Three-Ways (The Triathlon Thread)

fiskful of dollars

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Any triathletes around here? I'm a long time runner. Trying to make the leap into longer triathlons. I've done 5 sprints and 3 Olympic tris but have a half-ironman this fall. I thought it might be cool to talk about races, training, nutrition, etc.
 
I'm a lousy swimmer. 1.2 miles in the ocean sounds bad to me...like potential drowning bad.
 

drleather2001

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Maybe try re-posting this with a clearer title.  I had no idea what 3Sports meant.
 

sime

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I'm thinking about competing in one this year or next and will follow this thread with interest.
 

fiskful of dollars

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Cool! I'm doing my first Half Ironman in about 3 hours. Any tips?
 
Thinking about a full next year. I will definitely be checking in for tips over the winter like MRS.
 

fiskful of dollars

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Great event. Did Beach2Battleship.
 
I'm a novice swimmer and did the 1.2 mi course in 40 minutes. Pretty nice push from the current.
Bike was on a rolling course (not pancake flat as billed). Very windy (20 mph w/ 25-30 gusts). Averaged 18.5 mph for 3:01
Did the half (pretty flat) in 1:45
 
Total time was 5:26.
 
First time out at his distance so I was pretty psyched. It's a great race..highly recommended. 
 

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That's a nice race. Congratulations. Great run.
 
Riding in the wind is a huge test of technical skills and aero positioning discipline. Windy rides can be harder than hills. Seems like you handled it really well.
 
What age group are you?
 

fiskful of dollars

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I'm in the 45-49 AG. Feeling pretty good today. Went for a brisk 30 min walk this morning. A bit sore but no major issues. What is the standard recovery like for a HIM?
No schedule set for next year yet. Trying to decide if I wanna do an IM next year. I'm primarily a runner but i've never had a run as tough as the last 5 miles yesterday - I slowed considerably which was a humbling lesson. Not sure if 26.2 is realistic. I've never done a 26.2 and I am thinking of training for a March 26.2 in preparation.
 

Kremlin Watcher

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If you ran that time, you've been working pretty hard, so you shouldn't be too sore for too long.
 
A full Ironman is not twice as hard as a half; it's more like two and a half or three times harder. It's the training that gets you, though. The amount of work you have to put in if you want to enjoy your race is pretty overwhelming. You have to be able to work out at least 17-20 hours a week for six to nine months. But if you are able to, there is no feeling in the world like finishing strong at an Ironman. Nothing in the world.
 

fiskful of dollars

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ManhattanRedSox said:
I'm considering a slight diversion into CrossFit activities this winter, to break up the monotony of pool swims, treamilll runs and stationary cycling
 
 
I work in some P90X/Insanity routines over the winter. I got a coach this season and she had me stop ALL lifting. I understand the rationale but I think some aspects of my racing suffered a bit. I'm planning on doing some more lifting/core stuff this winter and through the season.
 
I've never done CrossFit…I've seen some pretty bad form in the pictures and I'd hate to get injured lifting. Let me know if you like it or it helps!
 

ManhattanRedSox

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Yeah the form this is off-putting. I did one session and there were people of all walks of fitness doing cleans, squats etc., and, if I was a spine surgeon or chiropractor, let's just say I'd be rubbing my hands gleefully. This isn't for me. Also, I'm not sure what's more annoying, Crossfitters or Vegans.
 

fiskful of dollars

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It's pretty flat with some rolling hills. I'm running a ton (for me, anyhow - 40/50 mi/wk) now. I have a marathon in March. Swimming 2x a week. Not much biking right now. I was planning on starting my IM plan on 4/1. Too late?
 

