Triathlon Newbie

You’ve just boarded the Triathlon Train (YAY!). You know you’ve got to swim, bike and run but not really sure about the specifics. Questions start running through your mind, you start googling and buying triathlon mags to try answer some of your questions:

 

“How often should I be training?” 
“What quantity of my week should be designated to each leg?” 
“What do I do in a training session?”
“How long do I need to train before competing in a triathlon?” 
To answer these questions you need to ask yourself more questions. It’s like the inception of questions…. questions inside questions.

 

Ask Yourself

 

How much time am I willing to spend training?
Think about all your other commitments, family, friends, work, and other hobbies. Break down your week and find out realistically how much time you are willing to put towards triathlon. It may only be a couple of hours a week, but I can guarantee once the bug bites you’ll be planning your social calendar around training.

 

What event do I want to train for?
This will give you a good idea of how much lead up time you have to train.  Everyone will have a different lead up time depending on fitness, the event (distance) you chose to do, the different races (distances) are detailed below. Try and do an event close to home, this will avoid the hassle of traveling, plus you may even practice the course before race day giving you less unknowns to work with.

 

Enticer:
300m Swim. 10km Cycle. 2.5km Run.
Sprint:
750m. 20km Cycle. 5km Run.
Olympic:
1.5km Swim. 40km Cycle. 10km Run.
Half Ironman (70.3):
1.9km Swim. 90km Cycle. 21.1km Run.
Ironman (140.6)*:
3.8km Swim. 180km Cycle. 42.2km Run.
*probably wouldn’t recommend doing an ironman as your first triathlon! 😛

 

What is my budget (for a coach, for a training plan, for equipment, for events)?
You need to ask yourself, how much realistically are you willing to spend. Triathlon can be as expensive as you want, with the latest TT Bike, wetsuit, running shoes, race entry, top notch coach etc. For your first triathlon make sure you stick to a budget as it can easily be blown out of the water. $$$

 

Which leg is your strength?
Train all legs, but focus on where you can improve the most. For instance, if you are already a relative good swimmer but new to cycling or running, spending hours in the pool to shave off a second of two off your 100m’s is not going to be as effective as focusing on cycling or running.
Approximate breakdown: Swim: 10%, Bike: 55%, Run: 35%

 

What gear do I need?
Check out our Ultimate Race Checklist to give you an idea of the equipment you may need.
Link:

 

Top 8 Tips for Triathlon Newbies

 

  1.  All the gear, no idea!  No you do not need a fancy triathlon bike. Yes, while they look amazing and eventually you may get one but your current bike or an entry level bike will suffice.
  2. Nutrition. Ensure you fuel right, pre, during and post training.
  3. Stay Consistent. With training, nutrition, recovery and don’t do anything new race day.
  4. Transition. Don’t forget transition time counts too. Ensure you know the transition area and have practiced dismounting etc. If  you haven’t practiced pre-clipping your shoes in training, don’t try it race day.
  5. Recovery. Ensure you don’t go overboard on training. Increase your training and appropriate increments and recover accordingly through rest, sleep nutrition, mobility and active recovery.
  6. Ask questions. This sport is full of so many supportive and encouraging people who have had years of experience in the sport. Reach out, the majority will be happy to assist you with questions. Otherwise research! Do your own research and find out what works best for you, nutrition, training, coaching, recovery.
  7. Support Crew. Remember to yell out to your support crew, because unless you are wearing high vis orange with bells on your support crew can miss you and remember they’ve been waiting for hours to watch you go past for 20seconds.
  8. Have fun. Triath-FUN! Smile, laugh, ENJOY the process and be proud of yourself! Remember don’t get all caught up with the specifics, your first triathlon is all about learning and having fun!

Top Tips to FIT in FITness!

 

Do you ever wonder how an earth that mum of three, or that young career driven person working long hours or the full-time uni student juggling four jobs all seem to have more time than you?

