Here are learnings I’ve gathered during my past triathlons and during my tri training the past months. Just a few tips from this humble runner hoping to finish Ironman 70.3 alive (You may say a silent prayer for me now):
1. SET A GOAL RACE. Choose a triathlon event, preferably a short distance such as mini sprint or sprint (so as not to cause too much unnecessary stress because wearing a trisuit puts enough strain on your heart), and give yourself reasonable time to train for it.
My Experience: In 2008, I chose Animo Mini Sprint to jumpstart my tri training. This motivated me to take Total Immersion lessons with Nonoy Basa and, um, ride around the village in my husband’s mountain bike. (Phew remind me never to try that stunt again.) In 2009, I signed up for the same race just to get me to start swimming and biking again since I slacked off in 2008. You see, I realized that, at least for runner like me, the only time I really swam and rode my bike was when I had a triathlon event coming up. Otherwise, I could go out daily and just do the one thing that I truly love: running.
2. GET A COACH. Triathlon requires training in three different disciplines (duh) all throughout the week. To make the most efficient use of your time training, get a coach who can customize your program according to your fitness level, personality, and lifestyle.
My Experience: Triathlon training is no joke. If you’re a busy working mom like me, every single minute of your training counts because that’s time away from the kids and work. I work with Coach Andy Leuterio who sets my program for the week. He gives me 9 sessions from Tuesday to Sunday with Monday as rest day. 4 out of the 9 sessions are key sessions meaning they cannot be missed. The rest are flexible depending on all the other things that go on in my life.
3. ASK ALL THE DUMB QUESTIONS YOU WANT. Sure, you know everything about running already. But, when you get into swimming, there are so many things to learn about technique. Oh, and don’t get me started with bike parts!
My Experience: You can pore over triathlon books, magazines, and websites as long as you want (as you well should), but it’ll save you time (and money) if you just meet triathletes and coaches in the community who can easily and generously share practical tips and information about the sport. What ring should I use: big or small? Do you wear underwear beneath that trisuit? When does my butt stop hurting? Yes, I’ve asked all of those questions. I’m sure you can think of more dumb questions too!
4. REST AND RECOVER. For most enthusiastic beginners, it’s easy to swim, bike, and run as much as you want. But, you do need at least a day of rest (even if you feel great) and give your body time to recover for a quality workout the following day.
My Experience: As a runner, I’m used to feeling like my body, especially my legs, have gone through a pounding after a long run or speedwork. But, after a swim or ride, I would be exhausted but my body would feel fresh again after a nap or a couple of hours rest. I had to remind myself that the workout was enough and that it was better to rest than tire myself out. Besides, “No pain, No gain” is so 80’s, dontcha think?
Another thing: With running, I could get away with munching on junk or eating too little after a workout. With triathlon, what you eat, especially after a workout, affects the quality of your workout the following day. The first few weeks of tri training, I was often spent at the beginning of a workout. I would often beg my swim coach: “Take it easy on me, Coach, I ran 10k last night!” But, when I started drinking my recovery drink, Enervon HP (since it’s low in fat, provides lots of protein, and tastes like my favorite chocolate milk unlike the crappy recovery drinks I’ve tried), I felt a huge difference the following day. Huge! Now, there’s no day when I don’t take Enervon HP after a workout.
5. LEARN TO SAY: “SO WHAT?!” It’s easy to get intimidated by lean and fast triathletes with their shiny bikes and sockless running shoes. But, it’s important to just take your time learning each new skill, giving your best, and going at your own pace. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), you can add the word “triathlon” next to “running” in your list of sports.
My Experience: When I tried on my first trisuit in 2008, I looked in the mirror and the post-2-kids belly staring back at me and said: “So what?!” When I had to pause after each 50meter lap just to catch my breath (and occasionally attempt to cough out the chlorinated water I swallowed) at my first triathlon, I said “So what?!” When I crashed in the intersection at Madrigal Avenue and had what I felt were a million eyes staring at me, I said “So what?!” Point is: Give 100% and more of what you’ve got to give at each and every sport. (This doesn’t make it 300% does it?) Get fast, and strong, and sturdy emotionally and physically as you train longer and farther. And, last but not the least, have fun while you’re doing so. That’s all that matters.
Since you’ve read this far, I’ve got a surprise contest for you. Get a chance to win Enervon HP products!
HOW TO JOIN:
1 tip or lesson you’ve learned about running or triathlon that you would like to share with someone who wants to get into running or triathlon.
Include the following info:
– Your complete name
– Your username on FB
1) Deadline for submission of entries: FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2012 at 11:59 A.M.
2) TBR will choose the best answer among the first 20 submissions. The winner will win the following:
– 1 Enervon HP 700g
– 1 Enervon HP sports bottle
– 1 Enervon HP running bandana
– 2 Enervon HP shoe reflector tags
3) Winners must comply with contest rules providing complete information within the contest period.
4) Only one entry per runner. Submission of more than one entry leads to disqualification.
5) Submission of entries above 2 sentences will be disqualified.
6) All entries will be moderated and will be approved upon closing of the contest.
7) Winner will be notified via email on how to claim the prize.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Jonard Aries Gamboa for winning! Please expect an email from me!