Sexy in Lycra & Other Added Benefits of Triathlon

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Triathlon is not just about getting exercise and and some fresh air. It goes much deeper than that. Sure training and racing will get you fit, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a list of the awesome side benefits of triathlon, you may not have realized.

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Awesome Tan – All of those training rides and runs basking in the sun will turn you into a bronze god. That is where you are not covered by your tri gear. Your tri shorts will provide cover for a distinct tan line between your pasty upper thighs, and then rest of your tan legs. Try varying your tri short length for the rainbow effect.

Comfortable in Lycra – You may be apprehensive, when first sporting your lycra training gear. You might try covering up with gym shorts, or bring extra clothes to a ride. This is short lived. Soon you will be rocking your lycra like your favorite pair of jeans. Lycra to the grocery store? Sure. After ride coffee shop? No problem. Church? Why not. Soon, you will wonder why everyone else doesn’t realize the comfort and awesomeness this magical textile.

Sexiness – All of this training and racing will have you tan and fit. You’ll be tight like a tiger, and ready to pounce. Well, you’ll be ready to pounce if it is before 8 pm, because you need to be in bed by 9 pm for a 5 am 4 hour ride in the morning. Maybe you want to wait until after the next big race,  so you don’t interfere with your recovery.

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New Set of Friends – Triathlon is a great community. During your journey of training and racing you will make some great friends, who share a similar passion for life. They will be slightly more type A than you, and be happy to train with you if it fits in their highly regimented plan. There’s nothing better than chatting on a long ride or run with a friend. At some point during that workout your friend with pick up the pace, ruining your LSD pace, and hammering you into a shell of yourself. Thanks friend.

 

Healthy Lifestyle – Racing tris will lead you to a healthier lifestyle. You will be getting regular exercise, and watching your diet. This will last until you decide who want to go faster. Then, you will up your training volume way too quickly, and eventually get injured. You may find yourself in the doctor’s office on a Monday with a searing pain in your foot. Here’s how the conversation will go:

Doc: “How did you even walk in here? Your foot is in bad shape”

You: “It only hurts when I run”

Doc: “Well the only cure for this is rest”

You: “That’s cool. I don’t have another hard run planned  for two days. Is that enough rest?”

Doc: Speechless -gives you a look of bewilderment and disappointment.

 

Triathlon Badge – You are taking on new challenges and setting big goals. You want to share your goals and achievements with others. Soon everyone will know you are a triathlete, because that is all you talk about.

IM Los Cabos http://www.ironmanloscabos.com/
IM Los Cabos
<www.ironmanloscabos.com>

Family Vacations – Triathlons are held all over the world, and in some pretty sweet locales. You want to bring the family along to support and cheer you on. They are excited because they get a free trip out of the deal. Then you wake them up at 4:30 am on race morning, and they have to deal with your anxious, cranky pre-race mood. The rest of the race they get to stand in the (heat/wind/freezing temps/bugs) on the side of the road, so they can cheer you on for :45 secs of a two hour race.

Invest in Yourself –  In life, the best investment you can make is in yourself. This is what you will tell yourself, when shelling out a two months salary on a new Tri bike. Now,you will just need to explain this logic to your significant other.

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Car Rear Bumper Hall of Fame – As you progress through longer distance races, you can add the distance stickers to your rear bumper. You might start with a 13.1, then a 26.2, maybe a 70.3, and a 140.6. Soon enough your rear bumper can be a hall of fame to your triathlon career. The soccer mom in the SUV behind you will be so impressed.

photo credit: dullhunk via photopin cc

photo credit: speedophotos via photopin cc

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Dive In! 7 tips for selecting your first TRIATHLON

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Congrats! You’ve decided to dive in and and become a triathlete. Now it’s time to sign up for you first race. We want you to have a great experience at you first race. You have put in the commitment and training, and now its time to show your greatness.

