Nation's Tri "Triathlon 101" Clinic

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to present to a group of athletes who are gearing up for the 2014 Nations Triathlon on September 7th. The presentation had a familiar format in which I, with the help of two of my triathlon club members, laid out a handful of beginner tips for the group:

·      What to bring in your transition bag

·      How to train for the bike leg

·      Don’t forget to stretch!

 

After the clinic, I began to think back on the first season that I really started to train for triathlon, as opposed to an individual sport or just working out.  It got me thinking about what I wish I had known or had done differently back then.  I even asked my wife, who completed her first sprint triathlon last year, what were the best pieces of advice we would pass on to a newbie triathlete.

 

The three best pieces of advice that we came up with are this:

1.     Follow a plan – It doesn’t matter where the plan is from (ie: the internet, a coach, a book, wherever).  Just having a road map that will get you from A-to-B is going to make your journey to the finish line much simpler and better.

2.     Practice open water swimming – Swimming is often the Achilles’ heal of triathletes, even for people with a comfortable pool-swimming background. It is also often the most challenging thing to practice, as finding open water in which it is legal/safe to swim can be hard.  However, I think that getting some experience swimming outside the pool is a must for new athletes and should be practiced by experienced athletes as well.

3.     Don’t underestimate the bike leg – If you think about it, in a triathlon you are riding a bicycle for the majority of the race.  It is where smaller increases in power, efficiency, and endurance can translate into the biggest decreases in overall time.  Having a good bike leg also effects how you run off the bike as well.  For the athlete how has limited time to train, focusing extra time on cycling will pay dividends in their next race.

 

As I write this article, I am also a few weeks out from racing Nations Tri as the culmination of my season.  Looking back on the training that I have done so far this season, I find that I have followed my own advice, and have been happy with the results in the races that I have done so far.  Now in a few more weeks I hope that I can bring it all together and finish strong at Hains Point.

 

To view the presentation form the Nation’s Tri Triathlon 101 clinic, click here

First Race of the season!

Tomorrow morning at 4am, I will gather my heaps of tri-gear, load the family into the Rav4, and head out on a two hour drive to the first race of the year: The Rock Hall International Triathlon.  For most people this sounds horrible (and the 4am part ain't great) but for those of us who enjoy the sport of triathlon, this is fairly routine during race season.  For those that don't get it, maybe this will help explain.

I am happy that my wife enjoys coming to my races (and it turns out my two year old is excited to watch daddy race as well) because this makes the whole process much easier.  I also get to share my successes (I don't think there is such a thing as a failure when it comes to racing, just learning experiences) with my family which makes them all the better.

Each season that I have been racing, I hope to start off the new year with times or results that are close to those I posted at the end of the previous year.  I've been able to do this for the last three years, but I have also started to see a plateau in my times.  For this race, I am planning on testing out whether the long miles i have been logging on rides with The Bike Rack will pay off. 

I have always struggled with running and I am hoping that the efficiency and power gained on my bike will translate to better run splits by starting the run with more gas left in the tank.  I also will try to negative split the run better by paying close attention to my pace starting out.  By dialing it back out of T2, I think I will be able to have a better second half split.  We shall see. 

I will post a post race report to let everyone know how it went.