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Jasmine1972 Legend 927 posts since
Sep 24, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 24, 2010 8:17 AM

Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

If you are new to triathlons, or have started but still consider yourself slow with a long way to go to improve your times, then I hope that the discussion that develops on this thread will help you become a better triathlete.  I'm naturally slow, still overweight (>200#) and I've only done a few sprint triathlons this year.  I usually place in the far back end of my age group.  But the variety of sport and the challenges that triathlons provide are what I need to improve my fitness.

 

I waited until after the Ironman Championship in Kona to start this thread because it signifies the end for most of the 2010 season and the beginning of recovery and the winter training season, where you work on core programs and try to find the right mix of activities to keep you fit during the winter season.  It is also the time when you look ahead and make plans for the 2011 season, picking your sprint, olympic or 70.3 distance events to prepare for and build your training program around.

 

If you are a runner or a cyclist (new or experienced) and have thought about doing a triathlon - then NOW is the time to start building up some training in the other sports so that you are ready come springtime.  If you were a newbie triathlete in 2010, you know what skills you need to improve upon and can work on those weaknesses now.  Whatever you needs, I hope that you can benefit from the questions and experiences shared here.





Jo Ann C

Started Walking 7/15/09 Weight = 265#; C25K Grad 11/6/09

8/30/09 5K (62:42) 262# 10/2/10 5K (37:44) 206# 3/26/11 5K (36:42) PR 202#

6/19/10 10K (83:47) 208# 3/6/11 UAH 10K (79:18) 200#

6/27/10 IronGirl, Atlanta Tri S 1/3m/B 18m/R 3m (2:42:10) 207#; 5/15/11 - (2:34:08 200)#

9/25/10 Women's HM, Nashville (3:27:10) 209#, 11/13/10 Huntsville HM (3:17:27) 203#

2/13/11 Mercedes HM, B'ham (3:02:02) 203#; 3/19/11 Rocket 10mi (2:13:37) PR

4/30/11 RnR HM Nashville (3:10:12); 5/15/11 5/30/11 Cotton Row 10K (84:36) ;

6/11/11 Mt. Mania 15K (2:17:12); 7/16/11 Wet Dog Tri (98:56);

8/13/11 Mtn Lakes Tri; (2:13:32); 8/28 Rocketman Oly Tri; 9/10 Frantic Frog Tri (1:52:35)

9/24/11 Womens HM (2:54:28) 195# PR; 10/1 Toray 5K (35:35 PR);

10/15/11 Liz Hurley 5K (36:24); 10/22 Book-it 10K (74:51 PR) 197#;
11/12/11 Huntsville HM - Target 2:50

  • SlothNoMore Amateur 20 posts since
    Aug 27, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Oct 24, 2010 11:59 AM (in response to Jasmine1972)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Hi,

     

    I recently took up running (just finished my second 5K yesterday), and am considering a sprint tri next year.  I'm not concerned with the swimming at all, and the running should be ok - slow, but ok.  My biggest weakness is also cycling.  I bought a bike 2 weeks ago and went for my first ride in over 20 years.  It was short and slow.  Today I did about 4 miles, but the entire terrain around here is up and down.  I'm in middle TN.  My quads are screaming.  I have no idea how I would ever do 15-18 miles.  My gym does not offer spinning classes.  Any other suggestions to build up my bike endurance?

     

     

    Thanks for starting this tread.  I'm eager to learn some different ideas on how to train.





    Starting weight: 265; Current weight 245

    First 5K: Pumpkin Run 10/2/2010 - 44:37

    Banebow 5K Fun Run 10/23/2010 - 43:42

    DH Dash 5K/Fun Run 11/6/2010 - 42:19 (PR)

    Race to Beat the Blues 5K 3/26/2011 - 42:50

    Country Music Half Marathon 4/30/2011 - 3:49:36

  • Amigold Legend 187 posts since
    Nov 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Oct 25, 2010 11:13 AM (in response to SlothNoMore)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Slothnomore, congrats on your four mile ride!  Don't be ashamed or worried about being trashed and tired afterwards--my first adult bike ride on a "big girl" bike was all of four miles and I felt like I had just run a marathon afterwards.

