels are not necessary. Besides.. they are icky, sticky and everyone throws the pack in the bushes when they are done.
If you feel you need more than an energy drink, put a couple of bananas in your back pocket. They are high carb and gives your stomach a little something to work with.
Make sure you start raceday with your carb stores topped off. Drink more often than you think you should during the race, and have fun. After all you volunteered for this pain
This article in Peak Performance discuss my thoughts in a more detailed manner, though they are good at making easily understandable conclusions.
http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0015.htm - scroll to bottom for the "bottom line"
I want to congratulate and send you a huge hug for all you have done and acomplished.
The time for the swimming part, I dont really think the time will matter keep focus in gliding and pulling... do this do a Time Trial and take the time in the pool... work from there, I am a descent swimmer in the pool and poor swimmer in open water
On the bike, as some said this before check with the director for the water stations on the rike route... some times they dont have anyone so dont worry water is the best but what have you been training with... if you have been drinking water only, well there you have your answer WATER it is only... have you been training your stomach with gels and other fluids? yes no? food on the bike? yes no? the rule is since your tri is this 14th... do what you know is good for you... please dont change it... dont... you will be on the course for about 4 or 5 hours it is ok your body has everythign to survive...
My personal experience when I am training or racing for more than 2 hours: 16oz water/hour (you drink this in zips every 10 or 15min), 100 cal in gel/30min and long rides above 3 hours I carry one bottle of any sports drink. For anything below 2 hours water only and fruit (apples and/or bananas).
There is a triathlon in Phoenix the same day, are you in Phx?
Have fun and good luck...
I hope this help...