Tri Newbie

Hi all,

Just writing a quick note with slight trepidation - checked your posts and still wondering what some of the terminology means but am sure I'll get there!

Me? Trying out a tri sprint at Wattisham in May - anyone else doing it? It'll be my first, coming from having done a couple of marathons and a few road races. None this year though. Regular gym goer so used to training hard, sometimes not so hard, so need a goal. Been down to the pool and realised that breastroke really isnt going to get me very far in a tri, even a sprint, so joined the local Swim Club and been told that I need a bit of help... On the plus side one of the coaches is also doing Wattisham and it'll be her first tri. So that was a good start!!

I have no problem with running, can swim and can ride a bike. Just never one after the other and my technical side is non-existent on both swimming and on the bike. I've got a hybrid bike and have no intention of buying a new bike until I find out if I like the tri in May or not...

So what am I looking for? A bit of support, plenty of technical advice and god knows what else...

And to be able to say one day that I've done Ironman... Damn, I've actually written that... Probably in 2015??!!



  • Prints copy of post so I can repost in 2015


    Welcome to the mad house
  • There must be a 'delete' option somewhere.... image

    Yes I gather that triathlons is a way of life... Interesting image

  • as DtS says - welcome to the madhouse

    just read around the various threads and see what takes your fancy - there's plenty of experience floating around


  • My main concern is am I over or under training - the tri I've registered for is 72 days away, and my planned training for this week (week 2) is:

    Monday - Spin class / 5k run (treadmill) / Military Fitness
    Tuesday - 10k bike ride (gym bike) / 5k run (treadmill)
    Wednesday - 5k run (treadmill) / Military Fitness
    Thursday - 5-10k run (treadmill) / gym (weights)
    Friday - 5k run (treadmill) / 2hr swim lessons
    Saturday - Military Fitness / gym (weights)
    Sunday - 2hr swim / gym (weights)

    I realise there's hardly any cycling but is this too much / too little intensity....?!

  • Week 1 was mostly 30 mins run every day with Military fitness twice a week. This is after 2 weeks off due to nasty cold but had been running regularly before that for 4-5 weeks having not really dropped fitness level too much.

  • You need a day off in there somewhere! image

  • Looks like great training... if you want to join the army.image

    2hr swim sessions are long. Especially if you have not refined your technique yet. Get as much technique help from the swim club and focus on that ahead of speed/distance initially.

    Run outside more. Cycle more and outside more aswell where possible.

    As Rafiki says you also should have a complete day off to recover/rebuild.

  • And someone should be able to point you at some sprint specific training plans to help with structuring the week. Beginner Triathlete I think have some good ones.

  • too much emphasis on upper body and strength work and not enough tri specific including  varied running (tempo, threshold runs outdoors) or cycling (even if using a turbo) and as said - where's the rest day???

    it's a good programme for all round fitness - perhaps too much actually - but tri training needs to be tri specific


  • Well the military fitness is more circuits etc, and the 2 hr swims are going to be with coaches to help with my technique, so not really 2 hrs straight...

    Re running / cycling outside, bit time constraint as I've got a long commute (1hr45 each way) but when it's lighter I'll be cycling to the next station (god knows how long that'll take!) which will be about 13 miles...

    Unfortunately I'm a stubborn creature, either I train or I don't... But point taken re rest days, will try to squeeze one in, where has the 8th day gone?!

  • Thanks Buddha... I asked the PTI at the gym to give me exercises for shoulders/chest to help with swimming strength and then thighs/legs for cycling and some core stuff as well, although abs are ok (although well hidden the buggers).

  • if you want exercises to help with swimming - swim; same for cycling - cycle.  you can do specific exercises in each of these to help development and strength.  turbos are a great way to train if you can't get out on a bike

    the problem with a lot of military fitness and gym programmes is that they aren't specific enough and often overload muscles that don't need overloading

    core strength is fine but a lot of that will come from swimming, running, cycling and if you want more pilates or yoga are as good as anything 

    you need to become less of a gym bunny and more of a triathlete

  • Great - point taken. To be honest, only become a gym 'bunny' because it's so handy at work but will try out pilates and/or yoga instead...

    Also, my poor bike that's been in the garage for about 5 yrs as I've been doing running mostly, the tires are spent (am sure there's a more technical term for this) but as soon as I fill them with air, after having worked out the flipping pump, that they get flat within minutes. Assume the inner tube needs replacing and should just get it MOT'd so to speak by someone who knows way more than I do?!

