Tag Archives: triathlete

My 5 top insights from coaching new Triathletes

Purpose Road Sign

 

For the past year or so, I’ve had the honor to coach new and beginner triathletes. Some of my athletes made great progress and accomplished fantastic goals. Many of those goals, at the beginning, they thought were not possible. Along the process they have thought me many lessons as well.

Here’s the five most important insights I gleaned from coaching new triathletes. Hopefully, they will speed your progress as a new triathlete.

 

You are more capable than you think you are. 

When I first consult with a new athletes many times they are not confident they can achieve their goal. Putting yourself out there, and trying something new is daunting. Instead of telling yourself, you can’t do something, say “I can’t do it right now”. Many athletes before you have finished the race, PR’d or whatever the goal may be. Why can’t you? Decide you will meet your goal at the beginning of the process, then get to work on achieving it.

Don’t view themselves as athletes.

If you are training and participating in races, guess what? You are an athlete. For you to increase your fitness and reach your potential, you need to view yourself as an athlete. You might say, “great I called myself an athlete, now what?” Viewing yourself as an athlete is a shift in mindset. You will view your overall lifestyle differently, and make better decisions. For example, a normal person just eats, and athletes fuels their body. A normal person goes to the gym to workout, an athlete goes to the gym to train. When you view yourself as an athlete your decisions are made with a purpose. That purpose is to achieve your athletic goals.

Need more focused training.

If you want to try a new restaurant across town and you are unsure how to get there, you open up your map app. The map is going to give the quickest route from A to B. A well planned training plan is a road map to your athletic goal. It needs to start with a clear destination, and give direction along the way. You can start your journey with no map, but it will most likely be a longer and more time consuming route. (metaphor off)

This is the most important point for new athletes. Having a training plan can save you tons of time, energy and injury. The plan can come from a coach, or you can find one on the web. Find a plan that leads you to your goal, and fits your schedule. When each workout has a purpose, you will greatly accelerate your athletic progress.

Consider the long term view.

Aside for a very genetically gifted few, most endurance athletes will need years to reach their potential. It takes years of training and patience to build endurance in the body. Take Mark Allen, 6X Ironman World Champ for example. It took him 6 tries to win his first Kona, and the first attempt he didn’t even finish. Over those first six years he kept working, and the speed and endurance came.

It’s easy to only look week to week during training to measure progress. When a workout or a week of training doesn’t go well, we get discouraged. Sometimes, it’s best to pull back and look at your progress from a longer time line. You may have been progressing for the past six weeks, and you on just on a plateau before your next breakthrough.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Don’t be shy. As a new triathlete there is a ton on information to learn. There are three sports, training, recovery, equipment, etc. Heck, this is the reason I started this blog. Find an athlete who has been racing for a while, and pick their brain. Most people are excited to help out. You can learn from their mistakes and experience, and speed up your progress.

 

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FTT 8 Week Sprint Training Plan is Here!

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FTT Sprint Training Plan

Are you ready take on a new life changing challenge, and race your first sprint triathlon? Or, have you signed up for a sprint triathlon and you are looking for the perfect plan? Check out the FTT 8 Week Sprint Training plan. In 8 weeks with about 5 hours a week you will arrive to the start line of your first sprint triathlon ready to go. Continue reading FTT 8 Week Sprint Training Plan is Here!

Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – Kettlebell Claire

Welcome to another edition of Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in the awesomeness of your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s photo is from Claire Knight:

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Claire: A friend talked me into signing up for a super sprint triathlon, and then backed out. I carried on as I thought it would be a great challenge. I learnt to deal with open water swimming, and did more cycling and running in my training than I had been doing (I’m primarily a kettlebell athlete competing nationally in the UK, fitting it all in around work, husband, and cats whilst managing my asthma).

I completed my first event on a glorious sunny late September day, was thoroughly exhausted, but ecstatic with my time and placing, about half way through the female field. I enjoyed it far more than running events I’ve done!

Claire’s full race report can be found here.

Congrats Claire on your first triathlon finish and smashing your goal time. Way to hang in and accept the challenge even after your partner backed out.

If you liked Claire’s post and want to see other Fantastic Finish Photo post, you cna check out the archives.

Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish. It doesn’t have to be from a triathlon, just any race that has special meaning to you. If you are interested in sharing, please send a message to firstimetri@gmail.com.

 

Workout Wednesday – Pedaling Smooth Like Butter

Happy Wednesday! Welcome to another edition of Workout Wednesday. Every Wednesday I will post a new Triathlon specific workout. If you like the workout, fit it into your training plan for the week. If you don’t like the workout you’re crazy, all of my workouts are brilliant pieces programming. (HAHA)

This week’s workout: One Leg Isolation Drills (Pedaling Efficiency)

Leg Speed

Have you plateaued in your cycling speed gains? If you are pounding the pedals like you are stomping grapes, we need to work on your pedaling efficiency. Working on your pedaling efficiency will eliminate dead spots in your pedal stroke, and increase your cycling power.