I am a full-time engineer, part-time swimming coach, part-time tutor, part-time blogger, a lover of endurance sports and a Crohns Warrior. There are days where I struggle to stay balanced but just like a gymnast on the balance beam, you’re going to fall off more than once but it’s up to you to either jump back on or throw in the towel. To reduce your chance of losing your balance and falling off I have collated my tips that have helped me.

 

Kate’s Top Tips to Fit in Fitness

 

Schedule and Prioritise

Have a yearly calendar and schedule all your important dates, social celebrations, fitness events, holidays etc. It’s important not to neglect a certain aspect of your life. One week your focus may be on training and fitness, the next week it may be family focused with your Mum’s Birthday celebrations. Keep balanced, for your mind, body and soul.

 

Commute

Do you work in a place that is accessible to run, cycle or walk to work? Fitting in fitness through commuting allows you to save money on petrol/public transport, help the environment while working out. Win. Win. Win.

Commuting to work requires organisation such as bringing in lunch and work clothes the day before, unless you want the extra weight in your backpack. Ensure you know the facilities available to you in your workplace (i.e shower located in the disabled toilet, safe place to store your bike).

Straight To It

After work, go straight to the gym, pool or workout place. This way you will have no temptation when you get home to plop on the couch or get distracted by doing chores. You will also save in travel time by skipping the home detour. Just remember to pack your gym bag the night before with workout clothes (and shoes, I always forget shoes).

Preparation is KEY

Prepare your workout clothes, pack your swimming bag or make snacks for on the go. Prepare whatever you can to ensure you don’t fall off that balance beam. For me, I like to write out a schedule of what my training will look like for the week and to plan accordingly. And remember colour coordination is a great motivator… Don’t just pink about it, just blue it!

Fit Friends

Nothing keeps you on track than having someone else with you on the journey. Having fit friends not only keeps you motivated, but accountable too. Whether it is having them as a training partner for a running event or joining the gym to tone up, working out is always better with company. Catching up with friends can also be a great way to fit in fitness. Instead of catching up over doughnuts and milkshakes, mix it up with an active catch up. Rock climbing, beach swims, yoga classes, dog walks, hiking or stand up paddle boarding are great fun ways to fit in fitness.

 

Fitness Motivation Tips

Let’s get fit?! Are you struggling to get started or maintain motivation? You may have started a fitness lifestyle change and within a week your excitement has subsided and you lack all motivation. The excuses may start with…

It’s too hot!

I don’t have time!

It’s too cold!

I don’t feel in the mood!  

I’m too tired!

I will start tomorrow!

Time to kick those excuses outta your head with my top tips to stay motivated.

 

Goal Setting

Ever wanted to run 10km, complete a triathlon, PB in your sport, squat twice your weight? Whatever your goal is, write it in your calendar, pay for the event, get a training plan in place to work towards it. Choose a goal that you are passionate about, that excites you and will make you want to get up in the morning and work for it. It is important to set realistic goals and set mini goals to keep you on track.

Training Buddy

A training buddy is someone who motivates you and who you can be accountable to. An accountabila-buddy! You know when you set that 5am alarm to fit in a nice morning workout you are more likely to get up out of bed if you know someone is counting on you to be there. Whereas, if you’re training alone and the alarm goes off, you are more susceptible to hit snooze as you’re just letting yourself down.

A buddy is also good to share your sporting goals with; for example a sporting event (half marathon, ironman) that you can train for together. It’s important to remember you are not competing against your partner, it’s you against your own goals (although a bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone ;P)

Coach

Similar to that of a training buddy a coach is someone who will keep you accountable and in turn motivate you. Coaches will encourage, assess your training and performance and overall enhance your self-motivation.

Rest Accordingly

I’m not saying be an energiser bunny ‘Go, Go, Go’, sometimes we have to stop and rest and recover to come back stronger. Ensure you fit rest days into your schedule. Unsure when to rest? Your coach should suggest rest days and make sure you listen to your body.

