Getting in shape for my first triathlon, could use some tips!

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by bartjoosen, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. bartjoosen

    bartjoosen New Member

    Sep 25, 2003
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    What I suggest: go get a swim trainer!
    The swimming is the most technical part of the tri, and even with a very good endurance base, you will come out of the water exhausted.
    What distances are we talking about for your tri?
    A busy schedule shouldn't be a hold back, you just have to train smarter:
    technique training for the swims, 2x20' for the bike, and then some running.
    If things are going really well, do some brick sessions: swim to bike transitions, or bike to run transitions.
    They say there are 4 disciplines in triathlon: swim, bike, run and transitions!

    Good luck and I hope you can get your new bike!


  2. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2010
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    I agree that swim training is very important - in cycling you can coast, running you can walk, but in swimming you can get in serious trouble by overexerting yourself.

    Find a pool or a swim friendly beach that has lifeguards and try going a few laps. Likely, if you don't have years of swimming experience and training you will find even a few laps difficult. Study up on the total immersion technique for swimming, this is popular among triathletes. There are many educational introductory videos online that can get you started.

    That mask thing probably is not going to help much. It increases respiratory impedance which is not the same as the low oxygen / air density effects of altitude. I suppose it would help strengthen your diaphragm and intercostal muscles - but respiration is not really a limiting factor. Swim training will be enough to help control breathing.

    Schedule wise, you can work training into your daily routine. Bike to work/class, run during your lunch break and hit the pool at least a few evenings a week.
  3. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2011
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    I have to agree with this. Two training adaptations you are after for aerobic efficiency are increasing the size of your heart's left ventricle, and laying down additional capillary beds. Not really any shortcuts for this.

    The swimming part will be the toughest of the disciplines imo. Fitness doesn't always transfer well. All three should be trained to some degree, with a deficiency in swimming obviously having the most potential for detriment.
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2008
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    To the original poster: There are no shortcuts. You either pay the piper now, in terms of training, of he will collect in full on race day. For swimming. If you truely suck at swimming get on the interwebz and find a swim coach now. Not at the weekend - now! A high buoyancy wetsuit for the swim will help... You might not be Michael phelps but if he can use the high buoyancy LZR swimsuit to go faster then you can use a Tri equivalent to go faster than a dead stop and it'll help reduce the effort in the process. Riding - just go ride. Ride lots. It doesn't have to be stupid hard but volume will help. Easy does it at the start though. If you're knackered after an hour you either went too hard or you're really unfit. Don't kill yourself by doing too much. Running. Well fitting shoes/socks and shorts that don't chafe. It's been too long since I last ran. It looks like they have handy bottles to allow for hydration/feeding while running too. Apparently running on grass or one of the new padded tracks helps reduce stress too. Other key points: Sleep more. Recovery is the productive part of training. Sleep is the best recovery. Naps are ace. Alcohol: avoid as much as possible. Food: don't be obsessive but eat enough good stuff to provide the nutrition that you require. Stay hydrated. Eat carbs within 20 minutes of finishing a training session. If you're trying to lose weight, these carbs should be your meal for that time of the day. DO NOT restrict carbs as you try and increase training until you know how you react to that training. Sunblock: if you're suddenly training more and find yourself out in the sun more and for longer periods, the past thing you need is a one hour session morphing into a two hour one that ends up with moderate sunburn. As with required food/drink, factor in the suns effects into increased training. Sunburn is often accompanied by dehydration - both are bad... The effort your body has to put in fixing those two conditions takes away for recovery. If you're somewhere really hot, training early in the day is prefered if possible. I'd give preference to running early over swimming early. I'd also cycle early if possible. Training in the heat 90F adds a lot of stress to a training session - and that's something you could likely do without right now.