THE 4 C’S of TRIATHLON
COMMITMENT means that being a triathlete is part of your identity- that engaging in triathlon is meaningful to you as an athlete, that it provides enjoyment and satisfaction. So COMMITMENT is connected to your dreams, your desires, and your motivation. It means that you understand the sacrifices needed and are willing to make them. Only when you are COMMITTED can you be successful at your chosen level, whether it is to strive for the Olympics or be the best you can be in your age group, or just to finish the race with a smile on your face. Regardless of your level, it takes COMMITMENT to go out and train, to get in the appropriate rest and recovery, to eat the ‘right’ nutrition, to stay away from drugs or other temptations that may impair your performance. In order to sustain COMMITMENT, it is important for the athlete(or the coach AND the athlete together), to know what will foster it and what will undermine it.
When we are CONFIDENT we can find the right balance between the demands of competition or training and our response capabilities. CONFIDENCE has a lot to do with having a positive attitude, a positive self-image, and carrying yourself in an effective manner. CONFIDENCE doesn’t mean that you never have doubts or worries, but rather that you understand how such thoughts and emotions might influence you and how you will work with them effectively. The CONFIDENT athlete is very deliberate in his/her preparation, very disciplined in every area (training, recovery, nutrition, etc.) and sets specific, realistic and challenging goals. Thorough preparation is a hallmark of a CONFIDENT athlete. Self talk is POSITIVE, instructional & motivational. A CONFIDENT athlete is always persistent in the face of obstacles.
Competing successfully in a triathlon, whether it is Sprint, Ironman, or any distance, requires a considerable amount of CONCENTRATION. CONCENTRATION is the ability to focus on the immediate task at hand—Swimming: components of the swim motion-reaching, gliding, mid-pull with power and vertical forearm, finishing at the hip. Biking: quick cadence, consistent pedaling, aero position. Running: stride length, quick cadence, foot placement, upper body relaxed and rhythmic breathing. Triathlon, whether in competition or training requires long and continuous CONCENTRATION on the task at hand. Learn to recognize distractions (both internal & external). What is distracting for one might not be distracting for another. Be aware of possible distractions or triggers and use your positive internal self talk to stay on track. Anxiety or fatigue can disrupt CONCENTRATION. Get yourself back on track by focusing on what is important right now— get to the next swim buoy, slow down your breathing, get to the next mile marker, etc. Be aware of possible distractions (usually out of your control), practice relaxation and positive imagery techniques. Envision what it feels like when your goal is accomplished, crossing the finish line, as you tackle the challenge you set for yourself.
Competition is an emotional experience. These emotions can range from anxiety to elation and everything in between. Emotions can sometimes hinder and sometimes help the competitive effort. COMPOSURE is about self-control. It is about being in charge of yourself, understanding that as an athlete you don’t always control what happens to you but you certainly can learn to control how you respond to what happens to you, which puts you back in the driver’s seat. Focus on what you know you can do and not what you think you can’t do. Tell yourself you have put in the training time, you’ve mastered the mechanics and you will not let outside distractions influence your CONFIDENCE, your COMMITMENT and your CONCENTRATION.
NOW YOU ARE READY TO RACE!
HELP! I WANT TO DO A TRIATHLON WHERE DO I START?
Ok, here are a few steps to take when considering your first triathlon…What distance would you like to tackle? Here are your basic choices, (sprint distances vary but after that Olympic thru Ironman are standardized distances): Sprint– 1/3 mi SWIM; 15 mi. BIKE; 5K RUN (supersprints are even shorter). Olympic– 1.5K SWIM; 40K BIKE; 10K RUN. Half Triathlon (also known as Half Ironman or 70.3)- 1.2 mi. SWIM; 56 mi. BIKE; 13.1 mi. RUN. Full Triathlon (also known as Ironman or 140.6)- 2.4 mi. SWIM; 112 mi. BIKE; 26.2 mi. RUN. Rather than commiting to an ALL DAY event like the Ironman your first time out, I would recommend starting with a sprint triathlon. The usual swim distance is roughly 500-600 yards (which = 20-24 lengths of your standard 25 yard pool), very doable if you practice your relaxed swimming technique in the pool. The bike portion can be anywhere from 12 to 18 miles and you can choose any type of bicycle you would like to ride. The run is typically 3.1 miles to finish it off. Take each yard/mile one step at a time and before you know it, you’ve just completed your first triathlon. And by the way, if you’re not the best swimmer around, take some time to learn the proper stroke mechanics and always stay relaxed. **Remember SLOW is SMOOTH and SMOOTH is FAST!
1. Choose a Local Race that will not require too much travel as that requires additional time, planning, organization,and perhaps undue stress that may detract from your race. Stay local and you’ll only have to focus on the race itself– Setup, Warmup, Swim start, Swimming with sighting, Swim exit, T1, T1 Exit, Bike, T2, T2 Exit, Run and Finishing with a smile!
