The novice triathlon trains…

So, with five weeks until the novice women’s only triathlon in Newcastle on March 6 (http://sparkenbntriathlon.com.au/womens-triathlon/womens-triathlon/info)¬†and with time to train limited I have done two short one-hour sessions which went like this:

Session 1: 30min ride, including six x 200m intervals on a slight gradient with 200m recoveries up Kilgour Ave, Bar Beach. This worked out to be roughly 25 seconds harder and 50 seconds recovery. 10min run x 20seconds hard:40sec easy at Empire Park. Ride to Merewether Oceans Baths for six-lap swim. Cruisy ride home.

Session 2: 20min ride, including 10 intervals at Townson Oval of 200m harder:200m easier. 10min run, consisting of 10 intervals x 20seconds harder:40sec easier. Easy ride to Merewether Ocean Baths for six-lap. Cruisy ride home.

 

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The Novice Triathlete

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It is that time of year again … time to dust off the bike, convince some close friends that doing a local triathlon will not only be fun but also beneficial to all of us health-wise and psych myself up for the swim leg in Newcastle Harbour.

Well, I have to report that I am well ahead of schedule this year. I would say this is the fifth time I have participated in one the Sparke Helmore Triathlon Festival events in Newcastle. The first year, which was about eight years ago, I competed with a work colleague in a team. That was a great way to get a taste for triathlon events and was also a nice team-building exercise for the workplace and I highly recommend doing your first event this way.

After that, I branched out into the solo section with a few friends and had heaps of fun. Don’t get me wrong though – there was some pain along the way, but when I crossed that finish line I felt a real sense of achievement and found myself already thinking about the next year and how I might improve my times.

Two years ago I did a triathlon in the first trimester of pregnancy then last year I participated, and I emphasise the word participated, in the same ladies only mini triathlon three-and-a-half months after having our third child.

This year I am going back for the women’s only triathlon of 300-metre swim, 15-kilometre cycle and 4km run. It is an excellent starting point for those wanting to give a triathlon a go. You can do this event as a team also, if you so wish.

Anyway, it is on March 6, 2016, which is five weeks away. Just five weeks! I hear you. But I think you can still get some good training in before it starts, and that is what I am planning to do when time allows. I am going to post some of the sessions that I am doing to get myself ready for the novice event, and although I am a qualified personal trainer I am not a triathlon expert so these sessions are just a novice’s guide on how to make things feel a little easier on race day.

So, stay tuned for some session guides and hopefully I will see a few of you on race day for a bit of fun and fitness. And honestly, when you live in such a beautiful place like Newcastle, why wouldn’t you want to get out there and exercise! We are very lucky.

 

30:30 sessions continued

I have found fitness to be a very personal thing. Everyone is different and will not like, nor see results, from the same exercise regime. Find what works for you and stick with it. Here are some more of my favourite sessions in a sample weekly fitness program:

Monday, January 18: 30 minutes easy cardio.Walk, cycle, swim, jog.

Tuesday, January 19: strength and cardio (set up two cones 30-40m apart. you will run up and back between these cones after each strength exercise below)

10 minutes continuous x [5 squats, run between cones, 5 push-ups, run, 10 lunges, run, 5 pull-ups/rows, run]

10 minutes x intervals. Do a continuous cycle of harder effort 10 seconds followed by easy effort 20 seconds

Repeat the first 10 minutes of the session.

Wednesday, January 20: stretch and core work or a yoga session

Thursday, January 21: Hill intervals (so much fun!)

Memorial Drive in Newcastle is perfect for this. Start at the bottom of Cooks Hill Car Park. The session comprises five intervals, getting shorter with each.

5 minutes hard effort uphill: 5min hard downhill; 4min up: 4min down; 3min up: 3min down; 2min up: 2min down; 1min up: recover down to start

Friday, January 22: 30min cardio of swim, cycle, easy jog, walk and 10min of core work.

Saturday, January 23: Time to relive your ’80s and ’90s aerobics days with a 30min strength and cardio circuit. Work each station 45 seconds then have a 15 second rest before moving on

  1. squats
  2. 10m running backwards then forwards shuttles
  3. push-ups
  4. skipping
  5. dead lifts
  6. mountain climbers
  7. rows/pull-ups
  8. step-ups
  9. run 20m shuttles
  10. hover

Sunday, January 24: 30min walk, cycle, rowing or swim

Five ways to keep your fitness goals going

Setting new goals is easy, it is keeping them that is hard.

You wipe the slate clean at the start of a new year and usually get into achieving a set of goals with much gusto. But as the weeks begin to click by and a bit of normality returns after the Christmas-New Year period then it can be hard to maintain the enthusiasm you started the year with.

But do not give up on yourself yet. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself motivated.

  1. Get a fitness diary. Start the week by writing down the sessions you plan to do that week and tick them off as you go. If you do not do a session make yourself put a big red cross through it.
  2. Enlist a friend. There is nothing like peer pressure to keep you on task where your fitness goals are concerned. Arrange to meet each other for some tough workouts and tell yourself you will be letting the other one down if you pull out.
  3. Enter an event. Doing this will keep you motivated to train as you will want to be prepared for it. It might be a running event, it might be a triathlon, it might be to play sport this year and be fir for it.
  4. Put yourself on a fitness points system (ie 10 points per session completed) and when you reach a certain amount of points reward yourself with something – maybe a massage or perhaps some new training gear.
  5. Turn up. Tell yourself you are going to at least turn up to your sessions, even if you do not feel like doing it. Once you are there, most times you will end up doing the session anyway.