No Category selected Let’s talk triathlons!

    Let’s talk triathlons!


    We want to talk about triathlons, and we want YOU, the members of iRunNation, to share your comments, questions and advice here at!

    Do you “tri?” Runners who are thinking about trying triathlons could benefit from your experience, so please share liberally in the comments below, or send us an email with your beginner triathlon advice by clicking here.

    Are you “tri-curious?”  Don’t know where to start? Submit your questions in the comments below, or submit via email by clicking here.

    To get started, pick up a copy of the June issue of iRun Magazine, where you’ll find more information on triathlons and the 2011 Subaru Triathlon Series!


    1. I am a “Triathlon Coach in Training” (as designated by the NCCP) and I have done three Sprints and one Olympic distance Triathlon. I was planning to try a 70.3 this season but I got delightfully sidetracked by the iRun Runner Makeover.

      To really reach and enjoy the full potential of what Coach Tania’s program offered me, I needed to dedicate myself to running. Which meant very little swimming and even less cycling (I’m down to only riding my daily commute).

      One thing I realized quite quickly was that all the swimming and cycling I was doing, while certainly making me a better athlete, was not a necessarily making me a better runner. Once I dedicated all my time to running (with some core sessions and a little resistance training) my speeds really started to pick up.

      Unless you have the luxury of unlimited training time in your day, you have to prioritize your workouts to match your goals.

      I guess it’s all a balancing act.

      I do plan to get back to balancing the triathlon training in my life… but not until after I reach my next big running goal.

    2. I have a few half marathons and 2 marathons under my belt, but last summer I completed my first sprint tri.
      I would call myself a decent swimmer – spent my childhood in swimming lessons – and a novice biker. I read a couple books, but basically just did it to have fun. And have fun I did!
      I would totally recommend tris to anyone who can keep their head above water. And if you can’t, take lessons!
      They can be pricey (I’m out east and had to buy a wetsuit), but look for deals. My husband and I both bought decent roads bikes second hand.
      It was, hands down, the most fun I’ve ever had racing. 🙂 Can’t wait for it again this summer!

    3. I am a race photographer. I see lots of people trying to take on the next challenge. They go from loving the run to trying the TRI.

      Its a great way to stay in the sport of self propulsion while lessening the impact of long distance running.

      I see it as the perfect transition.

      The numbers of people flocking to the Tri are evidence of its popularity.

      I am not a runner or a tri-athlete but boy do I have respect for the commitment and intestinal fortitude it takes to complete the goal.

    4. My husband and I trained for a few Olympic triathlons together a few years back. I really just wanted him to stop renovating our house and hang out with me and his knees can’t take a lot of running (he’s a cyclist) so that’s why we got started. It was very fun. We trained together when we could, brought our then 2 year old daughter with us on bike rides or stroller runs.

      We travelled as a family to a few triathlons (with the help of supportive grandparents!) and had a blast.

    5. Absolutely Brock, if your goal is to increase your speed for an upcoming race, it makes sense that running is your focus. On the other hand, once your goal race is complete, and your priority is to take a mental and physical break, triathlons are a great option. Triathlon training is also great for maintaining and improving cardiovascular fitness without the impact of running. As a Triathlon Coach-in-Training, how do you encourage first-timers?

    6. A triathlon is on my bucket list so I am working on my 5 km time and doing a Try-a-tri in Sept and plan on moving up to the 10k distance this fall and do a short triathlon next September and then hopefully an Olympic triathlon the year after. I am not a runner so one step at a time closer to my goal is my goal.

    7. Last year I set a goal to complete a triathlon but quickly determined that to get my swimming to an ‘acceptable’ level (i.e. to not drown!) I would have to invest more time than I had. Fortunately I discovered that most triathlon’s also offer a duathlon option (run-bike-run) at each event. So, if you want to do more than just running and are intimidated by taking on TWO new sports, consider a duathlon! I completed my first one 3 weeks ago and will be racing in another one this weekend. Lots of fun, but be warned that running on legs that have spent the past hour-plus on bike is a whole new level of pain. You’ll want to do some Brick workouts (riding then running) before trying it for real!

    8. SubaruTriathlon,

      My first piece of advice to the novice Triathlete is to focus on the discipline that you are weakest at. If you are a decent runner and cyclist but not a strong swimmer, you’ll need to hit the pool hard. If you have been swimming and running all your life but have never cycled (especially in a pseudo-pelaton) you need to get out and practice that.

      Second piece of advice is to nail down your nutrition. For a Sprint Tri, this is less important but for an Olympic Distance or 70.3 you will really need to get your fuel in way before the swim, eat lots during the ride and then hopefully relax in the run. It takes practice though and planning!

      Third piece of advice is to practice your transitions – this is not something you have to deal with as a runner. Getting a wet suit off and your bike shoes on while juggling some gels and dodging other competitors is tricky and takes practice and planning. Don’t leave it for the morning of the race or you will end up with rocks in your socks, sand in your shorts and misery for the rest of the race.