  • yes - tubes need replacing if they deflate that quickly as the rubber perishes in time.

    you'd probably find that the bike will benefit from a good service so take it to a good local bike shop (not Halfords!) and get them to do that.  it might costs a few bob to have a comprehesive service but it will work much better then.  

  • Hello Crawling. Enjoy your journey. If you have ran marathons you should have a good base fitness anyway that will need refinding. I'm with others that you need to get out on the road for cycling training if it isn't something you have done for some time. Getting the swim lessons will be good, front crawl is so much faster than breastroke but if your technique isn't right you can splash all day long but not move fast.


  • Thanks Chilli, well I tried front crawl and I nearly drowned, turns out I had my breathing all wrong, so been preparing myself mentally for Friday evening for when I've got some coaching scheduled... Rather embarassing being in the kiddies lane but the masters in the pool are so fast and fit... Embarrasing - but good for my ego image

  • Tubes replaced on bike, lights etc for commuting and speedo set up - now just need to get on the bike and let my legs do the talking...

    Two hours in the pool yesterday and found my frontcrawl which had been hiding somewhere in my memory bank for the last 25+ years...

  • Yup cycling is ON... Tried my route to the station and back on Saturday, 27.7 miles and legs ached just after I got off the bike (and wobbled a bit I must admit) but fine after that wore off.

    Went for a swim last night and managed 6 lengths of front crawl but alternated with a few breaststroke and then some more frontcrawl, so hopefully that'll improve and increase the lengths.

    With steely determination I set out this morning on my bike and all my gear and rode to the station - thought to myself, if I can ride in this weather, I can ride in any weather (although it wasn't raining or snowing although was houling with wind). Nearly froze on the station platform waiting for the train mind you...

    And then ride bike home tonight... If the bike is still there that is...

  • Blimey - 2 hours in the pool swimming - how long is your sprint swim again did you say ?
  • That was 2hrs with the kiddies re-learning - so not swimming non-stop! 300 meters for the swim in the sprint...

  • hey Wattisham is going to be my first ever tri image


    57days and counting

  • Hi Crawlin enjoy the journey

    PTI? You are not from a military background perchance?
  • I'm learning crawl, when I turn up with my float aids and inflatables people think im on some sort of crazy stag do.

  • Yay - so I'm not the only one using Wattisham as a my first attempt?? Great!

    I'm loving the training I must admit.... Feel free to remind me when I said I've had enough image

    Hi Ridge - no I'm not a PTI! Deal with quite a few with them though through Military Fitness...

  • i did a 10mile cycle on Thursday, then went for a 3mile run.......epic fail, legs felt so dead!!


    hoping next week it will be better!!

  • That's hardly a failure - you did it, you know what it feels like for next time when you'll psyche yourself up for it...

    I did 1hr in the pool yesterday, lost count of how many laps for front crawl so really pleased, plus did some drills that I'd done on friday for arms and legs...

    Then a 47min run which was exhausting but really good - in a weird sort of way image

    All in all a good weekend

  • Im also in training for my first tri, did a mini one in the gym yesterday.

    Bike 13K, run 2.5K then swam for 18 lengths  (not non stop yet)

    Suprised that i feel ok today, no pain so next sunday can increase the distance.

    I have only 7 weeks to go so need to improve my swimming, have a block of 6 lessons booked starting tonight to improve my technique

  • You're doing an open water swim arent you? Saw your message on the site, good luck with that! Well done for your gym tri, I havent done a trial-tri so to speak yet, might try this weekend. When I spoke to my coach re swimming, as long as you can put in two decent sessions in the pool a week, for the distance we're doing, we should be ok. Its just to get comfortable with the technique and then you can put the distance in. I managed two 13mile rides each way (so 4 in total) last week, to and from station. So am hoping that a few weeks of that will increase both my familiarity with gears and riding with aching legs.

    Proof will be in the pudding on race day though.

  • Hi Crawling,  if your training is purely aimed at your tri event i would try to replicate the race more than you are currently doing.  If it was me, would drop weights / army training.

    Ride a bike lots more, on the road. do brick sessions and just focus on swim tech - far better doing 100m correct than 2 hours wrong.


    Good luck and have fun!

  • are you doing the British Gas East Swim at Alton water this year?? i did the mile last year and loved it image

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