How long to morph from mere mortal?

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04/02/2004 at 20:52
M - yeah you are right the 10km is the olympic triathlon run distance - according to the London Triathlon website the sprint course is 750 m swim 20km bike and 5km run but if you enter as a team of three you can each do a super sprint - 400M swim, 10km bike and 2.5 km run - all i need is two willing chums!

Carl as one reformed (almost) couch potato to another - congrats on your achievements thus far. I have found progress has been stop start but two years ago I could not run for a minute, and now I can say I completed a marathon before the sweeper van!!
04/02/2004 at 20:54
cool - i'd like to give the olympic a go. my swimming isn't bad (about 8 mins for 400m so i reckon about 32 mins for 1500m)

but my cycling is truly awful. 40k might take me several weeks!

but april - july gives me loads of time to practice. £63 is quite a lot though!
04/02/2004 at 20:56
I think it's less if you're a member of triathlon association or whatever it is, it tells you on the site anyway
04/02/2004 at 20:56
well done guinevere! if you've done a marathon a sprint tri should be no problems. i did my first one before i'd even done my first half marathon. and it was easier!
04/02/2004 at 21:15
Ah but it took me in excess of FIVE hours to do the marathon.
Though in my defence I had only trained for 10 weeks or so.
And the Edinburgh course is very hilly!!
In fact they have reversed bits of it for this year cos of the complaints :-D
04/02/2004 at 21:16
M - if you have any tips for better swimming then I'd appreciate them. I am not so concerned about the cycling and running, as i just need to put the miles in. But swimming is a definite weakness!
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
04/02/2004 at 21:19
M, im doing the Marathon and Tri training together and find that the activities compliment each other a bit. Im building up to the bike endurance rides which will increase my stamina but keep the impact of my feet. The swim is also a good non weight bearing workout. I admit it is hard to fit it all in, im lucky I don’t have any home commitments, a Gym at work and a there are quite a few runners at work to go out with at lunchtimes so im able to fit in about 6-9 training sessions a week.

I have moved most of my long runs from a Sunday to a Thursday evening freeing up Sunday for some races (practice) and long bike sessions. I try and fit in another couple of 6 mile runs in the week and another medium distance bike. The 1 or 2 swims (which are only 20 mins due to injury) are slotted in when I have a spare few mins, again the pool is only 1 mile from my house and on the way home from work.

Seems I have all the facilities if only my body was willing…..
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
04/02/2004 at 21:24
Guinevere, at this stage I suggest getting some l21 lessons at your local pool to sort out any probs with your stroke, nreathing etc. This is what I did and for the 5 or 6 weeks brfore my shoulder gave in (Not due to swimming) I was improving quite a lot. They cost £10 for 30 minutes, I know its another cost but in the scheme of things I felt it was worth it. For more professional and tri specific coaching there are weekend/day swim camps type thingies that I think are about £100-£200 (more for the experienced Triathlete I think though I guess they could work for a beginner). Ive also been told about a good book ‘Total Immersion’ – the web addy is
04/02/2004 at 21:25
Carl stick with it sounds like you are doing great
I have started running 3 to 4 lunchtimes a week plus sat/sun but thinking of swapping shorter weekend run for a long bike ride to take strain off the old knees and hips etc!
Just need to start building in a few swims after work and I'll be sorted.
Oh and cycle to work. When the wind dies down...
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
04/02/2004 at 21:25
Maybe I should get some lessons on my spelling to...
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
04/02/2004 at 21:29
Being a newbie I suprise my self at the advice I can give already lol. Just passing on whats been passed to me by others in the forum.

RW is one of the most useful info sources anywhere, the people here are just great.

Anyway time for a bit of couch traing im off to watch TV, see u all later...
04/02/2004 at 21:30
Thanks Carl
I never learned to swim till I was 11 and then never really got into it again till about three years ago (I used to hate exercise - can you tell!)
Before I started running I swam three times a week but it was hard going and I think my technique is a bit crap!
When I had a sore back last year the physio told me not to swim (???) so am definitely rusty again!
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
04/02/2004 at 21:35
Well you seem to be doing great to, you do have to watch out for injury so take it steady.