     

    Now, your goal is to slowly increase your distance and exertion level on that bike (while still not neglecting your running or swimming, or family).  This means slowly increasing mileage every week on that thing, hills or not, and then every fourth week backing off a bit and going shorter to recover.  Increase no more than 1-2 miles each time so your next ride should be six miles long, then eight, then back to maybe five, then up to nine.

     

    Be sure you are adequately fit on the bike as well--have a good bike shop look you over and it's worth the $$ to ensure you are properly seated in the right position with pedals and seat and bars, because if you aren't, a four mile ride will seem like a forty mile ride.  Trust me on this one. I know from which I speak; having done it the wrong way.  Also be sure you know how to gear down and sit properly for a hill, because there are ways to ride up a hill that are easier than others (sitting up straighter, pedaling "in circles" with stiffer ankles, etc.).  Lots of good info out there in books or on the Web on how to climb hills when your last name isn't Armstrong.

     

    In addition, make sure you hydrate properly and eat a small snack 30-60 mins before your ride and another small one within 20 minutes of finishing. Recovery time is crucial, so don't ride two days in a row right now.  Let your quads quit screaming.

     

    If you can find some flat ground to work with, go for it, if not, just take the hills easy and slow and don't rush things.  In three months you will be biking 15-20 miles without a problem. I guarantee it.

     

    Terry

     

    www.fiftythreetoseventypointthree.blogspot.com

  • KurtinSC Pro 126 posts since
    Nov 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Oct 25, 2010 11:16 AM (in response to Jasmine1972)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    I've been in training for 2011 since my first (and only) triathlon in June.  Just couldn't find a way to squeeze a second in.

     

    I'm good at the swim, fairly slow in the bike and very slow in the run.

     

    I've kept up with thy cycling very well over the summer and fall.  It's starting to get colder and at some point I'll put the bike away, but I'm getting more and more confident on the bike.  I've done a few 20+ mile bike rides, ridden my bike to work and done a lot of lunchtime bike rides with co-workers.  I've found I really enjoy cycling... I'm even considering getting clip on pedals rather then the cages I've been riding with.

     

    I took a LONG break from swimming after the race... but I'm getting back into it again.  For me, completing the swim is never going to be a problem... a month of workouts gets me back into decent swimming shape.  I have a strong swimming background, and even when I'm not in good overall shape, a month of swimming can let me complete sprint-tri distances near the front of the pack.  Swimming is so much more about technique then fitness.

     

    My running... meh.  It's what I need to work the most on over the winter, and the training I enjoy the least.  I've lost about 15 pounds since the June race which has made running a bit easier, and I've run a couple of 5K's during lunch and felt a lot stronger then I did during the triathlon (where I ended up walking much of it).  I'm still an 11-12 minute mile runner without a lot of endurance though.  My plan is to sign up for a 5-mile thanksgiving day run, a 5K in early january, then an "indoor" triathlon at the local YMCA in late January (10 minute swim, 20 minute-spin bike, 15 minute treadmill run... lowest combined place in the three events based on distance completed wins).  That should provide the focus I need so that when spring hits I'll be ready to go.

  • SlothNoMore Amateur 20 posts since
    Aug 27, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Oct 25, 2010 6:12 PM (in response to Amigold)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Thanks for the info Jo Ann and Terry.  The quads are not screaming as much today, but I opted for a Zumba instead of swimming, running, or biking.  I really wish I had the cash to spare on getting fitted at a bike shop.  Unfortunately, two young kids one with a bithday, and xmas coming up makes that not an option for now.  I am putting it in the budget for after the first of the year!  For now, the cheapo bike will have to do. At least until it's too cold to get out there. Yeah, the gear thing is definitely an aquired talent.  I missed the correct gear on an incline yesterday and it was not pretty!