Here’s some tips to help you decide which race is best for you:

1. Race Distance – Sprint distance triathlons are usually best for first time triathletes. Typical distances for a sprint triathlon are ~500M Swim, 12 mile bike, and 5k run. The majority of people will finish this race around 90 minutes. Sprints are short enough to let it rip, if you are feeling great. If it’s not your day, you can cruise through the finish.

2. Race Location – Consider you logistics when choosing a race. Sometimes the effort to get to the race, can be as nerve racking as the event itself. Some things to consider here:

  • How far do I have to travel?  If you have a private helicopter, this is not an issue.
  • Do I need to stay in a hotel? If the race has an early start, and you have a significant commute to get there, staying close to the race start will decrease race morning anxiety greatly.
  • Is the race spectator friendly? Your friends and family have supported you through all of your training, and want to cheer you on during the race. Races that are held in parks or in downtown areas work well for families.

Tips to decrease race more anxiety.

3. Swim (open water vs. pool) –  If you are not yet comfortable swimming in open water, you may want to start with a pool swim. This is usually the largest concern for new triathletes, and justifiably so. In open water, most times you can’t see the bottom, there are many other swimmers around you, and swimming in a straight line isn’t easy.  A pool swim will be staggered, so you are not in a a big crowd, and there is a black line at the bottom to follow.

If you are considering entering your first open water triathlon, here are some tips:

Enter the Washing Machine – Tips for your first open water swim

4. Bike/Run Course – Check the course info page for the race, and pay attention to the course profile. A short event can be made very difficult by elevation. Be sure you are comfortable with the climbs and descents, if the course is hilly. Bike handling skills take time to develop. If you are still working on your handling skills, save those technical sections, and screaming descents for later.

Run courses can vary in their terrain.  Courses can be on pavement, trails, sand, the surface of the moon, you never know. Most of the time this is not a deal breaker on the decision to sign up for a race, but be prepared. I once didn’t check out a course in advance and it had 8 large sets of  steps on it. I was not prepared, and that course crushed me.

5. Local Weather – I know we can’t control the weather, and it is unpredictable. This is one area where you can play to your strengths. If you can run all day like a camel in the heat, then sign up for a summer race. If you melt like a snowman above 80 Deg, then pick a fall race.

6. Race Organization –  The quality of the race promoter will have a huge impact on the overall event. Race promoters vary in there experience and commitment to quality. Be sure to check into the race promoter before signing up for an event. Ask other athletes about the promoter’s events, they will be happy to share their experience, good or bad.

7. Post Race Party – This may sound like a silly thing to consider, but some races have great post race parties. If you are racing with friends,  you want to celebrate after the race. A beer never tastes so good, as after a hard race.  There are a few races I do every year, just because the party is so much fun.

What are you waiting for? Get on www.active.com and get signed up.

If you know of a great beginner friendly race, please leave the info in the comments.

You Control the Effort, Not the Result

I was a reading the “War of Art” by Steven Pressfiled, and a phrase really stuck out to me. It was, “You only have a right to the work, not the results or benefits.” I think this nicely relates to training and racing as well. To me, this means you control the effort and process, and not the results. So, enjoy and take satisfaction in the process, as that is where the joy should come from. You never know when the race day conditions will suck, or you get sick two days before your A race. If you are doing what you are meant to do, the results will come.

Let me give a recent example from my life. Last week, I raced a marathon. My training for the race was the best quality training, I have done for a marathon. I will confident in a PR. At mile 16 of the race, my legs had a different plan, and I finished 10 minutes slower than expected. It was not my day.

When I crossed the finish line, I was disappointed. How could I have training so well, and fallen short of my goal? Then, I thought back to the quote above. Training and racing endurance sports is my passion. I would not take back all of the training run with friends, or long runs that leave me feeling invincible. I put full effort into my plan, and i just came up short on race day. This is my purpose, and is not defined by the result.

I am not saying not to set goals. Goals are very important. The best way to succeed is to set a big goal, and work a plan backward to achieve it. Along the process of achieving that goal, find enjoyment in the work. If you succeed or fall short on race day, know you put in a full effort.

