Thursday, August 8, 2013

Triathlon Tips for Runners: Win a Free Race Entry

As a long time runner and through many injuries I keep talking about becoming a true triathlete to focus on the cross training. Yes, I have done two in the past; one indoor and one in a lake and yikes the lake swim nearly killed me! It has been many years but I am ready to go for it again. Awhile ago I asked Laura from Mommy Run Fast for her advice on going from runner to triathlete. Below is a combination of advice from us both...

Swim:
The lake swim is what gets the best of most of us “non swimmers”. The thought of swimming with others and near weeds, fish etc. is not the best feeling. My first open water tri the water was cold and my breathing suffered.  Take a few deep breaths and think back to your childhood when the lake was no more than a big bath tub, jump in a have fun!

Per Laura: “You should aim for two- three swims per week, of about double the race swim mileage.  Master’s swim groups can be a great place to gain tips and be given workouts with swimming drills to improve your performance.”

Make sure to get in open water practice too (and plenty of it!). While pool swimming is one thing and comes much easier to most of us, lake swimming can be tough. The lack of lane lines, walls and ability to keep direction can be tough.
Guess I didn't take my own advice! Wetsuit next time...
The best advice given to me was to get a wetsuit! At least in the Midwest most triathlons are cool enough to be wetsuit legal and the extra buoyancy is nice plus the suit will help with fatigue and body temperature. Also have good goggles that won’t fog up.

Bike:
It is often said the race is won or lost on the bike. While there is no need to run out and buy fancy equipment such a tri or road bike, bike shoes and clip pedals it sure is fun! You will see everything from mountain bikes to high end tri bikes. You will need a helmet for sure but all else is optional.

While you can just wear your running shoes, your stroke will be more efficient is you are clipped in; allowing for both a push and pull on the pedal. This will take practice to get in and out of pedals without falling so make sure to have time to work on it and know that a fall will happen!

Per Laura “Spinning classes are a great way to build leg strength and endurance, but it is important to get in as much outdoor riding time as you can.  Approximately 1-2 spin classes and 1-2 outdoor rides a week is sufficient.”

Running:
Now this is the easy part! Just get me here and life is good again. Remember you will be hitting the run after both a swim and a bike. If you choose to change shoes tri laces will be such a help. I love my Lock Laces for the ease of getting in and out of shoes. The other helpful  item is a race belt to attach your bib.

Per Laura “it is really helpful to practice a “brick” workout, where you go immediately from the bike to a run so your legs can get a feel for the sensation of running on tired legs.”

This sensation is strange and you will feel like your legs are barely moving but teaching yourself to run on these tired legs will be key. As a long distance runner this tired leg sensation is familiar and being comfortable with running longer than the total run distance is another helpful tip.



Are you ready to tri? As a kick off to my birthday celebration I have an entry to See Jane Run Triathlon to give to one of you! It is in California so be prepared but you have until October 5th to plan.

See Jane Run Triathlon

9 comments:

  1. This looks like such a nice race and I'm sooo tempted to click enter. But I live on the other side of the country...

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  2. I would love to do the Women's Sprint Duathlon!

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  3. Great tips! Luckily I was a swimmer in high school & college so the swim is the easy part for me!

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  4. Great tips! Maybe one day I will try a tri! ;-)

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  5. I've never done a triathlon before, and this would be a good first experience!

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  6. I love tris! The spin classes helped the most with the hills. Where I ride with my bike is mostly flat.

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  7. I just completed my first sprint triathlon and it was so much fun! I do enjoy these short distance triathlons for training, though. They keep me accountable!

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