Thread: Triathlon
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Old 04-18-2006, 12:45 AM   #7
Eugene R. Allen
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Tacoma  Washington
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Jeff - A person not doing CF would generally get by with the 9 workouts a week and comfortably do all the way up to a this case by comfortably I mean being able to complete the event without injury. A race of 1.2 miles, 56 miles and 13.1 miles is painful no matter your level of conditioning...unless you take it on as an all day affair.

I discovered last year that backing way off on my tri specific training in favor of CF workouts made for worse times in the same races I had done the year before. My Wildflower half Iron time was more than 20 minutes slower than in the previous year. Long distance racing requires long distance preparation and CF is not sufficient for that kind of event.

However...for shorter distances, sprint for sure and maybe even Olympic, CF is much more applicable because the level of intensity in that distance of racing is so much higher and in that way similar to CF training.

To begin with you need to swim for sure...CF training will do nearly nothing for your swimming ability...only swimming helps there. You need stroke improvement practice as I mentioned above. Swim a lot and get as much instruction there as you can. Drill every time you swim.

On the bike you want some over distance rides of 40 or 50 miles now and then to get your legs used to that kind of effort level, but you also need sprint work and some sustained TT efforts. Time trail training is you against the clock. Find a 10 mile course and once a week hammer it and shoot for a better time.

You can spend a fortune on bikes Jeff. I have a Litespeed Vortex with Specialized 3 spoke wheels and Dura Ace gruppo that cost over $7000. Don't get that for triathlon. I also have a Softride Rocket TT in 650c that I like much better for time trials and long as it is not really hilly. I use the lighter, road bike geometry Litespeed for hilly courses (Wildflower, Alcatraz, Pacific Crest) and the Softride for flatter, faster courses. I would highly recommend the, comfortable and fast.

I'm 5' 10" tall and weight 170. I have a 32 inch inseam and I ride a 56 cm bike. Sizing is hyper critical and overshadows all other biking considerations. If you don't fit on it a $10,000 bike made out of lighter than air Unobtanium would be useless to you. Tri bikes and TT bikes have a more forward seatpost position and a correspondingly different head tube angle which makes the cockpit fitted better for extended riding in the aero position. You will want aerobars as well and might want to consider bar end shifters so you can shift while aero. If you really get into triathlon, a tri specific bike is a must. Things like 650 c wheels, seat mounted water bottle holders to get them out of the airflow, bar end shifters, and a forward seat angle are all tri typical bike changes that most any triathlete is set up with.

Lots of manufacturers make lots of different tri bikes from not so expensive to break the bank. If you give me a ballpark price for what you want to spend on a bike I can give you a better outline of what you can look for.

Quintanna Roo and Cervelo make some fabulous entry level bikes that are great values and will suit you for years. Carbon fiber and titanium are the hot ticket in bike material right now as they are very light and give a great road feel. Get clincher tires, not tubular. Tubular tires are considered slightly better but are a real pain to change, are messy (you have to glue them on) and are much more expensive. Clincher is the way to go.

Consider ordering the bike from a high end shop like Nytro or other tri shop. Great deals and waaaaaay more knowledge than most local bike shops that generally deal with MTB and road bikes but not the tri crowd.

I see you are way up north in Bellingham. South of you in the Seattle area is Speedy Reedy they can set you up there.

Back to the workouts. The WODs will do plenty to keep your general conditioning very high but you need some run specific work as well. You need some cruise interval running which is to say you run at your lactate threshold for two sets of 10 to 15 minutes and gradually up that to 3 sets of 20 minutes. Each of those intervals will have a 10 minute slower run in between to lower your HR and rest you up for the next set. Great stuff from Jack Daniels on this.

Get in the pool.
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