I’m excited to welcome Laura from Mommy, Run Fast. Laura is a SAHM to a toddler and part-time spin instructor. She is passionate about running and healthy holisitic living and enjoys experimenting in the kitchen. Laura started running in 2002 and had been hooked ever since. Her determination is contagious and I’ve enjoyed following her health, fitness and being mommy journey.
From Runner to Triathlete
Runners, ready to Tri?
Like many of you, I am a runner first. I also teach spin classes, but spend very little time riding outdoors. And the only time I was consistently swimming was in my third trimester of pregnancy. Despite my lacking skill-set, I was curious about triathlons.
Soon after adding a triathlon to my “fitness bucket list,” I found a new running buddy who happens to be a triathlete. With her encouragement, I signed up for and finished my first sprint triathlon in July. It was an adventure, in the best use of the term!
If you are as new to triathlons as I was, here is a basic overview:
How long is the Sprint distance?
Sprint triathlons are typically a 400m- 750m swim, 12-16 mile bike ride, and a 3.1 mile run. For endurance runners, the overall time to complete the race should be a little faster than a half marathon.
Gear: All you need is a cap and goggles.
Training: 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.
If the swim is in open water, try to practice in open water in advance, as it will be very different from the pool. The water is dark and there are no lines keeping you on track, so you should also practice looking up through your stroke every once in awhile to stay on course.
Sidenote: It’s also very common to panic in the open water (as I did) so I would recommend a brief warm-up in the water and ensure that you start slowly. Or you can look for a triathlon that takes place in a pool.
Gear: Although I saw a few mountain bikes, a road bike will give you more speed for your efforts. You must have a helmet, and other optional gear items include water bottle, gloves, gadget to measure mph, and biking shoes. As a newbie, you can get away with wearing sneakers (I did!) but, being clipped in allows you to use both the “push” and the “pull” in your stroke.
Training: 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.
Runners, did you know you have an advantage in the triathlon? It is consistently the top runners who win triathlons.
Gear: A race belt with clips for the bib is helpful as you can simply click it on top of your outfit. I also loved the elastic shoelaces (such as Speed Laces) to allow you to slip your foot in without untying.
If you’re a runner, a three mile run does not require much training. However, 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. Brick workouts can also include a swim-to-bike or a swim-to-run. Aim for at least one brick workout per week.
Set up is important. Here are a few tips:
- Use a large towel and save room at the edge to wipe your wet feet coming out of the water
- Set up your stuff to the right of your bike and lay it out in the order you want to grab it
- Practice a run through of the transition and what you will need to drop off or grab at each
There is much more than I can cover in one post (what to wear, how to fuel, etc.) and I’m happy to answer other questions anytime! Many thanks to Jill for letting me share with you today.