Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Q. I am going to do my first triathlon on July 21 at Dan Nicolas park. It is the one that your Y organizes. I have been swimming, biking and running. Do you have any tips or training programs you can recommend?
A. Of course! This year, we have a triathlete club at the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. It is called Y RATS! (Rowan Aquatics Triathletes).
They practice together, have clinics AND there is NO cost.
(You do have to be a Rowan County YMCA member).
Call or e-mail Mary Jane Randa. She can put you on her e-mail list and let you know when they swim, bike and run.
Her phone number is 704-636-0111 ext. 208 and her e-mail is mranda@rowan
Usually, the beginner triathlete’s weakest discipline is swimming, so let me give you a swim workout.
n Warm-up 150 m. Easy swim.
n Leg kick 4 x 25 m. Use a float in front, crawl leg kick.
n Distance 2 x 200 m. Aim for a steady pace and work on your breathing.
n Drills 6 x 25 m, Concentrate on hand entry and leg kick.
n Sprint 4 x 25 m. Work to increase your speed, front crawl only.
n Cool down 100 m. Easy swim. Focus on your breathing.
It depends on where your fitness level is, but try to reduce your rest periods between swims and increase your swimming speed.
Swim at least twice a week.
The following is a sample training program that you could use.
Monday: Swimming, weightlifting, stretching
Tuesday: Bike race distance, run half, practice
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Swimming, track/ interval, stretching
Friday: Bike race distance, light weightlifting, stretch
Saturday: Swimming, endur-ance running, check and clean bike
Sunday: Long, steady biking (more than 45 minutes)
You can make any day a rest day if Wednesday does not work for you.
Good luck with your first triathlon and I will see you there!
Ester Hoeben is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or