     

    I'm concentrating on the biking and running for now.  My gym does have an indoor pool, so I can swim any time during the winter.  I think its more important to get 'real' road experience for the other two while I still can.

     

    Thanks again for the advice and encouragement.  I'm sure somewhere later in this process I will need to inquire about clipless pedals and tri suits (neither of which I know anything about or why I would need them), but right now I'm focusing on building endurance as to be able to finish the event. 





    Starting weight: 265; Current weight 245

    First 5K: Pumpkin Run 10/2/2010 - 44:37

    Banebow 5K Fun Run 10/23/2010 - 43:42

    DH Dash 5K/Fun Run 11/6/2010 - 42:19 (PR)

    Race to Beat the Blues 5K 3/26/2011 - 42:50

    Country Music Half Marathon 4/30/2011 - 3:49:36

  • christiewa Expert 40 posts since
    Oct 18, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Oct 25, 2010 10:27 PM (in response to SlothNoMore)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Hi!

     

    So glad to see this post!  Just what I need!  So my story is that I'm a 41yo mom of 4 kids aged 3 to 10.  About 5 years ago, I had this idea that I wanted to do a triathlon and recruited my dad to do it with me.  He trained and I "sort of trained" for it.  I'm a good swimmer, and love spin class.  So I kind of figured I could limp my way through the running. HA!!!   What I didn't count on was that I would get unexpectly pregnant !  So yes, I did my first (and only triathlon) when I was 10 weeks pregnant.   I did do quite well on the swim, survived the bike and barely made it through the "run"  READ:  walk.  But hey.. I was preggers!  But the biggest thing to come from it was that I was bit by the triathlon bug!

     

    Flash forward a few years, and I did complete the C25K program two years ago but didn't go much beyond that.  Life is busy with four small kids.  But now here I sit, watching life go by and having at least 30 extra pounds I could lose and I've decided it's time to do it!  So a couple weeks ago I decided to do the C25K program again.  And it struck me that I really want to do a Triathlon again!  So YES I DID!  I signed up for a triathlon in one of our families favorite vacation spot in July.  Then I went out and bought the book "Slow Fat Triathlete", which I've been enjoying a lot!     And  now I'm on a mission!  I have the support of my darling husband and even my kiddos are excited because they can do a kids duathalon.  Family affair, I guess.

     

    Right now I'm on Week 2 of the C25K program.  I don't want to over do it, so right now I'm just doing that right now.  I think I'll try to incorporate some spin classes into my workouts when I feel like I'm not taxing my body too much.  I don't want to risk injury.  I'll be excited to see how this thread goes.  Looks like great info so far!   Thanks for starting this.





    **********************************************************

    Christie

    Events:

    St. Paddy's Day Dash 5K Seattle, WA              3/13/11

    Beat the Bridge 8K  Seattle,  Wa                     5/15/11

    Race the River Triathlon  Coeur d'Alene ID     7/24/11

  • SlothNoMore Amateur 20 posts since
    Aug 27, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Nov 1, 2010 7:20 AM (in response to Jasmine1972)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    On Friday I picked up a book by Jane Booth titled "Transformed by Triathlon: The Making of an Improbable Athlete".  It is a really good read, although now I am very nervous.  She was already swimming on a regular basis and trained a year for her tri.  I was thinking about one next June, so I worry that I may be pushing it.  Especially since I just started running about 9 weeks ago.  How long is everyone else planning to train?

     

    Ran a 5K distance on Saturday in 41:12 which is an unofficial PR for me.  Also, I mapped out a moderate 8 mile bike course around my house this weekend.  I will try and tackle that in the next few days. Guess I will need to do that route twice in order to simulate a sprint tri distance. 





