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Unread 04-11-2013, 09:34 AM   #1
erickpl
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Prepping for Triathlons

My wife, as part of her work to fight her MS, decided to do a triathlon this year. I've been going to the gym since 2011, and felt in reasonably good shape and chose to do it with her.

My regimen before has been weights and cardio, bootcamp classes (basically Insanity-type workouts), Body Pump, and spin classes.

I've got long limbs and never really bulked up, but I'm a lot stronger. I've gone from 195 down to my current weight of 170 and it feels great. But to train, we had to run, swim, and ride, obviously.

We've built up to 4 mile runs. I used to do a 5 minute mile in high school - 28 years ago - and I can now do an 8:30 mile pace for a 5k, but I think I can get it a bit lower.

I have also worked on my surface swimming technique. Never had a lesson as a kid - I taught myself after getting kicked out of class as a kid for choking on water all the time lol. I'm more comfortable underwater with scuba gear, but obviously the technique is different there too. LOL Breathing techniques to keep your body streamlined make ALL the difference I'm finding out. I did 400m this morning in the pool in under 15 minutes. Not bad for a guy who hates surface swimming, but I need to get faster.

We've both acquired road bikes (Specialized) and have been racking up the miles on long rides and tackling what hills we can. We're not up to the BIG hills yet, but getting there. We can do a 35 mile ride with a 14 mph pace easily enough, but again, we can improve that. For our tri race, it's only 8 miles, so a faster pace for that distance is definitely doable.

I've learned that endurance training has raised some issues with me. Found out endurance training can lead to iron deficiency, so I've put more red meat in my diet after having to cut it back due to cholesterol issues). Doing more proteins and good carbs with whole grains.

I'm still doing Body Pump, but not as often, but I'm missing doing the weights as often as I did. A nagging shoulder injury and some arthritis kept me from upper body stuff, but I'm finding the swimming is really helping with that and helping define my lats even better.

My wife has lost a LOT of weight (she'd kill me if I told how much, so I'm staying silent on that), and she feels better than she has in over 20 years.

I guess where I'm going with this is showing an alternate side of training. Not just weights, but the cardio and endurance side of things. It has opened doors to things like Warrior Dashes, Muckruns, and things like that too.

For any of you triathletes out there, I'd love to hear what kind of weight training (or any other training you do), to prepare for your races. Our first race is a sprint tri with a 400m swim, 8 mile ride, and a 5k run.

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Unread 04-11-2013, 10:05 AM   #2
CrawlingForward
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I'm training for my first sprint triathlon as well.

Mine is 300M swim, 14mi bike, and 3mi run. (But I'm in Texas so we don't have "hills" for the bike ride).

I went from 210 last year to 177 as of this morning, so I chose to do it just as way to encourage myself to keep the weight off.

My other main goal for it was to keep it from interfering with family time as much as possible. I commute 3 hours a day, so getting up early or running after work just doesn't work for me.

Luckily I have an *awesome* gym facility at work (I work for Rice University) and a 3-mile running track, so I just try to take my lunch hour to train. I'll never go past a sprint triathlon with this training, but I enjoy it and it keeps me working towards a goal without encroaching on the other areas of my life too much.

I also decided to try and switch it up to barefoot-style for it because I've had so much knee problems in the past, plus a recent IT band injury meant having to start from scratch, running .5 miles in the start, would mean I built up slowly and without injury. I've been signing up for 5ks as intermediary points to push my running.

You're training much harder than I am. My tri is in two and a half weeks and I'm barely up to 3.5 miles running and 15 miles biking (although I did a 13mi mountain bike race a few weekends ago, so I'm probably ok there).

I was a swimmer as a kid, so 300M is nothing for me and I had that down to 5:20 within a few weeks of training. I'll being doing this race as a breathe-every-two for my cardio's sake, but I'm hoping to race with a breathe-every-three for the next one.

After this one's done, though....I've got an *offroad* triathlon I've got my eye on! Pool swim, but then 8 mile mountain bike and 3 mile train run. In July....In Texas. Should be some crazy training!
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Unread 04-11-2013, 01:34 PM   #3
erickpl
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Texas has hills if you're near Austin. Having lived in Dallas/Ft. Worth, I'll say that area is pretty flat, but Austin's hills would be a fun ride/run.

Haven't done trail riding or running yet. I'm old enough that my ankles wince at the thought of what would go wrong. LOL

Best of luck to you in your training. Keep me posted as to how it goes!
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Unread 04-11-2013, 01:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickpl View Post
Best of luck to you in your training. Keep me posted as to how it goes!
Right back atcha!
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Unread 04-19-2013, 12:37 PM   #5
erickpl
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We have our first 5k tomorrow morning, and fortunately the temps are a bit lower, so it'll be more like the training runs we've done. My best time has been 8:20/mile. Not as fast as I'd like, but I've been working on some strategy to make a better time without burning myself out. Gotta hold back for the first warm up mile, then let it all go. After 1.5 miles, it is literally a downhill race.
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Unread 04-19-2013, 12:42 PM   #6
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Nice!

I had my first 5k last weekend (first ever in barefoot style) and ended up running a 7:11/mile, which is not bad, but not as good as the goals I'd been setting for myself. (Note, everything is *completely* flat. Makes a big difference). Also, I'd been training in 80* heat, but the race was on a nice cool 55* day, so that helped.

The day after I tried bricking the full bike (14mi) and full run (3) together and it *sucked*, but I did it. Granted, I had raced the day before and it was 86*, but it still felt pretty slow.