Kremlin Watcher

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It's pretty flat with some rolling hills. I'm running a ton (for me, anyhow - 40/50 mi/wk) now. I have a marathon in March. Swimming 2x a week. Not much biking right now. I was planning on starting my IM plan on 4/1. Too late?
By way of background, I am also a certified triathlon coach. My long-course approach is broadly as follows:
  • Look ahead to the race date knowing on that day what you have to do: swim 2.4, bike 112 and run a marathon. Have a goal for each of them and an overall race goal.
  • Project two weeks back from that date as your last big day before you taper. That day should be something like a 3/4 distance run/bike brick at max effort - your hardest workout to date. It takes about two weeks for a workout to show up in your fitness, and you should be focused on being rested and ready rather than working out immediately prior to the race.
  • The six to eight weeks leading up to that last big day should be a continuous progression of harder and harder workouts, with a fair amount of HIIT days. You should do probably at least four century rides during this period. It's a lot of work.
  • The six to eight weeks prior to that should be mostly base work, heart rate zones two and three, steady aerobic work with some small-ish amount of HIIT days.
  • The time prior to that should be all base aerobic and core work.
  • Swimming should be a maximum of 10% of your workouts measured in hours. Focus on technique. Swim is by far the least important part, as long as you are sure you can finish it. A surprising number of people drop out on the swim (I did an IM where 25% of the field quit on the swim). You should be comfortable in the water, but no one ever won or lost an Ironman on the swim.
  • Split your workout time after your marathon in March about 60/40 bike/run (measured in hours). The March marathon should set you up nicely - that's good timing.
  • Biking benefits the run, but running doesn't benefit the bike (much). Has to do with range of motion being so much larger on the bike.
  • Focus on technique on the bike and the run: high-cadence (160-180 on the bike, 80-90 on the run) and smooth.
  • Pay attention to your fatigue levels throughout your training program to avoid overtraining. That is a killer and blows up a lot of amateur IM athletes' training.
  • Starting now, you should be building aerobic base.
  • Bricks have not been demonstrated to add much fitness over one-dimensional days, so don't feel like you need to stuff a lot of them into your program.
  • Pay close attention to your diet. Eat lots of protein and fat.
  • Do a detailed nutritional plan for race day. Know exactly what you are going to consume and when. Build that into your training plan and experiment to find the right combination of powders, gels, electrolytes, etc.
  • Practice your transitions but don't worry about them. Unless you are trying to run a Kona qualifier, your transition times are not important.
  • Spend money on a nice racing suit that you wear the whole race. It's worth it. Also consider compression sleeves for arms and calves. They make a difference.
  • No need to spend money on an aero helmet unless you have the discipline to stay on your tri bars the whole time.
You should have plenty of time, as long as you are consistently adding base fitness (as you seem to be). Enjoy it. There's nothing in the world like hearing your name announced as you cross the finish line. Good luck and happy to provide advice if you want it.
 

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Good luck man.

You can never over-plan your training. Plan, plan, plan. Plan everything. Weeks, days, nutrition, equipment, travel to the race, race set-up, etc. If you want I can send you a template of the training plan in excel that I used for my IM training.
 

fiskful of dollars

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Who's racing this summer? I have a few Olympic races and an IM in October at IMNC. Crashed my fucking bike at 22 mph on Thursday. No major injuries but pretty bruised and scraped. I'm in my late forties and I don't hit the pavement very well anymore. Most importantly...bike is OK. Good luck everyone, hope training is going well. I'm taking 2 days off...
 
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Kremlin Watcher

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Have to be careful out there, man. I broke my wrist in a crash at T2 in a race many years ago. Still gives me trouble. Don't race any more due to chronic hip problems.

Hope your training for IMNC is going well.
 

fiskful of dollars

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First Ironman done! IM NC was shortened a bit due to Hurricane Matthew. They cut the bike to 56 miles but kept the rest of the race intact. Great event-lots of energy! Swim was a bit choppy because of the 18 mph winds. The shortened bike was ugly. 18 mph winds with gusts to 28 mph. 40 miles into the wind then 16 miles of a really nice tailwind. Marathon course was great, ran a 4:13 - pretty happy with that, especially after the grueling (but short) bike leg. Total time was 9:07.
 

fiskful of dollars

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All right! Time to put triathlon back in the forefront. Too many golf threads in this forum:) Who's racing this season? Broke 2:30 for the first time at Jamestown (Oly distance) last weekend. Doing 2 Halfs this year and gunning for IM Mt. Tremblant in 2018.
Happy training and good luck!
 

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@fiskful of dollars @Kremlin Watcher

I’m thinking about a triathlon next spring/summer with my kids

I’m in my early 40s, and in good shape. I’ve finished two marathons (4:20 and 4:09) and still play organized sports. That said, my training is ... errr ... irregular. When I ran the marathon two years ago I started training in early September, and knocked 10 mins off my previous time from ten years earlier. So I can get it into shape when I put my mind to it. The running thread here was really helpful in terms of compressed training, game planning, fueling, etc.