When you are cycling with a group, you can tell the riders that have an efficient stroke. Their legs look smooth like butter through the whole stroke. It’s not just about looking good, you can save some serious energy. Most cyclists will pedal 5000 – 6000 strokes an hour, and efficient pedaling can produce energy savings up to 15 – 20%. That is some serious free speed.

Here’s the best part, working on some simple drills a couple times a week will get you quick gains. The focus of these drills is to turn on the correct muscle groups with the right timing. The coordination of these muscle groups will increase your pedaling efficiency. After the first workout you will feel a difference, and within a few weeks make some serious progress. Here’s the bonus; these drills only take around ten minutes, and can be done in conjunction with another cycling workout. (I’m starting to sound like an infomercial).

Here’s a quick video on pedaling efficiency:

 

 

On to the workout:

One Leg Isolation Drills

  • Warm up – 10 minutes
  • 5 X 1 min on with heavy gear/ 1 min easy gear (spin)
  • 3 X Right leg 30 secs/ Spin 1 min / Left leg 30 secs / Spin 1 min
  • 5 min Spin
  • 3 X Right leg 30 secs/ Spin 1 Min / Left leg 30 secs/ Spin 1 min
  • 5 min Spin
  • Cool down

*Focus Points: Smooth circles, Medium tension, Muscle group timing and activation

This workout is best done on a spin bike or trainer. Pedaling with one leg can cause some balance issues, and we don’t want you in the ditch.  During the one leg intervals, keep medium tension on the bike. Don’t use heavy tension, as you will rely too much on the down stroke, and can jack up your knees. Focus on making the smoothest circular pedal strokes you can. There should be constant pressure on the pedal throughout the entire stroke. During the spin intervals, keep a cadence of 90 rpm or higher under light tension, and feel the muscle groups working together. The one leg intervals will force the upstroke muscle groups to activate. When you go back to pedaling with both legs you will feel smoother immediately.

This workout is not meant to be super intense. Keep the intensity down, and focus on great form. The workout above is laid out as a stand alone workout. If you are throwing this in at the end of another workout, just do one set.

Now, go and make some pretty little circles!

 

 

Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – First Triathlon, an Ironman? No Problem.

Welcome to another edition of Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in the awesomeness of your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s Fantastic Finish Photo is from Richie Gardiner:

 

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Continue reading Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – First Triathlon, an Ironman? No Problem.

Sexy in Lycra Part III

Welcome to Part III of the Sexy in Lycra and other benefits of triathlon series. (Part I, Part II) This time we will discuss the different species of triathletes that dwell in our community. As you read through the list, don’t be surprised if one of these species of triathlete is you.

 

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1. Fuel Belt Batman 

Fuel Belt Batman stalks the local jogging paths, equipped for any situation that may arise. Extra water in little tiny bottles? Check. 16 gels holstered neatly?  Check. Cellphone, Tazer, Can Opener, and Pocket Fisherman? Check. Fuel Belt Batman may be only be running three miles today, but he is ready for action. After the run, the Fuel Belt can double as a Dive Belt.

 

2. Amateur Al Roker Al-Roker-900-600

Amateur Al’s race is still ten days away, but he insists on trusting the long range forecasts. He has consulted ten weather sites, poured over the data, and has determined that the worst weather since Noah built the Ark, will happen on race day. Don’t buy into the hype. Like most weathermen Amateur Al is only right 30% of the time.

 

3. Robo Athlete (Cousin of Fuel Belt Batman) 

Robo Athlete’s motto is “if I can’t track it it didn’t happen.” He/she can been seen on the bike with a bike computer, power meter, gps watch, iphone app, heart rate monitor, and maybe a portable weather station. When Robo Athlete gets back to his lair, he analyzes the data for hours. Formulates complex excel sheets to explain the 5 watts missing from his normalized power. Could the cause be the weight of all of the devices?

4. Age Group Result Stalker AGRS

“Hi I’m Joe, and I’m an Age Group Stalker.” The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. The Age Group Result Stalker (AGRS) lurks among us. They look like normal people, but they hide a dark secret. Before and after each race they obsess over age group results. The AGRS will stalk the Athlinks profile of all the racers that finished before them. They will keep a mental FBI  style folder on each of those people for future reference. Next time you meet someone new at the start line, they may already know everything about you.

5. Mid-Pack Sprinter Pipped

The finish line is 200 yards away, and you are getting the pose ready for that perfect finish photo. Just as you are about to cross the line, the guy you passed walking half a mile ago, comes by in a full sprint, and collapses after the line. You just got Mid-Pack Sprinted! He could not let that dream of 37th place go. I know we are all out there to race, but if you aren’t sprinting for the podium, be cool, and let others have their moment at the finish line.

