I'd like to try a tri (lotsa questions)

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Mike L, May 11, 2003.

  1. Mike L

    Mike L Guest

    I consider myself mostly a runner - started a year ago after years of inactivity from knee surgeries
    and am now aiming towards a marathon. Because of my bad knee, I have trouble working my quads well
    though. So I just bought what I hope is a decent bike - Trek 4300 with semi-slicks to do some hill
    climbing and stuff. I'm hoping this will be sufficient quad training to balance my distance running.
    I've also got excellent upper body strength from years of weight-training and am a good swimmer, so,
    why not do a triathalon? I'm thinking in the normal sprint variety that I really don't need to do
    much swim prep work. I mean, if I can cover the distance, how much time am I really going to save,
    even if I swim twice a week? (my main push is still to increase my running mileage). I guess that
    would be my main question. I'm also wondering about the bike gears. My last bike was a ten speed.
    This is a 24. Is there a guide to effective use of gears? Seems like the gear ranges off the small
    front sprocket are a lot narrower than on the large. Also, if I am mainly interested in quad
    strenghening, does it make any sense to lower the seat slightly (for training) or would that just be
    bad form? Do some folks do tri's on hybrids, like my Trek, or are the gear ratios just no good for
    roads? These would almost certainly be sprint tris.

    Lotsa Questions.
     
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  2. Mike L <[email protected]> wrote:
    > balance my distance running. I've also got excellent upper body strength from years of
    > weight-training and am a good swimmer, so, why not do a triathalon? I'm thinking in the normal
    > sprint variety that I really don't need to do much swim prep work. I mean, if I can cover the
    > distance, how much time am I really going to save, even if I swim twice a week? (my main push is
    > still to increase
    Depends. If you mean good swimmer in the competitive sense, you won't gain too much time, though
    some tuning up may grab you some easy seconds. If you mean "good swimmer" in the recreational
    sense, then there can be a couple of minutes in there, even with a 400m swim. There are plenty of
    people who can cover 400m in 8 minutes, but it's not hard to take that down to < 6 minutes with
    some training. A 2 minute difference can make up for a decent speed difference in a 5k run.

    If you're trying to optimize your time, it's really all about figuring out your weaknesses. If
    you're doing 100 yard intervals on 2:00, you've got easy gains in the swimming. If you're doing
    them on 1:25, hop back on that bike.

    > small front sprocket are a lot narrower than on the large. Also, if I am mainly interested in quad
    > strenghening, does it make any sense to lower the seat slightly (for training) or would that just
    > be bad form?

    I wouldn't recommend having your geometry differ between training and racing. You should give
    your body a bit of time to ease into configuration changes that you make. Between the biking,
    running, and the weight training you mention you do, I don't think you'll need to worry about
    more leg workouts.

    > do tri's on hybrids, like my Trek, or are the gear ratios just no good for roads? These would
    > almost certainly be sprint tris.

    Some folks do tris on mountain bikes. It all depends. You won't win on a hybrid, unless you're
    just that good and the field's that bad. But you can have a good time, and measure your own
    improvement relative to yourself. You'll be at a disadvantage compared to the people on road
    bikes, but you also won't have to spend megabucks for a new bike.

    Most hybrids have gear ratios that will be OK for a tri race. If it's flat, you'll probably be
    fine. If it's hilly, you'll possibly run out of high enough gears on the downhill. Most of them
    are geared just fine for the uphills (but check...).

    Unless you really care about your numeric standing, I'd say go with what you've got for your first
    race or two, unless you've got money to burn and like new toys. :)

    -Dave

    --
    work: dga - at - lcs.mit.edu me: angio - at - pobox.com MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
    http://www.angio.net/ (note that my reply-to address is vaguely despammed...) bulk emailers: I do
    not accept unsolicited email. Do not mail me.
     
  3. Mike L

    Mike L Guest

    Thanks for the great tips Dave. I understand about not changing the geometry of my riding position -
    but, if I do lower the seat a bit, will that tend to work my quads harder? It is because the weights
    stress my knee too much that I want to get most of my quad work from the bike.

    Thanks again. Mike Lazenby
     
  4. Cathy Morgan

    Cathy Morgan Guest

    In article <[email protected]l.com>, [email protected]
    (Mike L) wrote:

    >his will be sufficient quad training to balance my distance running. I've also got excellent upper
    >body strength from years of weight-training and am a good swimmer, so, why not do a
    triathalon? <======= it's triathlon

    > Also, if I am mainly interested in quad strenghening, does it make any sense to lower the seat
    > slightly (for training) or would that just be bad form?

    If you are interested in quad strengthening, get into the weight room. If you are cycling correctly,
    you don't want to be mashing big gears. Instead, you want to be spinning a lower gear. Lowing the
    seat too low will just rip up your knees.

    >Do some folks do tri's on hybrids, like my Trek, or are the gear ratios just no good for roads?
    >These would almost certainly be sprint tris.

    Sure. Hybrids, mt. bikes, touring bikes. Use what you have and see if you even like the sport. If
    you do and want to do more/longer races, you can always upgrade later.

    Good luck and have fun!

    clm in sf

    --
    [email protected] cathy morgan, san francisco, ca REMOVE x x to email
     
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