I completed my first sprint tri July 26, and am competing in my next on August 23rd. The first went _really_ well, and I recovered pretty quickly. (No soreness the next day, felt pretty good.)
I want to sign up for more tris before the end of the season, but I also plan to train for a half marathon as my primary Fall activity. How do I incorporate tri races into a 13 miler training plan? My plan involves two days of cross training where I intend to maintain my bike and swim fitness. My concern is just the races themselves needing taper and recovery. How easily can I slip a Tri into a weekend and continue my training runs the following week?
I'd appreciate any thoughts on this. I'm very new to all of this (started running and swimming for the first time Dec 2008), so I'm just not sure how much one can do!
The first question should be when is your half marathon? Since you are fairly new to tris, I wouldn't do one less than six weeks before your half marathon. I would suggest that you keep cross training as part of recovery and non-running days.
Triathlons are fun and it sounds like you've found a new sport. Hope this helps out.
The half marathon would be the 14th of November, and I am looking at a sprint tri in mid-September. Cross-training will be two days a week on non-run days, definitely.
Thanks for the response!
As Hugh mentioned, congrats on finding our sport. Agree with his sentiment on time between events.
The answer also depends on your fitness and the priority that you are placing on the events. There are different race priorities and depending on how you approach each race. You could go all out with a taper and recovery (an A race) or train right up to and after the race (a C race).
This article explains the concept: http://www.active.com/page15746.aspx
You might be able to train right up to and right after your tri's (C race) or give a litte more breathing room (B race). The six weeks in between I would go with if both races are A races.
If you are looking at a sprint in Sep before a half marathon in Nov you should have no problem approaching each as an A race. If you add more tris or running races you want to lay them out over a calendar, decide the priority for each, backwards plan from you A races, and then create your training weeks (base, build, peak, race, recovery weeks). A book like Triathletes Training Bible explains this. This is also what coaches do or experience athletes can help you with.
Good luck! Simon
I would want to treat the tri as an "A" race. I've THOROUGHLY enjoyed training, especially going from struggling to get through 100 yards to now feeling like I"m flying through the water. (I'm still slow, but it feels great!) I know that I'm too competitive with myself to treat any race as a "C" race. ;) I also got a taste of competitiveness by winning my age group (of 24 women) at my first tri. The older women's age groups were much faster, but still it gave me that though of "hey, maybe I can really do some ameteur competition!"
Your note about what a coach can do for me is poignant. I have really good swim trainers, and I feel comfortable with the amount of information I can read in magazines and the web for running, but I feel the need for a coach when putting it all together. Someone who could take a look at my training log, reports on how the training goes, nutrition, etc., and give commentary and guidance on where to ramp up and where to ease back, etc. I could use strength training suggestions (and motivation!)!
The main reason I've held back in looking for a coach is that it's hard to choose someone for that kind of relationship when you know relatively little about what you're asking for. How do you find a good match? (Plus, it's expensive, and I'm not 100% sure a coach will give me more than my knowledgeable friends and forums will at this point.)
I think Simon's dead-on in his suggestions. +1 on the Training Bible.
And I think you're right to be careful finding a coach (Someone will have to find Chad's old post about how to pick a coach because it had some very good points). As you might expect, it's an interview process. Communication is *super* critical. I had a remote coach for 3 mo that didn't work for me, in part because I didn't know what I wanted/expected/needed, and he couldnt or wouldn't tell me what I should be doing/feeling. Most other things are personal. Like...
Do you want one-on-one or face-to-face help? Or is remote coaching acceptable?
What are you hoping to gain from this partnership?
References? Accreditation? Experience?
How much money are you willing to spend?
I'm sure the others will have other good points to consider. And maybe we can dig up that old post...
EDIT: here's the old post:
Thanks for that link, there's great info there. Now I just need to find candidates to evaluate! ;)
From all I've read, it sounds like I won't hurt my running training by slowing down a bit for a sprint in September, so I'm going to go for it. I'm really excited!
triathlon training is a lot simpler than it seems.
your 1/2 is in november, basically the tri season pretty much wraps up in these parts the middle to end of sept.. that leaves about 2 full months of pure running if you want it.
yes you can do more tris till the last week of sept and then if you try hard enough find a few more in october, and stretch out the tri season and try to balance the 1/2 training with triathlon training. the real question is why make your life harder than it should be?
keep it simple.
if you get a coach great, but not everyone can afford it. there are good books out there that basically do what a coach does but you have to do it on your own, its an option. or you can learn on the way.
i say sign up for some tris for august and early sept, then drop the tris and focus on the 1/2 marathon and do that so that you can go as fast as you can with 2 months of pure running. see simple.
you can always pick up the cross training (triathlon training) again in the winter.