    9. I started off doing the Tri a try’s back in 07. I had a blast and over the season I entered about 4. I too thought I was a decent swimmer (in the pool). Turns out swimming in open water in race conditions is a bit different. Ha ha. But the 400 m is nothing. In 2010 I completed a 1/2 iron event. This year I’m doing another one and a couple of olympic distances. I love the sport and and I can tell you I don’t train obsessively. I train casually and for fun, health and fitness. Not for any land or speed records. I bought a used road bike and a wet suit for the swim. This I have to advise is a must for longer swims. Hope this helps inspire someone. I am always trying to recruit my friends to come and tri.

    10. I completed my first Tri about 2 weeks ago (Super-Sprint), I’m doing an Olympic distance on Sunday (4 days from now!) and I’m registered for the Great White North Half-Ironman July 3rd (11 days from now!).

      This is what happens when you start running and hanging out with other runners. They help you see that you are capable of of things you never dreamed you could do!

    11. as a novice runner and a non-swimmer (i have often woefully declared myself to have achieved the ‘bronze brick’ level), my interest in a triathlon can only be attributed to being part and parcel of my mid-life crisis. i’ve registered for a sprint triathlon in my home city next month, with the simple goal of not being the guy that they have to troll the waters for. my stretch goal is finish somewhere in the middle of the pack for my age group.

    12. …never been a runner, a cyclist or a swimmer. I was in competitive sports in my teens and played competitive ladies hockey as well as softball. However, after the death of my husband and not leaving the couch for 2 months I declared one day around mid August 2010 ” I am going to do a triathlon” to my friend. Of course, he thought I had lost my mind! I could not run a 1/2 mile, bike 10k or swim 100m. Two weeks later I did my first Try a Tri. The next weekend I did another and the next week another to close the 2010 season. I was like a fish with the hook thru it’s cheek! I ran a half marathon this winter in Burlington, Ontario to increase my running endurance. This year I have completed 3 sprints and 1 Olympic and I will compete in Augusta 70.3 in September. That is where my husband was a firefighter. Anyone can be a triathlete! You just need to start doing it!

    13. First off : Anything is possible!

      Anyone who has completed or attended a marathon or any road race for that matter knows that proper training can propel anyone pass the finish.

      The more you concentrate on your run, the more you can use your breath to help you relax and finish the swim. The bike leg is mainly there to help you refuel for the run.

      I won the Ironman Lottery last year and I got myself to Hawaii with very basic swimming skills but with a sound running base. I managed to make the swim and bike cutoffs by staying in my aerobic zone and had plenty of juice to finish with a smile and lasting memories.

      This is coming from a guy who put on a wetsuit backwards thinking the zipper goes in front. A guy who put his chip on his shoe and the bracelet on his ankle during a race. A guy who rents a road bike the day before his first Ironman. Running is tough and rewarding. Triathlon is fun and exciting.

      Try it out!

      I am a runner and always will be.

      Boston was my goal and Kona was my dream.

    14. You CAN do this!

      Triathlon is quite purely – and simply – FUN!

      Playday for grown ups: you go for a swim and splash around with your friends; you ride your bike; you run around with friends and then – you eat! What could be better than that?

      The lifestyle of training in 3 sports is where it’s at for me (racing is okay but I’m not all that competitive – I race as my reward for the training) – swimming, cycling and running (in addition to yoga) keeps me healthy, fit, happy and not bored!

      At 40, I finally learned to swim, bought my first road bike and took up running. Before then, I was strictly a yoga teacher and practitioner, and a retired bodybuilder and aerobics/group exercise junkie and instructor.

      Signed up (my mistake – thought it was an aqua-bike) for Timberman 2010 and then needed to get myself ready for race day.

      I got myself a fabulous coach and went from a newbie who had done a couple of try-a-tri’s to a finisher at the 70.3 in Timberman, NH in 2010 – all within one year.

      This year, I’ve been plagued by injury and couldn’t train or race as planned, so now I’ve been enjoying my role as race photographer. It’s SUCH a joy to see people doing things that they never dreamed possible!

      ANYONE can do this if they really want to!

      Get out there!! 🙂

    15. In less than 2 weeks, I will be doing my fist tri. I have trained with Team in Training for a while now and with them have completed 2 full marathons. I have also completed 5 half marathons. So, I decided to give a tri a shot. I have a good basis for swimming and have really improved on my biking. I got into this initilally with team in training, raised money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canad and ran both full marathons in Anchorage, Alaska and Rome, Italy. I love to run, but hitting those high 30KM + distances just throw you out of commission at times. Got the wetsuit, bike, the whole nine yards. Not looking for any specific time to finish in, just looking to have a great time doing. If this works well, I will hopefully sign back up with TNT and do the tri in Kona, Hawaii in April 2012. Anybody looking to get into running, just get out there, put on a pair of shoes and get moving. thats how I started, and now I am a hopeful triathele in 2 weeks time.

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