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glfprncs
Feb. 23, 2013, 08:43 AM
Many of you know that I'm a runner and am a mere 2 weeks away from my first full marathon. I'm also running a half marathon tomorrow with my two sisters.

Anyhow, along this full marathon journey, complete with 20 mile runs, I've realized that I am in awe of what I am capable of doing. While I want to continue running (half marathons, that is!), I'm looking for a new big challenge.

Well...in my backyard in September is a half Ironman distance triathlon.

Sounds logical, right? I know, I know...I never do anything in the right order. My first ever running race was a half marathon 6 months after I started running. On a positive note, the Augusta Ironman 70.3 is a downstream swim (so super fast!) and the run is flat, flat, flat.

Anyone else do triathlon?

I'd love to hear others' experiences.

SaturdayNightLive
Feb. 23, 2013, 08:52 AM
I don't, but my fiance' does Olympic and sprint distance triathlons. When he first started, he was really more of a runner than anything, so his swim was pretty weak. Now, he usually trains all three parts every day. He's a little nuts.

I wouldn't think that the run or the bike would give you much trouble, as long as you bike already, but the swim distance in a half Iron Man for a non-swimmer? That's pretty ambitious. It sounds like you might be up to the challenge, for sure, but I would definitely take up swimming pretty seriously between now and then.

Do you have access to a decent tri bike? From what I've learned just hanging out, your Walmart Huffy probably won't cut it...

glfprncs
Feb. 23, 2013, 08:56 AM
Thanks for the info...a friend of mine at work has also decided to jump on the half Ironman as well (in fact, she first suggested it, so it's really her fault). We both are going to start our swim training as soon as I'm finished with my marathon. We realize that'll be our weakest area.

I have a 'tri-friend' who completed this particular event the last 2 years. She claims that the swim is the 'easiest half distance swim' around because it's in the Savannah River with a lovely downstream current. Most swimmers finish their 1.2 mile swim in 30-40 minutes (the speedsters in 20) during this particular race. I'm a good swimmer and know a variety of strokes, though I will admit, I much prefer breast stroke to the crawl.

I have my eye on a really nice used Felt tri-bike. I'm hoping to make that deal happen today and I'll get it fitted at the local bike store. I used to mountain bike a great deal when I lived in Utah. Granted, that was quite awhile ago.

I know I've got a LOT of work to do. I'm a teacher, so my time for training from mid-May until early August is WIDE open. Also, since I'm off work at 3:00, I've got the daylight hours.

SaturdayNightLive
Feb. 23, 2013, 08:58 AM
Sounds like you've got it all covered! Good luck!

Chief2
Feb. 23, 2013, 11:53 AM
Triathlon people are some of the nicest, most competitive people I know. They are usually willing to help folks, particularly novices. We have many in our area. They usually meet in small groups at the local pools during lap swim hours and do group workouts to keep their swimming in good form. It would be good to check with local rec departments or clubs to find out when these lap swimming times are, then get in touch with biking and running clubs to hook up with the triathletes in your area.

The swimming portion: it will not win you the race, but it will keep you in the game. You will need to work on swimming in open water, so I would suggest purchasing yourself a wet suit so you can stand to get into the water by May.
Learn to breathe by lifting your head up to see ahead, not just by rolling it to the side. And watch out for the feet ahead of you! If you have time, see if you can get into an indoor pool now so you can start polishing your crawl stroke now, then add in the open water breathing once you get to open water. And check locally for lake and pond races during the summer so you can work on your technique before getting to the tri. Another suggestion is to get in touch with a hs or college swim team coach and pay for private workouts for a while. Stroke and breathing help can be invaluable.

When you get to the bike shop, ask about group workouts/clubs. Ditto for the local runners clubs. Most of the triathletes work out together in groups for much of their workout time. If there are local bi-and triathlons they will be inexpensive and will help you work on your transitions between running, biking and swimming. The running and biking folks will know where these are, and help you out along the way.