That said, I don’t want to hurt myself. Realistically, it’s hard for me to swim more than once or maybe twice a week. I can get to the gym and run more regularly when I put my mind to it. But I need help. What should my benchmarks and targets be? What kind of planning and gear do I need? I have a decent hybrid Trek with road tires, but it’s not a racing bike. Can I get away with that or will I feel foolish? I know with marathons the goal is to increase your base over time, one increasingly long long-run a week, and get up to a 20 mile run two weeks in advance and then taper. I can do that. But I feel like this would be another animal. Where to start? And any suggestions for events next year in the New York City area that would be good for me and the kids?
 
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fiskful of dollars

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Hey Broods! Glad someone else is posting in this thread for a change!

I just finished IM Arizona last Sunday. There is NOTHING like finishing an Ironman. Nothing. It is pure elation.
What type of tri are you considering? There are 4 main distances:
Sprint: 400-750M swim, 10-12.5 mi bike, 5K run. Sometimes these are unusual distances but the usual distance in 750M/12mi/5K.
Olympic: 1500M swim, 40K bike, 10K run
Half-Ironman (70.3): 1.2 mi swim, 56 mi bike, 13.1 mi run
Ironman (140.6): 2.4 mi swim, 112 mi bike, 26.2 mi run

Clearly, it's best to start with a sprint distance. The distance and training are the most manageable, obviously.

It sounds like you have a great running base to build on in addition to a good aerobic fitness platform in which to build...so that's a great place to start from.

Re equipment..triathletes LOVE their kit/gadgets,etc. A hybrid bike will be fine to start...there are many, many road bikes, MTB, hybrids in most local races. As you get into the HIM distance and beyond, you'll want a triathlon bike unless the course is hilly/technical..climbing is harder on a tri bike than a road bike. Riding in aero position on a tri bike will make you faster and more comfortable (after you get used to it) in addition to preserving your leg muscles a bit for the run. To begin competition you'll need swim goggles, a bike/helmet/bike shoes and a pair of running shoes. That's it. As you get more into the sport there will be a ton of stuff you'll want to get...aero helmets, racing tri kits (so you don't have to change clothes in transition), racing bike wheels, a tri bike, power meters, etc, etc. It gets expensive like most adult hobbies...but it's so worth it.

Swimming: I was not a trained swimmer so this was the biggest challenge for me. I took a Master's class at the Y and went from needing a swim snorkel to go 25M to swimming 1,000M in just a few lessons. After that, a swim coach can really help refine your technique to get you faster and more comfortable in the water. Training in open water is a must. There are skills you'll need in OW like sighting (staying straight, seeing the turn buoys, etc.) that can't be reliably practiced in a pool. I do 90% of my in-season training in OW.
Once you decide on a bike...please get a professional bike fit no matter what type of bike you employ. Clipping on aero bars to a hybrid or a road bike is a common quick fix that can lead to miserable biking experiences. An indoor trainer is really helpful especially in the northeast so you can train when the wether is an issue. Luckily, there are a ton of used trainers available for sale so you can pick one up cheap.

I'm in VA so don't know much about the NY races but Ironman Lake Placid is supposed to be an amazing venue.

Hope that's enough to get you started! Shoot me any q's! Glad you're getting into the sport...it's addicting! It's also very kid-friendly so you can compete as a family. At IM AZ, they had a couple of races for the kids and the pride in which they wore their finisher T-shirts was cool to see!
 

BroodsSexton

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Hey Broods! Glad someone else is posting in this thread for a change!

I just finished IM Arizona last Sunday. There is NOTHING like finishing an Ironman. Nothing. It is pure elation.
What type of tri are you considering? There are 4 main distances:
Sprint: 400-750M swim, 10-12.5 mi bike, 5K run. Sometimes these are unusual distances but the usual distance in 750M/12mi/5K.
Olympic: 1500M swim, 40K bike, 10K run
Half-Ironman (70.3): 1.2 mi swim, 56 mi bike, 13.1 mi run
Ironman (140.6): 2.4 mi swim, 112 mi bike, 26.2 mi run

Clearly, it's best to start with a sprint distance. The distance and training are the most manageable, obviously.

It sounds like you have a great running base to build on in addition to a good aerobic fitness platform in which to build...so that's a great place to start from.

