Get ready for the Buck Hurley Triathlon

  • Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013 6:42 a.m.

I am amazed that we are having our fourth annual Buck Hurley Triathlon in two months, on May 5. Many of our wonderful members are attempting this for the first time, and I hope many others are interested in this race, too.

The following can be of great help for our novice triathlete:


The pool swim for the sprint is 300 yards, which is 12 lengths of the pool (each length is 25 yards). Your workouts should be at least 500 yards, preferably 750 to 1000 yards. At this point, just be able to swim at least 500 yards without stopping.

To get speed, you could include interval training. For example, 25 yards as fast as you comfortably can do it, full recovery and do it again, trying to stay as close to the first time as possible. Do this 10-15 times.

When getting better, start decreasing rest time and do the same workout with 50 yards. I think a pool swim is very exciting. When you sign up (at the YMCA or on Sportoften.com), you need to give a swim time. That swim time is used to place you accordingly. The fastest swimmer starts first, the second-fastest swimmer starts second, etc.

Your time does not start until you cross a mat, which starts your time by an anklet you will be wearing with a computer chip. You “snake” your way through the pool.

You start at our pool in lane 8 and go up, at the end you go under the lane line and go up and down lane 7. You will continue this pattern until you get down to lane one, then exit towards the transition area to get to your bike. To get ready for your bike, training on the road is quite tricky but doable if you ride with a group, find cycling friendly routes and wear bright colored clothes and, of course, wear a helmet.

Cycling classes can get you in a good shape to ride the 10 miles for the sprint distance. Cycling classes get you through a virtual workout with adding resistance simulating hills and include speed changes. (We actually have special classes for participants where they really run too.)

The actual bike route for the Buck Hurley Triathlon Sprint will be coming out of the back of the Y on the High Rock Church side to Jake Alexander going towards the Mall, turn right on Statesville Boulevard, right on Brenner and when you come to Jake, turn right for your second and last loop. Each loop is 5 miles.

On the second arrival to Jake, you will turn left to go back to the YMCA. You do need your own bike (or borrow someone’s bike) and helmet is mandatory. There are tri suits you can buy — it is a one or two piece bathing suit with a built in bicycle pad.

You can swim, bike and run in these suits. They are quite expensive and if you are not sure if you would do another triathlon it’s an item that is not necessary. You can wear a bathing suit and pull over a lightly padded cycling pants or compression shorts.

For the men you can swim in compression shorts and run in them or put running shorts over it and a T-shirt if you like. After your bike sprint, you will be coming into the transition area again and will be going for your run.

The sprint run is a 5K and the same route as the St. Patrick’s Day run held by the Salisbury Fire Department. That race is actually this Saturday, March 9, and starts and ends at the JF Hurley YMCA. From the back of Y towards Harris Teeter, go behind Harris Teeter to the Greenway next to Brenner Avenue to Old Wilkesboro, turn right and left on Partee to a right on Monroe, right on Fulton, right on Lincolnton and come back behind High Rock Church to the YMCA. This Saturday’s run will be a great practice for your Buck Triathlon.

In your run training, you should work your way up to 5 or 6 miles. If you can run outside, that would be great but a treadmill can get you ready if that is your only option. Use a pre-programmed level that has different hills, again mimicking a run outside. At the finish line, your time will stop, and our wonderful volunteers will be retrieving the chips, and before long, the triathlon times will be up. We use a 5 split system. That means the first split is the swim. The second split is the transition from swim to bike, the third split is the bike fourth is the transition from bike to run and the fifth split is the run.

Entry for the sprint right now is $55.00 (will go up closer to race day). The kids are different distances and prices. I will get into 9-11, 7-8, and up to 6 years old next week.

On race day itself, there will be no race day registration, so come on and get ready to “Buck up!”

Ester H Marsh ACSM Cpt

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