    Starting weight: 265; Current weight 245

    First 5K: Pumpkin Run 10/2/2010 - 44:37

    Banebow 5K Fun Run 10/23/2010 - 43:42

    DH Dash 5K/Fun Run 11/6/2010 - 42:19 (PR)

    Race to Beat the Blues 5K 3/26/2011 - 42:50

    Country Music Half Marathon 4/30/2011 - 3:49:36

  • Amigold Legend 187 posts since
    Nov 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Nov 1, 2010 9:25 AM (in response to SlothNoMore)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Slothnomore, if you are already running a 5K distance, you are in very good shape for a June sprint tri.  Don't worry about how fast you are going in any one area, just think about getting the job done and crossing that finish line with big smile.

     

    Again, don't push too hard too soon on the bike or you will have legs that will tell you how much they hate you. As soon as you are biking comfortably say, oh, about ten miles, then you have to start incorporating some short bricks every now and then (maybe once a month)--and start them out very short!  Like, ride 5 miles on the bike and run 5 minutes afterwards for your first one.  Just to get your body used to that fun idea. It will surprise you at how your legs will argue with you when you do your first one. And they DO get easier, so keep that in your head.

     

    Most triathletes that have the time or ability to write books were proficient in one sport or another so don't let them intimidate you (there are exceptions, Jayne Williams for example, but even she was used to biking when she started).  Many come from NO SPORTS background at all, so just get out there with them, and remember to have fun at the same time. If you don't laugh at least once during your sprint tri, then it wasn't worth the effort!

     

    Keep us posted....and for your Xmas present ask for a bike fitting.  It's worth it.  Trust me.

     

    Terry

     

    www.fiftythreetoseventypointthree.blogspot.com

  • IronMakeover Community Moderator 738 posts since
    Jul 7, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Nov 2, 2010 6:21 PM (in response to SlothNoMore)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    I've read that book also, I believe she was training for an Olympic distance triathlon. She was inspired to train for a triathlon after her dentist told her about the sport. She had no sports background but thought, hey, let's try this! :-)

     

    Depending on your current fitness level, available time, motivation and race goals, you can prepare for a sprint triathlon in 3-6 months. The running is the trickiest part & the easiest spot to get injured.

    You're in a great position to be strong & confident on race day next spring or summer. I'm glad you're connected here & excited about your training!

     

    :-) Sara Cox Landolt





    Sara Cox Landolt

    http://www.ironmakeover.blogspot.com/

  • IronMakeover Community Moderator 738 posts since
    Jul 7, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Nov 2, 2010 6:30 PM (in response to KurtinSC)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    There are so many good things in your post!

    I'm glad your cycling is going so well & hitting long rides & rides with co-workers, awesome!

    And it definitely reads that swimming is something you can pick up & go easily with when needed, what a gift!

     

    And I like your running plan, signing up for events helps me stay focused too. Can you tell me more about your run training?

     

    I'm hoping to do an indoor tri this winter also, my first indoor. :-)

     

    Best to you,

    Sara Cox Landolt





    Sara Cox Landolt

    http://www.ironmakeover.blogspot.com/

  • seratliff Rookie 4 posts since
    Nov 4, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Nov 4, 2010 4:24 PM (in response to IronMakeover)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Interesting posts. You should have no problem getting ready for your tri by June. Last year I ran a half marathon in June then did my first triathlon in Aug. This may not seem like that big of a deal but I can't swim for nothing and I hadn't road a bike in about 10 years. I am hoping to do a half this year but I need to get my swimming down. Anyone ever got with a swim coach? I am thinking of going to one but its about a hour drive to the closest so I am a little hesitant.

     

    http://www.wix.com/shawnratliff/home

  • RunTysonRun Pro 142 posts since
    Jul 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Nov 5, 2010 8:08 AM (in response to Jasmine1972)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Hi Everyone! I am glad I stumbled across this thread. I recently picked up running-April of 2010-and have been hooked since! I'm 27, mother of one, and enjoy the outdoors-hunting, biking, running, walking (with dogs). So, pretty active for the most part but winter does slow me down a tad...typical Mid-west hibernation mode coming on soon! I participated in a Fun Course Duathlon (1.5 mi run, 12 mi bike, 1.5 mi run) this August. I am officially hooked on multisport events. I completed my first half-marathon in October and think I have a great base for a triathlon. I plan on competing in a sprint tri this summer. I am NOT a swimmer and will hit the pool and start lap swimming next week. Water intimidates me but I know I can get over that once I get more comfortable in the water. I need a new bike as well, but can't afford a "tri" bike. So, my main questions are:

     

    Gear: I don't want to invest in a tri suit at this point. Anyone have any thoughts on Tri vests/shorts? Are there bike shorts out there that will multipurpose?

