Tag Archives: beginner

Triathlon Training Programs

j0387211For the last couple months I’ve been trying to figure out what I would train for next and at first I thought it would be a summer half marathon (and it still might be), but now it is most definitely training for my first triathlon. The first hurdle has been to find a training schedule that makes sense to me, seems realistic with my life schedule, and that will give me a comfortable balance of swimming, biking, and running.

All my running schedules have always been in miles. (I hate to admit that I have yet to train with speedwork, hills, fartlek, etc but that is also in my future if I’m going to do all this the right way.) You slowly increase mileage balanced by some easier or rest days and then taper off closer to the run. I thought for sure that triathlon training would somehow be similar.

Well, wasn’t I shocked when I started to look at a variety of programs that vary from ones that are entirely time/duration based to ones that are a mix of time and distance to ones that focus on heart rate training to others that rely on each work-out being at either foundation, tempo, sprint, or time trial pace. There’s so much to choose from! A comforting line, however, in a Runner’s World article written for runners trying a tri said “it’s ok to experiment.” Continue reading

Swim-Bike-Run, Oh My!

pe05982_A couple years ago my husband and I went to watch his sister and her fiance and some other friends finish the first triathlon in Annapolis. We cheered her on through the finish line at Navy Stadium and I remember clearly being in awe of the hundreds of people who had just done three sports in a row! My sister-in-law and her fiance have competed in a number of triathlons and I feel fortunate that I am continuously meeting and connecting with other triathletes as their multi-sport talents are ever impressive.

In getting to know triathletes, however, I still always positioned myself as a runner forever and ever. No need to also be a biker and a swimmer. But then I took a break from running and started spinning, albeit not the same as road biking, but certainly a good introduction to the work-out. And then a friend of mine signed up for a triathlon in July and we got to talking about swimming. Next thing I knew, I was at the pool trying for a half mile swim with her. Continue reading

Am I a Weekend Warrior?

Photo by Kwadwo Kwarte.

Photo by Kwadwo Kwarte.

A few weeks ago I joined the online group for my local trail running club because I decided that once I get back into training (starting tomorrow as a matter of fact!) I’d like to mix up my normal street runs with some trails. I have always loved the North Face ad that stares at me from my running magazines and challenges me to “run my self-doubt into the ground.” I have a couple friends who are big into adventure racing and one that is now training for a fall Half Ironman because the JFK 50-miler just wasn’t brutal enough for him. I’ve been intrigued by his photos on Facebook–he’s dirty, sweaty, trekking through mud, in one there are icicles on his eyelashes, but his number is securely pinned to the front of his gear and he simply looks like a badass. And he loves the race.

I know little about adventure racing and perhaps that’s why I want to try it. What better way to learn than by doing? I also had the chance to meet Jim Harman who owns EX2 Adventures which puts on a range of stellar endurance, triathlon, mountain biking, trail running, team, and relay events in my local area. He absolutely lives for adventure and his enthusiasm for it is contagious. So contagious in fact that now I’m going to be heading to Rocky Gap at the end of this month for the 4th annual Greenhorn Adventure Race, though I’ll be doing the new beginner course. Continue reading

What Kind of Athlete Are You?

j01825271Running is a fascinating sport to me because nearly anyone can run and it can be done at almost any stage in life. Of course, not everyone likes to run and there are many other sports that welcome athletes of all levels with open arms. I have a number of friends who consider themselves beginner runners and I know plenty of people who hate running but love biking, lacrosse, swimming, tennis, pilates, and every sport in between. In trying to define what kind of athlete I am, I also find myself asking what kind of athlete to I want to be. I have always considered myself a runner at an intermediate level with middle distances as my preferred “natural selection.” However, in recovering from ITBS, I have found myself trying to become a more diverse athlete.

One interpretation of the question of “what kind of athlete are you?” is about how you perform as an athlete rather than whether you are a walker, runner, weight lifter, biker, etc. Are you a casual athlete? Consistent, competitive, weight-loss driven, diverse in your sports, beginner at everything, advanced in something? Again, I always put myself in this “runner” bubble at the self-appointed intermediate level, but the more I think about it, the less I know how to answer the question of what I want to be. I love running but I don’t know that I want to be an elite runner. I don’t feel compelled to try to win any of the races I enter, but I do want to consistently improve my personal records. I also don’t want to lose the joy found in simply going for a run.

In the hopes of adding a triathlon or two to my race schedule, I’d also like to become a biker and understand proper form, performance, and training as it relates to cycling. There is no doubt that I am a beginner biker and despite the fact that I can swim, I would place myself at the below-beginner level of swimming, if such a category exists. Continue reading