This is not an excuse either. If you didn’t put in a full effort you will know. That’s OK. Find out what resistance kept you from putting in your full effort, and overcome it next time. Rationalizing a bad performance with excuses is not acceptable.

What are your thoughts on this topic? How are you living your purpose, and enjoying the process?

Your First Triathlon in Four Hours A Week

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Have you seen people in a triathlon, and thought I would like to try that, but I don’t have the time? It seems everyone is increasingly busy, and time is a precious resource. An event that involves three different sports sounds like huge time commitment. What if you could complete your first triathlon, and change your lifestyle in two months using only four hours a week?

Most people can carve out four hours a week to do something they really want to do. The current Neilsen ratings say the average person watches four hours of TV a day, or 28 hours a week. Would you be willing give up one day of TV for a healthier lifestyle?

Now we got the excuses out of the way, lets get down to business. How can I be ready to race a Tri in the two months in only four hours, a week?

I suggest your first race be a sprint distance tri. Typical distances for a sprint are 500M swim (15 mins), 12 mile bike (35 mins), and a 5k (30 mins) run. Each leg of the race should take 30 minutes or less. We will use that 30 min time domain to structure the majority of your training. If you are already proficient in one of these sports, you can concentrate on the other two.

A typical week will look something like this:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Off

Run/30min

Bike/30 min

Run/30min

Off

Bike/

1 hour

Run/30 mins

Swim/ 30min

Swim/30 mins

As you can see there are seven workouts broken up over five days. The two rest days are important to let your body rest, and feel like you have a life outside exercise. The double workout on Wednesday and Sunday could be done back to back inside to maximize your time. You can do your 30 mins in the pool, then hop on a spin bike or the treadmill to finish up. The swim days are flexible throughout the week. The only restriction is to not run and bike on the same day. Save your legs!

Does this sound like something you can do? Don’t be intimidated by the amount of workouts. Each workout is short enough to fit in your daily schedule, and leave you feeling energized. Also, there is flexibility in the schedule. If you can’t get to the pool on Wednesday, just move it to Thursday.

In future posts, I will layout the structure of each work during the week. In the mean time, let’s get moving!

If you have specific questions, please leave them in the comments. I will be happy to help.

Hack a Triathlon: Get started under $100

Do you want to race a triathlon, but you are on a tight budget? There’s no doubt about it. Racing triathlons can get very expensive. Super light carbon fiber bikes, and high tech training tools add up quickly. You don’t have to be tech millionaire to get started. In this post, we will show you how to get started with the right equipment, without emptying your wallet.

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Swim – $25

Swimming should be cheap right? All I should need is myself and a swim suit. You’re pretty close. You need a swimsuit and a pair of goggles. Women typically have a one piece suit they can wear. For men, I suggest training in trunks, but racing in your bike shorts.

A decent pair of goggles should cost around $25. Here’ a link to some Aqua Spheres for $20.

http://www.amazon.com/Aqua-Sphere-Kaiman-Regular-Transparent/dp/B000ENST92/ref=sr_1_11?s=boating-water-sports&ie=UTF8&qid=1394498127&sr=1-11&keywords=goggles

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Bike – $65

A bike is the mostly costly piece of equipment for Triathlon. Triathlon bikes can get crazy expensive.  A full carbon race bike with aero wheels will easily take a couple months of your salary. I recommend using the bike you already have. If you have a geared bike of any type, that will be great for your first race. This includes mountain bikes, road bike, or a hybrid. I don’t recommend beach cruisers, as they don’t have hand brakes, and can be dangerous at speed.

What if I don’t have a bike? Ask someone to borrow one. Many people buy great bikes, and the bike sit in the garage unridden. After you tell them of your plan to race your first triathlon, they will be happy to help out.