My race is next weekend, so I'm going to try and do another bike/run brick this weekend and then take it easy next week until race day!
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Unread 04-23-2013, 07:43 AM   #7
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4 days!

Did another full bike/run brick this weekend, really pushing myself this time and did pretty well.

So far my times are:

300M - 5:20
14mi - 52:08
3.2mi - 24:34

Any thoughts on nutrition the week of?
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Unread 04-23-2013, 09:40 AM   #8
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Your times blow mine away. LOL

My run pace was 8:49 for a time of 27:20, but I am 43 and dealing with a bad right knee from a car wreck when I was 16. Not an excuse, but just a point of reference.

Ran a single mile yesterday and was able to do a 7:14. I used to do a sub six minute mile - YEARS ago, but wish I could get that time to be a bit better just in the run portion. Working on that...

As for nutrition the week of, for a sprint, it is not like you're going to be out there all day. Based on your numbers, about an hour and a half. So don't think you need to carb up. Good whole foods, lean proteins, some carbs. Don't vary your nutrition too much the week of, but at the same time, don't introduce a whole lot of new ideas/foods just before the race.

Funny thing is, right now I'm trying to get miles in for a Multiple Sclerosis ride coming up in June. I want to do the full 100 mile circuit, but I have had no time to get on the bike for anything more than a 25-35 mile ride. Kinda pissing me off...
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Unread 04-23-2013, 05:51 PM   #9
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To be fair, I'm 27 and those times are the result of a pretty disciplined 4 months of training and I *just* am finally able to do the full distance.

Because I've been training during my lunch hour I've been working more on speed than distance. I've never run longer than 3.5 miles or biked longer than 14.2 miles since I began training in January, and I don't think I'd fare so well if I tried, ha ha.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 12:31 PM   #10
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We have a speed workout this evening that I may be going to. Should help with time a bit (probably 800 intervals), and ultimately endurance.

We're also prepping for that 100 mile bike ride, so endurance there isn't so much of an issue.

We have a mini sprint coming up we're thinking of doing: 200m swim/8 mile bike/2 mile run. Would be nice prep to help with the idea of competing in a tri and help us with transition strategy.
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Unread 04-27-2013, 11:11 AM   #11
CrawlingForward
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Yeah, just finished my first ever Tri! Did really well, but my transitions sucked. Definitely the easiest area to improve on, but was never top of my priority list. I had like 3 min transitions while my competitors have like 1:40 transition times. Came in 8th for my age group, though, so pretty happy about that. I'll post my final times when I get them.

forumrunner_20130427_121110.jpg
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Unread 04-29-2013, 10:27 AM   #12
erickpl
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Congrats! We actually have a transition training session tonight.

Start in swim gear (cap/goggles/no shoes), run 100 meters to our bike, transition to that and do a 2 mile ride, then transition for a mile run. And repeat several times...

It is NOT going to be fun, but it WILL be educational. I've also started doing speed/strength work on the track. Last Thursday, we did ladders:

1 mile warmup
4x200 (with 200 recovery between each 200 run)
2x400 (with 400 recovery between each 400 run)
1x800 (with 800 recovery)
2x400 (with 400 recovery between each 400 run)
4x200 (with 200 recovery between each 200 run)
1 mile cooldown run

I was SO spent after that. 7 miles total, after having run 3 at lunch that day. I was useless on Friday. LOL
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Unread 04-29-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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Ugh. Yeah, that does not sound fun, but is definitely a good way to improve those transitions.

Here are the results from my race! (I'm #8, bib #81, in the Male 20-28 category, Geoff Marsh).

You can see my times were actually really good, shattering my previous best times in all three legs, but my transitions were double the front runners'. The swim time is wack, as I think they used yards instead of meters like they were supposed to, but my bike time was pretty good and my run time was better than any 5k I've ever run! I ran a 6:38/M which is a *huge* leap ahead my best time ever! It's crazy what adrenaline will do, ha ha.

Btw, reread the thread and didn't see it. When is your race?
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Unread 05-02-2013, 08:38 AM   #14
erickpl
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Our tri is June 22.

Before that though, is the mini-sprint on 6/1. Haven't decided on that one yet.

Did a SLOW 5k yesterday, just to get some mile in, but when we got home, decided to ride to the gym, do our swim workout, then ride home. So it was run followed by a bike/swim/bike setup.

In our practice transitions, I went from entrance to exit in under 60 seconds, so I can't complain for my first transition attempts. Key is in how you set up your stuff and have it prepped, ready to go.

Times look good. How far were the distances again on yours?
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Unread 05-02-2013, 08:47 AM   #15
CrawlingForward
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickpl View Post
Our tri is June 22.

Before that though, is the mini-sprint on 6/1. Haven't decided on that one yet.

Did a SLOW 5k yesterday, just to get some mile in, but when we got home, decided to ride to the gym, do our swim workout, then ride home. So it was run followed by a bike/swim/bike setup.

In our practice transitions, I went from entrance to exit in under 60 seconds, so I can't complain for my first transition attempts. Key is in how you set up your stuff and have it prepped, ready to go.

Times look good. How far were the distances again on yours?
Ha ha, dang. Your transition times make me look like I took a nap in between, ha ha.

My was 300M swim, 14 mile ride, 3 mile run.

There's another sprint triathlon is July near me and an offroad triathlon the weekend after that. I'm debating signing up for one or both now!
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