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.

 

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

Why a balanced approach beats a 30-day challenge for me

In an attempt to keep myself motivated to do some form of physical activity every day through the festive season I decided to take on a daily burpee challenge for the month of December. I had heard heaps of people talking about different 30-day challenges they had taken up but then invariably stopped midway through, and I now know why! I thought I would start with two burpees on December 1 then add two each day until performing 62 on the last day of the month. This seemed like an achievable challenge as I found burpees quite enjoyable in a weird way and I knew they would be doing me a lot of good in a short amount of time as they work many muscle groups. But what I did not foresee was the heaviness that would build up in the legs, shoulders and shoulder blades from the repetitive movement each day. I made it to the end of the month but was glad it was over and have vowed never to take on such a challenge again. The positive was that it did make me do something every day – it served as a reminder to be active daily. But from now on it is back to a balanced approach to fitness. Time is the biggest hurdle for me, but I am going to try to get at least 30 minutes of fitness into each day.