2. Do I Have to Spend a Bunch of Money on Equipment? If your goal is to comfortably complete your event in good health, all you need is: *Swimsuit and goggles; *Bike that fits you- this can be mountain, hybrid, touring or road bike. (Many triathletes complete their first tri on a borrowed bike and that works too.); *Bike Helmet is required for the race and is smart to wear during all cycling training; *Cycling shorts (be sure you wear your padded cycling shorts without underwear- wearing underwear can create saddle sores.); *Good pair of running shoes, used only for running. Don’t ask your running shoes to do double or triple duty doing yard work and errands.
3. How Long Should I Train and What Resources Should I Use? If you decide to train for a sprint event and you are beginnig your training with limited fitness, you can be ready to go at the end of 12 weeks with weekly training hours ranging from 3 to 6 (up to 8), provided you are using a structured plan. This is a doable time commitment don’t you agree?
Training Resources: If you prefer to train with a group it’s usually not hard to find a local Triathlon Club or Organization. Some are more ‘beginner friendly’ than others. The group may even be associated with a triathlon coach, which is always a plus. You may also check out your local city or recreation center, sometimes they offer training groups or instruction in swimming, biking, running and/or triathlon. If you are not interested in structured group training or coaching, there are many books and online training programs available. Following a guide designed by a professional coach helps you be confident you are prepared for race day without rist of injury, undertraining or overtraining. There are a few beginner books out there, but a couple I would recommend are: Your First Tri by Joe Friel and Triathlon Training Basics by Gale Bernhardt. Both of these books come complete with reference to every aspect of your triathlon training and racing, including your basic weekly training plan for both Sprint and Olympic distances. Training Peaks (online training tool) also provides standardized training plans for all levels of athletes, even from local coaches.
4. You Can Do It! Now you know all the basics, I’m fully confident you can be ready for a triathlon in as little as 3 months. What’s holding you back from getting started NOW?
Free Training Plan
|Numbers = minutes.**Optional w/outs in () to increase training volume.|
|PHASES = PREP BASE BUILD TAPER/RACE||MONDAY||TUESDAY||WEDNESDAY||THURSDAY||FRIDAY||SATURDAY||SUNDAY||Weekly Totals Planned||Weekly Totals Accomplished|
|RECOVERY (yoga/ST)||BIKE 30 RUN 10||SWIM 30 (spin class)||RUN 25||SWIM 20 (core 30)||BIKE 40||RUN 35||3 hr 10 min|
|RECOVERY (yoga/ST)||BIKE 30 RUN 10||SWIM 30 (spin class)||RUN 25||SWIM 25 (core 30)||BIKE 45||RUN 40||3 hr 25 min|
|RECOVERY (yoga/ST)||BIKE 30 RUN 15||SWIM 35 (spin class)||RUN 30||SWIM 30 (core 30)||BIKE 50||RUN 40||3 hr 50 min|
|RECOVERY (yoga/ST)||BIKE 35 RUN 15||SWIM 40 (spin class)||RUN 35||SWIM 30 (core 30)||BIKE/RUN 50/5||RUN 45||4 hr 10 min|
|RECOVERY (yoga/ST)||BIKE 40 RUN 15||SWIM 45 (spin class)||RUN 35||SWIM 35 (core 30)||BIKE/RUN 60/5||RUN 45||4 hr 25 min|
|RECOVERY (yoga/ST)||BIKE 30 RUN 10||SWIM 30 (spin class)||RUN 25||SWIM 20 (core 30)||BIKE 45||RUN 30||3 hr 10 min|
|RECOVERY (yoga/ST)||BIKE 40 RUN 20||SWIM 50 (spin class)||RUN 35||SWIM 30 (core 30)||BIKE/RUN 70/10||RUN 45||5 hr|
|RECOVERY (yoga/ST)||BIKE 45 RUN 20||SWIM 55 (spin class)||RUN 40||SWIM 30 (core 30)||BIKE/RUN 75/10||RUN 50||5 hr 25 min|
|RECOVERY (yoga/ST)||BIKE 30 RUN 20||SWIM 60 (spin class)||RUN 45||SWIM 30||BIKE/RUN 80/15||RUN 55||5 hr 35 min|
4/1 RACE WEEK
|RECOVERY (yoga/ST)||SWIM 20||BIKE 20 RUN 10||RUN 20||SWIM 15||TRADI-TIONS triathlon||RECOVER|
|TRAINING ASSUMPTIONS: 1) Weekly training availability up to 5-6 hours. 2) Include warm-up & cool down during time indicated daily. 3) Mininum skills required: Can swim 25 yds in pool without stopping; can run/walk 1 mi. in 15 mins without stopping; can bike at least 30 minutes without stopping. 4) Understand the value of proper hydration and fueling before, during, after each workout. 5) Test in week six: 15 min swim; 30 min ride; 10 min run. How far did you go? How well have you progressed?|