Re equipment..triathletes LOVE their kit/gadgets,etc. A hybrid bike will be fine to start...there are many, many road bikes, MTB, hybrids in most local races. As you get into the HIM distance and beyond, you'll want a triathlon bike unless the course is hilly/technical..climbing is harder on a tri bike than a road bike. Riding in aero position on a tri bike will make you faster and more comfortable (after you get used to it) in addition to preserving your leg muscles a bit for the run. To begin competition you'll need swim goggles, a bike/helmet/bike shoes and a pair of running shoes. That's it. As you get more into the sport there will be a ton of stuff you'll want to get...aero helmets, racing tri kits (so you don't have to change clothes in transition), racing bike wheels, a tri bike, power meters, etc, etc. It gets expensive like most adult hobbies...but it's so worth it.

Swimming: I was not a trained swimmer so this was the biggest challenge for me. I took a Master's class at the Y and went from needing a swim snorkel to go 25M to swimming 1,000M in just a few lessons. After that, a swim coach can really help refine your technique to get you faster and more comfortable in the water. Training in open water is a must. There are skills you'll need in OW like sighting (staying straight, seeing the turn buoys, etc.) that can't be reliably practiced in a pool. I do 90% of my in-season training in OW.
Once you decide on a bike...please get a professional bike fit no matter what type of bike you employ. Clipping on aero bars to a hybrid or a road bike is a common quick fix that can lead to miserable biking experiences. An indoor trainer is really helpful especially in the northeast so you can train when the wether is an issue. Luckily, there are a ton of used trainers available for sale so you can pick one up cheap.

I'm in VA so don't know much about the NY races but Ironman Lake Placid is supposed to be an amazing venue.

Hope that's enough to get you started! Shoot me any q's! Glad you're getting into the sport...it's addicting! It's also very kid-friendly so you can compete as a family. At IM AZ, they had a couple of races for the kids and the pride in which they wore their finisher T-shirts was cool to see!
I think the first one will be a sprint. Probably enough of a challenge for me first time out. What’s your training schedule look like? Do you just alternate swimming/running/biking? Weight training also? Which do you find you need to train the most? Obviously an IM is different from a sprint. Am not sure how much open water training I’ll get living in New York City...maybe over the summer I can get out to the ocean but over the winter it ain’t gonna happen.

Can I train on an exercise bike? Are spin classes a reasonable proxy? The running I’m not as concerned about. That’s I know how to get into shape for...
 

fiskful of dollars

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I like to start training about 4-6 months before my "A" race each season. I train year-round but reduce the work load after the season ends. Right now, I'm actively recovering. I'll start training in earnest in mid-Dec with a focus on building base endurance in all three disciplines. Personally, I'm a relatively poor swimmer - I average about 1:50-2:00/100M in open water. So, my off-season will be dedicated to some extra swim practice with an aim to improving my technique. Yeah, most swimmers train indoors over the winter! I live on a lake so I'll get out in open water in late March, early April with a wetsuit. The water temp in Az last weekend was 60 degrees...pretty chilly.

Once I decide on my race schedule, I'll target my training to accommodate those races. I workout 6 days/week. I usually swim 2-3x, bike 2-3x and run 3-4x. Obviously there are days when I do 2 workouts. Sometimes I'll bike then run immediately (a "brick" workout)..usually my long bike ride of the week followed by a short (2-6 mile), hard run. Other days, it's a swim at the pool followed by a treadmill run. I do a speed workout run, long run and a recovery run every week. For my bike workouts I use a training program called Trainer Road to set up indoor intervals (you could do this in Spin class, too) and do my longer and recovery rides outdoors. I incorporate some yoga, and weight training into my training regimen but once the season starts, I'm all about Swim, Bike, Run. Weather can dictate things too but triathlons are held in all conditions so it's important to learn how to race in bad weather. Nutrition and fueling are a HUGE part of long course triathlons but I don't think it will be a big issue in Sprint/Oly distances for you.

For sprint distances these workouts will be shorter and higher intensity...it's a sprint after all.

Do you have a particular race in mind? Tri's are so variable...pool swim v. open water; wetsuit legal?; flat or hilly course; early (can be cold), late (can be hot), etc, etc. These race conditions can help target your training. For instance, if your race is in the ocean, you'll wanna train in salt water. If it's a pool swim, don't waste time learning how to sight...although that is a crucial skill for triathletes.
Hope this helps! Good luck with your training.
 

fiskful of dollars

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Ok...season about to start. Anyone got any races scheduled?

I'm doing IM VA 70.3 in May and IM NC 70.3 in Oct. Will prob do a 140.6 race in 2020.
I'm about 3 weeks into my 2019 season's training and struggling to find the mojo.

Hope everyone has a great season.

By everyone, I mean me. I'm lonely in here.