Training for 1st triathlon

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The junk miles come in the grey zone between easy and hard. I've always been told to do the easy stuff really easy and the hard stuff hard. 80% of your training should be easy, 20% hard.

I've just finished a 4k swim set. From that I did 2 hard 100s and 2 hard 50s on the end of a 150 set.
 
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Running:

Did an easy run yesterday, only about 3km. My right calf didn't want to wake up. I was working from home for the first time in a while, so I wasn't very active during the day. Note to self: Do a warm up!

Swimming:

Did a timed 750m this morning, and completed the swim in 27mins 30secs. Only 30 seconds faster than before, but I did the whole swim using front crawl, which is a milestone.

I started the session with a few lengths of breast stroke, and then did a length of front crawl, but didn't yet feel comfortable. So I did another few lengths of backstroke, and some upright kicking in the deep end, and then did another length of front crawl and it felt easier and I wasn't getting out of breath. So I started the 750m and I swam right through it, without even feeling the need to change stroke.

I've ordered 2 wetsuits from Decathlon. I tried one on there on Sunday, but it was too small, so I've ordered 2 of the next larger sizes. Hopefully one will fit, and I'll arrange a refund on the other. There's a swimming lake nearby so I'll hopefully be able to do some open water swimming soon.

Day off tomorrow. I'll work out what to do with the stretch cords I bought on Sunday.

Running on Thursday and it's a longer one, about 7.5km.
 
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Ask at your pool if there's a coach or if there are any lessons you can attend. You're obviously fit but there's a mountain of time you're leaving on the table there in the swim. I would say your technique and body position in the water is probably costing you more energy than if you'd done the swim efficiently in half the time.

Halfing your swim time will be significantly easier than halfing bike or run time.
 
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Ask at your pool if there's a coach or if there are any lessons you can attend. You're obviously fit but there's a mountain of time you're leaving on the table there in the swim. I would say your technique and body position in the water is probably costing you more energy than if you'd done the swim efficiently in half the time.

Halfing your swim time will be significantly easier than halfing bike or run time.

You're right, I'm all wobbly and not flat in the water, my legs sink. The leisure centre has something called swim stars, but it's just to teach people and kids who can't swim.

I did notice in the timetable that "sharks" is booked out once per week in the evening and I think it's a swimming club. I might ask them about it.
 
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As your Tri Is open water / wetsuit….grab yourself a pull buoy.


I swim so much faster with a suit as it helps lift my legs. You’ll get a similar result with a pull buoy and you’ll be able to concentrate on your arms.
 
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Running. I did a warm up before leaving the house today, and the plan was to do a longish run at a steady pace, the route is about 7.5km. The first half was fine, but during the second half my right calf became a became painful. I ran through it and completed the run, but my right calf is sore. Hopefully it'll sort itself out.

Swimming tomorrow.
 
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Well my calf seized up completely last night before bed, and I couldn't walk without a limp. I did some internet doctoring and learned that it would be best not to train for at least 24 hours. I also learned that it's best not to run again until I can hop on the bad leg without pain. So I skipped swimming this morning, and it's getting better hour by hour. The calf is still tight and painful when walking, but I'm no longer limping. I'm hopeful that swimming won't aggravate things, it would be good to continue with that while healing.

Must learn some calf exercises and do a thorough warm up before the next run.
 
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Today was supposed to be a run day, but my calf is still healing, so I just took a walk instead. I've also been looking at warm up routines and calf release exercises. Previously I didn't really warm up at all, and the first km would be a struggle. I've learned that this was due to not being warmed up.

Hopefully it'll heal up in time to allow for some running before the triathlon.
 
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Tuesday swimming:

I'm developing a warm up routine:

Get in
1 length of breast stroke to the deep end
30 seconds of upright kicking
1 length of breast stroke to the shallow end
Horizontal kicking against the wall

I do the above a few times until I feel warmed up and comfortable in the water, then I do whatever is planned for the day.