Fuel your Body

Ensure that your body is well fuelled. You can’t run a car with an empty tank, so don’t do it with your body. Eat whole, fresh and nutrient dense foods.

Shoe in

New running shoes! I love the feeling and look of a fresh pair of joggers. You’ve spent the money, they look great, just another push to get out the door. A new pair of shorts or a top  or a cycle kit also does the trick 😉

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The biggest thing with motivation is turning the motivation into a habit. KEEP PUSHING THROUGH. It takes 21 days (3 weeks) to beat a habit or to create a habit. Just remember with dedication and patience the motivation will become a habit and similar to brushing your teeth, you’ll feel bad if you don’t do it.

One of the biggest reasons I hear is “I don’t have enough time”. I’ll be releasing my Top Tips to Fit in Fitness next week so stay tuned.

In the mean time, comment your top tips for motivation below.

Gym Newbie

I classify myself as an Enthusiastic Gym Newbie. I first entered a gym at the start of 2013. I was more of an outdoors girl and team sports participant for fitness, however when I started a job with benefits including free gym membership I decided what do I have to lose? 

My Experience

I remember my first day I entered a gym; I had no idea what the heck I was doing. I walked past the weights room looking at all these buff men in front of the mirror lifting weights, overwhelmed by it all and not having a clue what to do myself I headed into the cardio room. I jumped on the treadmill so I could watch what others were doing, to me it seemed everyone was expert. After a few visits of running on the treadmill I decided to begin gym classes, bootcamp style. I really enjoyed the class as it was all set out for me and all I had to do was turn up and work out. In late 2013, I got bitten by the triathlon bug so I started focusing on my swimming, cycling and running, leaving my strength behind. After several months I realised I was lacking strength so I decided to include a few gym sessions into my training. I looked up a few exercises online and decided to give them a crack as my strength program. Although the sessions were fun and exhausting, my technique was all wrong, I was overdoing it and it wasn’t aiding to my triathlon training, just making me sore. At the beginning of 2015 I approached James de Lacey (DIME Performance Head Strength and Conditioning Coach) for a personalised plan tailored to my triathlon goals. For the first time since starting at a gym I feel comfortable and confident performing weights, exercise movements and stronger. 

Top Tips for Gym First Timers

We all start somewhere

Don’t worry about being a newbie, everyone was once a beginner. It may seem like everyone else knows what they are doing but the majority have no clue just like yourself, whether it is incorrect technique or over doing it etc we all have something to learn. Be humble, be curious and be kind.

Have a plan, or at least an idea

If you are serious about getting fit and strong the best thing to do is get a tailored strength program for your fitness goal. If you want to go to the gym without paying money for a plan, watch videos, research workouts, ask coaches (either at the gym or online) but don’t go in blind. Remember it’s OK to ask for help. 

Don’t over do it

Start with only a few exercises. You may get excited after a few and want to continue but trust me your future self won’t thank you as you might injure yourself if you go all out first time.

Slowly progress to heavier weights or more reps as you improve, you don’t have to start lifting mammoth weights on a gazillion reps on your first day… Delayed Muscle Onset (DOMS) is a bitch.  

Be prepared
  • Water bottle
  • Towel
  • Appropriate clothing and shoes
  • Shower accessories (if you are planning on showering after the session)
  • A small snack 
Gym Etiquette
  • During sign up, most gyms will run you through the expectations of you, the gym-goer. Make sure you listen and follow through. Also keep a look out of signs up on the wall.
  • Hygiene is important! Put your towel down when you are working out or after you finish each exercise spray and wipe so that next person doesn’t have to sit in your sweat.
  • Re Rack Weights. If you can lift it, you can put it away.
  • Don’t push in, if one person is hogging one piece of equipment you can ask to work in between their sets.
Progress

Whatever your goal is it important to record progress, whether it is photos, measurements, body fat %, weights, reps or distance. After your first gym session you may pull your shirt up and look down at your belly and expect to see abs, but things take time. Make sure you look back at your initial progress report and celebrate at how far you have come.

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