 

Like this post? Check out Sexy in Lycra Part I & Part II

photo credit: Ben Lawson via photopin cc

photo credit: Surat Lozowick via photopin cc

Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – Lisa

Welcome to another edition of Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in your awesomeness from your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s Fantastic Finish Photo is from Lisa Freeman:First time triathlete Lisa

 

From Bodiam Castle Tri

Lisa:  I was so nervous for my first tri but I needn’t have been. The atmosphere was great, the people were supportive & friendly. I had an epic feeling of fun the whole time. My lasting thought?..that was amazing, when can I do it again?

Awesome job Lisa! How many times do you get to swim in a moat?

Do you have a photo you would like to share? Don’t be shy, send it to firsttimetri@gmail.com, Please add a quick paragraph of what the photo means to you. Please share and be an inspiration to others.

Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – Jamie

Welcome to another edition of Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in your awesomeness from your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

The photo is week is from Jamie Dewdney:

Jaime 1

 

“All those gruesome hill climbs, choppy swims and wet and windy runs are worth it when crossing the finish line of my first triathlon, bring on the next one!”

Nice work Jamie! Training is the hard part. The race and the finish are the pay off. Best of luck to you in your new triathlon journey.

Do you have a photo you would like to share? Don’t be shy, send it to firsttimetri@gmail.com, Please add a quick paragraph of what the photo means to you. Please share and be an inspiration to others.

Workout Wednesday 7/30/14 – BRICK

Welcome to another edition of Workout Wednesday. Every Wednesday I will post a new Triathlon specific workout. If you like the workout, fit it into your training plan for the week. If you don’t like the workout you’re crazy, all of my workouts are brilliant pieces programming. (kidding)

Brick

Today’s Workout – BRICK

A quick intro: A BRICK is a bike to run workout. The purpose of these workouts is to work on your transitions from the bike to run. It’s a good idea to fit in a few of these sessions to your triathlon training cycle. Don’t get carried away, and think you have to do these workouts all of the time. It is better to work on biking and running individually, and sprinkle in some bricks.

BRICK workouts are also a great chance to practice your transitions. Set up a mini transition area in your driveway, and treat the workout like a race simulation.

BRICK WORKOUT 1

  • Bike – 25 mins
  • Transition
  • Run 3k

Bike-  Ride at race pace for the first 20 mins, and try to pick up the pace for the final 5 mins. Work on keeping your legs moving quickly for the last 5 mins. You want this to feel like the end of the bike at a race.

Run – When you start running concentrate on keeping your legs moving quickly. Try to match your cadence from the bike. Focus on breathing deeply and find your rhythm. The transition from the bike will feel funny. You will feel like you are moving slowly, as you are accustomed to the speed from the bike. Also, you will experience less wind to cool you down, be mindful that you are not overheating.

I hope you enjoy this one. The distances in the workout are for a person training for a sprint distance tri. If you are training for a longer distance event, you can adjust the distances. Just don’t get carried away. BRICKS are meant to work on that bike to run transition, not run you into the ground.

photo credit: viZZZual.com via photopin cc

Fantastic Finish Photo Friday (need your help)

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to Fantastic Finish Photo Friday!

The saying goes a picture is worth 1000 words. This is true, but doesn’t tell the entire story. A finish line photo is the snap shot of your achievement, but we want to hear the story as well. How did you feel at that moment? What struggle did you overcome? Did you just complete something you thought was impossible?

This where I need your help. If you have a fantastic finish photo, please consider sharing it. Actually the photo quality might not be great, but it brings back all of the feelings of that moment when you see it. Along with your photo, add a paragraph or two that explains how you felt as to crossed that line. Not a full race report, just what this photo represents to you. The more emotion the better.

My plan to is feature at least one of your photos every Friday. Let’s celebrate that sense of achievement as you crossed the finish line. Your story will inspire and uplift others that are working toward their own finish. Also, we are hard on ourselves most day. We should take a moment to look back and remember our own greatness.

 

If you would like to share your greatness, leave a comment below, or email me @ firsttimetri@gmail.com.

I’ll start things off:

Photo above was taken with my two girls at the Beach 2 Battleship IM, my first IM finish.

 Finally, I arrived at the final downhill ( Das upper thigh crusher), and started toward the finish.  As I came down the final 500 yards, I could hear the cheering from people in the restaurants, and a live band rocking past the finish. I saw the bright lights illuminating the finish area, and I picked up the pace. I felt the culmination of all that training and sacrifice, as I crossed the line and looked up to see my family. The volunteers handed me a WWF belt buckle (medal), and a hat. I stood there for a moment, exhausted, but elated and completely at peace. What an awesome experience.