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Old 05-09-2006, 08:26 PM   #11
Eugene R. Allen
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Location: Tacoma  Washington
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Your race will be short and hard so you need to train for a short and hard event...after a energy draining swim. No, check that, after a graceful cooperative exchange of energy in the lake. You apply energy and pressure to the water and it gives you something to push on in return to propel you through the water. Do not try and muscle your way through the water, this method will result in exhaustion every time. Swim speed is all about efficiency, not power. Work on skill drills and the speed will come.

Learn to spin circles on the bike...wait, first make sure the bike fits you. As much as I adore high end bicycles and advocate their purchase, I agree with Doc and the need to do some races before you invest the big bucks in a Litespeed, Softride, Cervelo P3, Scott Plasma, Kestrel KM40 or any off the other rockets out there. Make sure whatever you put between your legs fits you and is adjusted to you. Foreward seat angles rock for triathlon but you have to get used to riding that way and you really need aerobars. Bar end shifters are great for flat courses but it's good to have a couple different rides and different sets of wheels depending on the course you ride...assuming you are into spending money as if your life depended on it like I do.

Spinervals. Go to and get some Spinerval DVDs. He has lots of them and they are all great. You need to develop your ability to hammer at just below your lactate threshold...and of course you need to figure out all your HR limits.

I think you'll be fine with whatever you have going on for running but I would make sure to get out on the track once a week to do some intervals. Work your way up to 6 or even 8 x 400 at your planned race pace for the 5k. Again work on form and running efficiently and learn your pace. Know when you are running 8's or 7:30 so you know how hard to push yourself in the race.

Swim at least 3 days a week, more if you can. Always drill. Shorter more frequent swims are better than fewer longer swims. Get a trainer to ride on at home so you can do spinervals and technique work without the hassles of getting killed by a car. That is very inconvienent. Ride with just one foot clipped in so you learn how to spin circles. Learn to spin at a high cadence of at least 80 rpm. Spinning is more efficient and will save your legs. Always do a short run after you bike and do one hard 10 mile time trial followed by a 2 or even 3 mile run each week. You don't need any really long rides, 20 is plenty and 10 k is plenty long on your long days. What you need is speed work, but an endurance base is important too.

I find that I can do my hardest extra workouts on swim days. You can do an every other day CF workout with tri stuff in between but you will have to double up your workouts on some days. Monitor you morning HR. When it gets to be 6 to 8 beats higher than your baseline you are becoming over trainined...or under rested if you prefer. The term is over trained but the reality is that you have not rested enough. Listen to your body, if you are really smoked, take a day off. Consider one day a week where you do nothing...or at least very little. For me these days are few and are generally a result of too much other stuff going on for me to get in a workout...I make that my rest day.

Drink a lot of water, do the Zone and figure out your HR zones. Knowing where your thresholds are is very useful in your training. If you buy a HR monitor get Polar.

Triathon and multi sport rocks. Try some off road tris too, like Xterra. Wildflower is a must and if you can get in Escape from Alcatraz is the best race ever.

Welcome to CrossFit and to triathlon as well.
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Old 05-10-2006, 07:41 PM   #12
Andrew Smith
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Wow. I can't even begin to tell you how thankful I am for ya'll taking the time to answer my questions. It has really been a TREMENDOUS help. Once again, thanks guys.
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Old 05-11-2006, 12:35 PM   #13
Garrett Smith
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tucson  AZ
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I second the Wildflower recommendation! That was a brutal, yet fun course.

I now look back and wish I had chugged the beer offered to me by the collegiate-volunteers-for-extra-credit that was offered to me on the run, if just for the cheers it would have elicited. Maybe next time!
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