I started to swim at an early age and was always a strong swimmer but never done front crawl and couldnt manage a length. Thechnique is very very important as is breathing, I certainly noticed a very quick improvement even from just 2 lessons.
04/02/2004 at 23:22
definitely agree on the lessons.

if you can find a local tri club they often do a coached session once a week

carl - you are doing loads!!!! wow! i get so tired from marathon training that i just can't be bothered to do the rest. and training twice a day takes it from being a pleasure to being a chore. so i'm guessing i may not be cut out for tri's!
05/02/2004 at 08:58
M - I am not cut out for sport full stop, I am just trying to change!!

I think I will book some swimming lessons, it sounds like a good idea.

BTW I cycled into work today. It was a bit scary. And not sure of the wisdom of a thoroughbred road bike on the pot-holed streets of Edinburgh. Ouch.
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
05/02/2004 at 09:23
M - you dont have to train twice a day for Tri's.

Im training for an Ironman in July, even though im sometimes training 8 times a week im maxing about 7 hours training as its all my bofy can cope with. Some of my sessions are only 30mins but I try and concentrate most of my effort on 2-3 long sessions (1-2 hours).

Ive seen some of the Ironman plans and know I should be doing more but am at the limit of my bodies endurance at the mo. Some plans build you up to 16 hours a week (or even more).

Bouncing Barlist    pirate
05/02/2004 at 09:27
Well done for cycling in Guinevere hope you have somewhere safe to leave your bike or its insured. Oh and as a matter of interest how far is your work?

The potholes wont be to bad if you miss them lol, if the roads are really bad it might be worth investing £50 on a second hand mountain bike to save your thoroughbred from damage (oh and dont forgtet the spare Tubes).
05/02/2004 at 10:06
Guinevere, why wait until London next year. As you're already getting fit for a marathon you hopefully wouldn't have a lot of difficulty building in the odd cross training session by cycling or swimming. You could then take part in one of the Scottish Triathlons this season.

If you're keen on open water there is a Portobello Sprint Triathlon on 25th July in Edinburgh. Details at:
05/02/2004 at 10:40
 Hi Guinevere, I did the London Tri last year - sprint distance - it was the first time I'd taken part in any kind of sport since leaving school and it was absolutely brilliant experience.

The organizers of the London Tri are very helpful to first timers, they do training days and answered any questions I e-mailed to them.

I've just skimmed through this thread and you I think you said you were most concerned about the swim - I was too. For me starting to swim in wetsuit was the hardest thing as I only swim breast stroke. I think the best advice I can give is start training in a wetsuit by April at the latest. Also find a large outdoor pool, Tooting Lido or the Serpertine for me. If you swim front crawl you shouldn't have the same problems as me, but if you swim breast stroke I found a windsurfing shortie wetsuit better as it doesn't restrict elbow and knee flexing the way a full length one does.

For the race don't let yourself get exhusted by the swim, just go at an easy pace for you and think about making up time on the road. I was nearly last out of the water but had a huge smile on my face as went by the others on the bike and run.

I ended up doing far better than I expected to. I started out just wanting to finish but as I trained I aimed for 2 hours and then 1hr 45min and ended up finishing in 1hr 36min.

Go on enter you'll love it.
05/02/2004 at 11:17
you can still get in london this year (through ballot) if you wanted to. as others have said the sprint course will be easy for you if you can do marathons and dont have a prob swimming.

how fast are you - what could you do for 750m with wetsuit? my advice is to start at the sides out of (h)arms way. then when the field has spread out a little and before you reach the first buoy, start to move in-field a bit and start to draft behind someone.

JJ, ongar try-a-tri is about 8 miles from epping and is run by tri sport epping i think (website:
I've won it last two years, but used my flatmates name (Rob) in 2002......because novice entrants are not supposed to have done more than 3 other tri's. By last year I think I'd done 15. Told you I'm naughty! :O)

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