Hogweed Trotters Road Running Club
“wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.” (William Shakespeare)
Triathlon training each Friday from the club at 6.30pm.
If you want to join in bring your bike (don't forget your helmet) and your trainers
Click here for a list of Tris in the 2011
Hogweed Trotters are affiliated to British Triathlon. You can find out all sorts of things about Triathlon by visiting their website. Try www.britishtriathlon.org. Another useful website is www.triathletes-uk.org
Both of these sites will give you all the races that are sanctioned by the governing bodies of triathlon. The Hogweed site will try and keep a list togther of races that might interest Hogweed Triathlon people.
The Hogweeds have some triathlon coaches who can help you if you are thinking about triathlon, done a few but want to improve, or just want to train with triathletes. Coaches are Simon Spedding firstname.lastname@example.org, Mandy Spedding, and Anthony Febry. You can also get advice from Paul Chappell. Remember it costs nothing to ask, it costs nothing for the answers and if you are thinking it so is someone else.
If you are thinking about joining British Triathlon, they have produced a leaflet giving the advantages of joining them. It can be found here.
If you think you fancy a go at triathlon use the above to prepare yourself along with the following.
Triathlon training has lots of benefits,leading to a total body fitness programme.A programme that combines running, cycling and swimming. It builds full body strength and keeps you motivated through the variety of the training plan. Simon Spedding has put together some helpful advice for all levels of triathletes.
Like anything that you try for the first time there can be an air of apprehension, fear or great expectations.
How do you start?
Firstly decide if you want to race. Of course you do! Now decide the type of event you want to try out.
There are basically the following distances or variations on them.
Swim 400m, bike 20km, run 5km - Sprint (pool swim)
Swim 1500m, bike 40k, run 10km - Standard or Olympic (sea or river/lake swim)
Swim 1900m, bike 90km, run 21km - Half "Ironman"
Swim 3800m, bike 180km, run 42km - "Ironman"
You can see from the distances that the variation is huge. Most novices will go for the 400m swim (16 lengths of a 25m pool). All the races vary in terrain too with the bike mostly to be hilly. There are duathlons too. This involves run then bike then run.
Once you have chosen your distance decide how long you will need to get fit for it. Some people will just enter with little preparation; others will spend a few months to train. It's your choice but think about what you need to do to be able to start and finish. More about training later...
There are loads and loads of events and the South West is probably one of the the most densely raced areas with dozens of races all through the summer. Event venues in our area will include:
Malmesbury, Westonbirt, Bath, Tockington, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Calne, Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Comeston (near Cardiff), Castle Combe (dualthon), Pewsey, Weston Super Mare, Swindon, North Radstock, travel another hour and there are even more.
Now you have your target it is time to sort your training out and make sure you have the kit.
The Swim: Goggles and a costume, that's it! Go for posher stuff when you get a bit keener. There are one piece suits for the fellers with padded seat. Girls can get a padded costume too.
The Bike: Well a bike would be useful. Mountain bike, touring racer, anything will do as long as it is roadworthy. Racers are faster than others, and slick tyres are faster than nobbly mountain bike tyres. Do a few races before you decide to invest in a new or quality second hand bike. A good investment is to have toe clip/guides on your pedals. They are very cheap and help you get your feet in the right position for a more efficient pedalling action. Eventually if you get really keen you can move to clipless pedals and cycle shoes that in effect fix your feet to the pedals. The shoes are very rigid too and transfer more power into your cycling action.
You'll need a top to wear and have the number pinned on it ready by your bike. Your first event will probably mean using trainers which are kept by your bike. As mentioned above they are not as effective as cycle shoes. For first timers the trainer is king though. Bike shoes come into their own on the hilly courses where you get the benefit of pulling up on the pedal stroke which is difficult to do with trainers which are flexible and impossible to do if you have no clips on the pedals.
You must have a helmet that is approved for triathlon events. See the BTA web site.
Do I need a £2000 bike? No, most people spend much much less. I paid £150 for my first bike. £500 will get you a pretty good new bike. Go second hand and you get a super bike for £500. You must get a bike that fits you though and the best way of finding that out is to ask in a quality shop or have a friend who knows about these things. Too many people buy a bike that is too big or just adjust themselves so they are not correctly positioned on the bike.
Is a £2000 bike better? No, at the end of the day it's the legs that make the wheels go round. A light bike only pays dividends when you start going up hill or there is a lot of accelerating.
Sunglasses are useful as they keep flies and dirt out of your eyes.
Where do I get a bike from? Blast Bikes Chipping Sodbury, Total Fitness Bath, Terry's Cycles Yate, Avon Valley Bath, Fred Bakers Bristol, John's Bikes Bath.
You'll have your trainers on already you have your running vest. All you have to do is take your helmet off and start running....easy as that.
Practise the transitions from one discipline to the next. There is nothing like cycling hard then trying to run!
Hints on training
Training is a hard thing to balance with your social and working life at the best of times. With triathlon it becomes difficult in triplicate. The bonus is with three disciplines you can have the flexibility to switch your routine. If the rain is hammering down and you don't fancy a run, go down to the pool for a dip. If you can't face an hour in the pool and the weather is fine, get on your bike or slip your trainers on.
Different people can handle different amounts of training and different ratios to the three disciplines. This will depend on your individual strengths, weaknesses and desires. A common rule is train a little more in your weakest discipline. Good advice but not followed very often. There is always a tendency to drift back the discipline you are best at or enjoy the most... the runner will tend to run more, the swimmer will tend to swim more. Remember triathlon is not how well you do in one discipline, it's how well you do cumulatively.
When I started I tried to fit in an equal number of sessions of swimming, running and biking and then added some gym work. Not many people train more than 10 hours a week. Most train a lot less. It is very easy to over-train too. Don't think "Oh my god 10 hours I'll never fit that in". Start with the number of hours you want to train and the number of sessions that this represents. Once this is established divide up your disciplines and then work on the intensities of these. If you are very new don't worry too much about doing hard and easy sections, just get used to the sessions themselves and train as you feel. You'll enjoy it more that way, and that's what it is all about anyway isn't it?
I won't give examples of how to train but work on hard day-easy day through the week and have a rest day to allow your body to recover.
Don't increase your training volumes by more than 10% per week. If you ran 15 miles one week don't suddenly shoot up to 25 miles. If you went out for a 1 hour ride don't think that you can do 3 hours. You may be able to but you may also suffer afterwards and disrupt the following weeks training.
If you are training for a sprint event clearly you don't need to train as much as a longer event. Don't do too much.
Swimming: most pools have a swimming lane, use it, it saves crashing into people. If you can do front crawl it is generally quicker and should be easy on your legs compared with breaststroke. You will not be allowed to do backstroke. Don't think that you need to hammer out 400m swims (16 lengths) to practise swimming a 400m. Concentrate on getting your stroke right over a shorter distance. If you have 30 minutes to swim try doing a short warm up and then sets of 2 lengths or 4 lengths with short breaks. That way your stroke will stay smoother for longer. There are also swim fits, or master swims at pools too. These are good for doing sessions devised by coaches and swimming with people of similar speeds. For those who want to swim open water there are two main areas in the region, Cotswold Water Park (45 minutes drive from Yate) and Cromhall - you'll need to be a member of the BTF to swim here though (insurance).
Cycling: there are some cycling clubs locally but the Hogweeds do a bike session on Fridays at the club (6.30pm). This is usually 45 minutes riding followed by 15 minutes of running.
Running: of course you have to run with the Hogweeds! What you must do at some stage is to practise cycling and running, it's not easy!