Besides the bike, you need a couple more items. First, you need a helmet. Triathlon rules state you wear a helmet at all times when you are on a bike. If you are racing in warm conditions, you want a helmet with good ventilation. Here’s a link to a Giro helmet for $30.

http://www.amazon.com/Giro-Transfer-Sport-Helmet-White/dp/B0047VMK0G/ref=sr_1_5?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1394498745&sr=1-5&keywords=bike+helmet

Also, I recommend buying bicycle shorts. Bicycle shorts have padding in the seat, and make riding much more comfortable. Also you can wear them as your race bottoms for the whole event. Here’s a link to some Canari shorts, that will work nicely:

http://www.amazon.com/Canari-Cyclewear-Padded-Cycling-Medium/dp/B00018BQ7W/ref=sr_1_3?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1394499109&sr=1-3&keywords=bike+shorts

 

Hit the Road, Runner

 

Run – Maybe $50 or $0

Here’s where the cheap skates can rejoice. We’re going to assume you are still clothed from the bike leg, so all you need is a pair of running shoes. You probably already have some running shoes. If not, check some deal sites to get some really great deals on running shoes. If you are not sure  what running shoe is best for you, go to your local running store for a consult. They will happy to help you out, even if you don’t buy there right now.

Here’s some sites with great deals on running shoes:

Joe’s New Balance Outlet

Running Warehouse

Now go and scrounge up $100

There you have it. If you have a bike to use, and some running shoes sitting in the back of your closet, you can be training and racing for under $100. The expense of triathlon shouldn’t hold you back from trying something new and exciting. Once you get hooked on triathlon, then you will need that second job. Happy Training!

For tips on choosing your first race. Click Here

First Race Esstentials

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Triathlon can be an expensive sport, but it doesn’t have to be. Most of the gear required to complete your first race, you probably already have.  You may need to purchase a couple of  items, but can make due with some things you already have.

Here’s a bare bones list of the must have items by discipline:

Swim

Swim Suit – If your first race is in a pool or in warm water all you need is a swim suit. For ladies,  I would recommend a one piece for comfort. For guys, you can swim in your bike shorts, or your favorite board shorts.

Goggles – You may need to buy a good pair of goggles, if you don’t already have them. A decent pair of goggles cost $20-40. Be sure to try them on before buying. Everyone’s face is shaped differently, and you want them to fit comfortably.

Swim Cap – Most races will provide you with a swim cap for the race.

Bike

Bicycle – I guess this is kind of obvious, but think of what you can already use. There’s no need to drop a whole paycheck on a new bike. If you have a bike that fits you, and has gears, you are good to go. I have seen people use beach cruisers. I would not recommend a cruiser, because they are heavy, don’t have gears, or hand brakes.

Also, ask around to borrow a bike. Many people have a perfectly good bike collecting dust in the garage.

Helmet – All races will require you to wear a helmet any time you are on the bike. The helmet must have a CPSC sticker inside. Don’t worry all helmets sold legally in the US are required to have the sticker. Helmets can be had for a reasonable price online.

Bike/Tri Shorts – Bike/Tri shorts are made of lycra and have padding in the seat. This is one item I highly recommend purchasing. You can use them during training, and racing. The tight fit and extra padding will help prevent the discomfort of the bike seat. If you use regular gym shorts, chaffing will occur when you get sweaty.

Toe Clips/Bike Shoes/Clipless Pedals (Optional) – Some older road bikes have toe clips on the pedals. The clips go around the toe of the shoe, and help you pull the pedal up. Same with clipless pedals, where you shoes clip into the pedal. With toe clips, you can use your running shoes during the bike. Toe clips would be best for new bike riders or first time triathletes.

If you borrow a bike with clipless pedals and chose to use them, you will also need shoes with cleats to go into the pedals. There are many different pedal and cleat types, so be sure to get the right match. The most common is the SPD cleat. These are the same cleats used on Spin bikes. So you can use your shoes for Spin classes as well.

Run

Running Shoes – This is the only real need for the run. This is the most important piece of equipment. Spend some time to research which shoes are best  fit for you. The wrong shoes can cause discomfort or worse, injury. Most running stores can assess your form and fit, and get you into the right shoe.