    Bike: I am thinking of upgrading to a mountain bike for the tri as I am more comfortable on those bikes. However, what kind of bike do you recommend for a beginner? Again, I am not looking for a five-figure bike but would like a good bike I can use for competition and for pulling the kid behind in the trailer. Any thoughts?

    I'm not trying to sound cheap. I know that good quality gear will go a long way. However, because I don't do several tri's a year, I'd like to start with some clothing that I can use for just biking or just running but that will also work for swimming during a tri.

     

    My ultimate goal, after completing my first tri this summer, is to register for an Ironman 70.3. I know there's a whole other training regiment for that. My goal is to compete in sprint tri's and other running events but train for a HIM. Anyways, input is always appreciated!

     

    Thanks!

     

    Tyson





    Running is a mental sport and we're all insane.

    Snap 5K June 26 2010 37:46

    Challenge Diabetes 5K July 10  2010 36:26

    Waterama 5K Run July 24 2010 35:20

    Twins 4K August 1 2010 28:20

    American Cancer Society 5K August 14 2010 34:06 *PR

    Minneapolis Duathlon Fun Course (1.5mi run, 12mi bike, 1.5mi run) August 29 2010 1:44:11

    Alexandria 10K September 18 2010 1:09:34 *PR

    Fargo Half Marathon October 9 2010 3:00:15

    Turkey Leg 5K November 25, 2010 36:36

    Get Lucky Triple 7K (HM) March 19, 2011 2:38:06 *PR

    Chain of Lakes Sprint Triathlon May 7, 2011 1:42:01

    Brookings, SD Marathon May 14, 2011 5:46:13 *PR

    Graniteman Sprint Triathlon July 9, 2011

    Green Lake Triathlon (Olympic) August 14, 2011

    Half Iron Distance TBD 2012

  • seratliff Rookie 4 posts since
    Nov 4, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Nov 5, 2010 8:41 AM (in response to RunTysonRun)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    I will try to help you a little Tyson even though I feel like I am far from an expert. I went from the Half Marathon to a Sprint Triathlon and its not as hard as I thought it would be. As far as gear, this is actually a good time to be purchasing tri items. I would def look at getting a pair of tri shorts over just wearing regular bike shorts. They will have a smaller pad in them so its easy to run in. As far as a shirt, Im not sure from a womans perspective what would be ideal. I have tri shorts that I train in but I bought a suit to wear on race days. It was $100 which is expensive but I love it, it is a Zoot. A good place to find deals on shorts and stuff is ebay. I have bought a few pair of shorts off there for less then half price and they have all been new with tags on them.

    As for the bike, if you plan on ever being competetive then I would not waste money on a mountain bike. I bought a Hybrid bike last year (rides like a mountain bike but has smooth tires). I am not bad on a bike but if my bike weighs 20 pounds or more then someone elses then over the course of 12 miles or more I am using a lot more energy then they are. I actually bought a Tri bike for my last race of last year. I have a friend who did two races with me, one with the hybrid and one with the tri bike. He beat me in the bike portion by almost 3 minutes when I was on the hybrid but I beat him by 6 minutes on the tri bike. That is a difference of 9 minutes by just switching bikes, the races were only 2 weeks a part. Now I am not saying go out and drop a grand on a tri bike but I would def consider a road bike. Even a hybrid like mine would be better for triathlons then a mountain bike. Triathlons are real expensive so I just look for deals and then jump on them when the price is right.

     

    My site

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