On Tuesday I did sprints. Up until now I've been focusing on trickle breathing, keeping taut and tidying up my stroke. This is all working and I'm now able to comfortably swim 750m front crawl, but I'm not getting faster. My stroke is very slow. So I did 25m sprints, resting for a few seconds between lengths to allow my heart rate to drop back down. Speeding up the stroke sent my technique out of the window, but I was motoring along! Well, going faster than before :)

I tried to work on technique while swimming fast, and made some progress, but no way would I be able to sustain this for 750m at my current level. More swimming tomorrow, I'm going to have an easy session focussing on getting back to efficient sustainable front crawl, but a bit faster without being too undidy.
 
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Excellent. If you can get out of the swim without being knackered then you're doing well. There's still plenty to do after the swim.
 
Soldato
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Swimming:

The pool (well, the slow lane) was quiet on Friday, so after a decent warm up I did a timed 750m and it took 23 mins, which is the fastest yet! I guestimated 21mins when signing up for the triathlon, so heading in the right direction.

@john_smith It's getting easier but I'm not sure if I can get below 20 mins.

Cycling:

Did 15 miles yesterday which I found easy, but I took the electric bike! I really need to put some real miles in on the road bike, but the electric bike is so much fun :)

Running:

First run today since the calf strain 10 days ago, and thankfully it went well. I did some YouTube warm up exercises before leaving the house, and walked down the lane about 300m before starting to run.

I only did my usual route of 3.9km and it certainly wasn't fast, but it's good to know that I can run again. Also did a warm down afterwards. Not warming up is a lesson I only want to learn once!
 
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Soldato
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Brick training, bike then run. I thought I'd be warmed up coming off the bike, but my feet felt like bricks! I guess that's where the name comes from.

I've got some open water swimming lined up for April, and am making steady progress in all areas, so it's going well so far.
 
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Quick update.

Swimming. Still swimming twice per week. We went to Devon for Easter and I did an open water coaching session, including video analysis, with two very helpful women. Takeaway points were: slow down my stroke, keep my head down and reach further in front. I've done 2 sessions since at the pool and it's really hard getting rid of my bad habits, but it's working. I'm still in the slow lane but I was swimming on Friday and there were 2 guys in the faster lane next to me, they were going a little bit faster than me but they were ploughing away at the water and I was doing long, slow strokes and nearly keeping up with them. An open water swimming centre less than a mile away has just reopened and I'm swimming there tomorrow.

Cycling. I'm only doing 1-2 rides per week, but this is my strongest discipline so I'm not bothered about doing lots of miles and instead focus on riding then running straight afterwards.

Running. I'm running twice per week, but only about 4km. I'll need to increase distance. I used to be a fast runner but not any more. I'm going to build up to doing about 7km per run.

So, with only 7 weeks to go, I need to continue to build up the training. I'm training 5 days per week, so doing a weekly brick session will give me one rest day per week, and I must start doing some swim stretches so maybe I could do these on my rest day.
 
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Quick update, with two weeks to go:

Swimming: I've got a strong, slow/medium speed front crawl, I'm too fast for the slow lane in the pool, but too slow for the fast lane. I've done 3 open water swimming sessions, with the 3rd being today, I did 1.2km. Sighting is getting better, and I think I'll be ok for the swim.

Bike: I've been doing plenty of rides, did 36 miles yesterday, and am confident the bike will be the strongest leg of the Tri. I won't push too hard though, to save a bit in my legs for the run.

Run: I've had problems. My 5km route is fine if I run slowly, but if I run strongly I get quite bad backache afterwards, and for the next 2 days. This sets me back for swimming and cycling. I had this before when training for a half marathon. Running on grass is much better and I can go faster.

With only 1 week of high intensity training left, I've decided to stick to short 4km runs at an easy pace. I know I can do the run, and have done several brick sessions, so the plan is to just accept I'll have a bad back for a couple of days after the event.

Not long now!
 
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You only have to hang in there with the run. I wouldn't worry about it too much if you know you can do the distance.

I've got the Leeds triathlon (Olympic) in 2 weeks and had some fairly disruptive training after getting a bad ski injury and then a few illnesses.

I'd highly recommend getting as much open water swimming as possible just to get used to it, so you're more relaxed on the day.

Fortunately I live next to a lake so I've been able to go in every other day. Hate getting into the water but love it once I get going.
 
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