I just wanted to say hi and introduce myself. After thinking about it for years, I've decided to finally train for a tri and do a sprint in June and I think an olympic distance in September. I'm still figuring out how I should go about training (which is why I joined--any advice is most welcome!).
Looking forward to meeting folks and learning!
Here's one nutshell: Join a master's swim team and take a swim class like the ones at AU; get a wetsuit. Get a bike based on your goals and budget; look for group rides on the Forum. Join a runners group, and look for the club's group runs and track workouts; practice the transition from bike to run with shorts runs after your rides. Keep doing races in your strength, like the half marathons many did this weekend. Get a heart rate monitor if you're so inclined. Watch for special club events like clinics and open water swims. This web site has a ton of info on all aspects, and has an archive feature stretching back years. Sign up for the club's sprint training tris. Attend the club happy hours to meet people of your ability and to solicit advice.
Edit to Ed's post above - rent a wetsuit instead of buying. Conte's (Ballston & Bethesda) rent wetsuits (as well as Bonzai (Dun Loring-ish), I think), and you can rent from on-line outfits too. One less thing for the shopping list, but try one on and reserve the appropriate size suit for your race as early as you can.
Also, don't get freaked out by those folks who seem like they're gunning for podium spots. They club's like a running group - some folks are just trying to get in shape by trying out a few 5Ks, other folks are trying to lower their times at the Boston Marathon, and there's everyone else in between.
Since it's too late for you to join the NTP (new triathlete program), a good place to start to learn about the sport is at the multisport expo next week. Plan on attending some of their clinics and workshops as well as their Seminars.
Google the net for a variety of free based training plans to see what you are about to get yourself into. Pick one and execute it. Somewhere along the line you will have lots of specific questions concerning training, equipment, nutrition, and etc. This forum is a good place to ask those types of questions.
There are a lot of newbies in the club. Come out to one the ad-hoc NTP organized training events (i.e., the ones organized by the NTP newbies not the ones organized by NTP program since the official NTP program organized events are restricted to NTP paying members) and be among fellow newbies. Happy hour is an execellent place to connect with other newbies as well as get advice from veterans.
Sign up for an Ironman ... that always seem to motivate/scare people into training as opposed to talking about training :)
talk to people, read articles and get a triathlon book on training.
there are many books in the sports section of borders and barnes and noble books.
do not sign up for an ironman triathlon for at least 1 year of doing the sport it makes the sport a lot nicer to learn.
thanks everyone for the awesome advice!
The open water swim and the logistics of transitioning are the main things that make me a little nervous--so I will definitely be on the look-out for group open water swims.
thanks for the info on renting a wetsuit! I may have to buy a bike so any expenses I can reduce are good to know. I have a single speed road bike, which I hear may be difficult for a tri...though I think I may just go with it for a sprint.
And thanks for the info on the multisport expo!! It's great to know there are a lot of resources out there.
Looking forward to meeting you all in person at a happy hour!
You might want to check out www.trinewbies.com. They have some free beginning training plans. In particular, their 10-week sprint plan discusses a lot of details on training, like heart rate monitors and nutrition. Best of luck!
Definitely try to get some open water swim practices in before your first race. Don't swim alone though. Make sure someone is nearby with appropriate rescue equipment (a canoe or a flotation device) in case you get into trouble.
You can find YouTube videos about triathlon transitions. Practice transitions the way that you would practice every other aspect of triathlons. It doesn't take that long so you can get in many practice transitions before your first race in June.
I'm guessing you've signed up for the Washington DC Triathlon and the Nation's Triathlon. I'm registered for both (Olympic-distance for the WDC Tri). Maybe I'll run into you there. Just don't expect me to be at 100% for the Washington DC Tri. I'm going to be doing that just one week after the Eagleman Half Ironman. I should be able to get through WDC but I won't be at top form.
Welcome Monica! Hope to see you out at the various events we put on (both social and training). I think your goals of sprint/oly distance are great for your first year. Ed's post was spot on, and don't forget to enjoy the experience....
I'd list my races and expected peformance percentages too, but thats off topic ;-) Instead, I'll just say I'll see you out there at some point! Help is always here via the many members...
Well, she did say hello.