Hi, after a bit of advice - sorry for the long post!
I've finally decided to give my long-term "dream" a proper shot and commit to at least one half IM or full IM next year. Depending on what happens in training, I'll be entering either HIMUK or IMUK next year; if I choose HIMUK I may also enter the Vitruvian (got friends in Oakham so it's a great excuse to visit them if nothing else).
So now there's just the small matter of training.
I'm coming from a base of virtually nowt; I've never done a triathlon before, and I only picked up running and biking again about a month ago after a long (8 month+) layoff from both. I'm currently doing about 5 hours per week of slow running and cycling; could probably do more if it came to it. I've also got a good 1 1/2 stone or excess lard to shed along the way.
All of the books and sites I've read suggest that you should already be training a fair bit before starting IM training, or should "try a shorter distance for your first couple of seasons". Except I don't want to do anything shorter than a half.
So basically, I need a plan to get me from where I am now to the point where "normal" IM or HIM trianing plans are manageable.
1. Any suggestions on building up my long run distances (and I use the term very loosely)? I can currently only manage 5 miles; should I simply increase distance slowly every week, or would I be better off doing a longer run/walk, and gradually run more and walk less each week?
2. I live 12.5 miles from work, and am tempted to start commuting by bike 3 or 4 days a week. This would get me 75-100 "free" bike miles per week. But are such short stints on the bike too little to help out? I'm thinking at the moment that any time at all on the bike is good, given my low level of fitness right now.
3. I've never swam in open water before. How much practice should I be getting, and will I be OK waiting until next spring to start OW training? Also, anyone know any good locations around Newcastle / southern Northumberland?
4. Any other suggestions for training / planning my initial months at all?
I think that's about it. Just in case it's at all relevant, a bit of info:
- 30 yo male, 6'3" and about 15 stone 7lbs at the moment (wanting to get down to sub-14)
- fairly keen cyclist, though I'vd been off the bike from about July '05 until 3 weeks ago
- longest run I've ever done was a half-marathon 9 years ago.
- haven't swam properly for 15 years, and no access to a pool until August (thereafter I could manage 3 sessions/week)
Thanks in advance for any help and advice!!