Ester Marsh: How to train for triathlon
As promised, here are some tips on how to get ready for the Buck Hurley triathlon, or any other one you want to participate in.
These tips are for novice athletes. This week, I will focus on workouts, the logistics for swimming, biking and riding and on equipment for a triathlon.
I hope if you are entering the Buck Hurley triathlon on May 1 you have been training for it already.
The pool swim for the sprint is 300 yards, or 12 pool lengths. Each length is 25 yards. Workouts should be at least 500 yards, and preferably 750 to 1,000 yards.
At this point, just be able to swim at least 500 yards without stopping.
To get speed, you would have to start interval training and doing so much more. There isn’t enough time for that.
A pool swim is exciting. When you sign up, you need to give a swim time, which is used to place you in the competition.
The fastest swimmer starts first, then the second fastest starts second, and so on. Your time does not start until you cross a mat that starts your time using an anklet with a computer chip in it.
You snake your way across the pool by swimming in the different swim lanes until you get out and go into the transition area.
From here, you go to the biking competition, and next week I will go into the transitions from swimming to biking and biking to running.
Training on the road is tricky, but doable if you ride with a group, find cycling friendly routes and wear bright colored clothing.
You can check with Windsong bike shop because they have groups meet there for rides. If that is not an option, 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, adding resistance to simulate hills and including speed changes.
The actual route for the Buck Hurley Triathlon Sprint will begin at the back of the Y, then head to Jake Alexander Boulevard going towards the mall, turning right on Statesville Boulevard, right on Brenner Avenue, and then a right turn back onto Jake. 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 a helmet is mandatory.
You can buy a special triathlon suit. 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 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 lightly padded cycling pants or compression shorts.
You can jump from the bike and go straight to your run. If you wear true cycling pants, the padding is so thick that it will hinder you while running.
The sprint run is a 5K and follows the same route as the St Patrick’s Day run held by the Salisbury Fire Department. From the back of Y, head toward Harris Teeter, then to the Greenway next to Brenner Avenue to Old Wilkesboro. Turn right and left on Partee Street to a right on Monroe Street, right on Fulton Street, right on Lincolnton Road and coming back behind High Rock Church to the YMCA.
For 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.
If you are looking for speed, the workout will be very different, but for now I want you to finish and have a great time.
Your time will stop, and you will hand in your anklet with the chip.
We use a three-split system. That means the first split is the swim, the second split is the transition from swimming to biking and transition from biking to running. The third split is the run.
RMS Sports does our timing. They have been timing events for a long time and they did a great job for us last year.
Today and tomorrow are the only two days for the early bird fee of $45. The fee then rises to $55. There is no race-day registration.
Get ready to “buck up!”
Ester H Marsh ACSM Cpt