Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tri and Tri and Tri

Have you been telling yourself you are going to get back to the gym and that start date keeps getting postponed? A little extra "baby" weight you just can't shake? A "handful" of lovin' in your torso region that you can't seem to part with? Any interest in showing your kids that Mommy and Daddy can still kick ass? If you answered yes to any of these questions - here is your chance. This year on July 28 a brave team of men and women will be doing the Greenwich Triathlon and we want you to join us! You DO NOT need to be a trained triathlete or really any kind of athlete at all. Come on out. It's going to be legit.

Two years ago a friend who always inspires me convinced me a week before the Traithlon that we should do it and prove to ourselves that we were moms who could still be a part of the game. We road down to Todd's Point in pouring rain at 5am that Sunday morning - she on her cruiser with a basket and me in a regular old bikini and t-shirt. It was ugly but we did it and proud we did feel. Then last year a team of more than fifteen of us decided in late spring that we were going to do the Tri. Our team was called Tough Girls Tri and it was AWESOME! We stressed, we struggled, we swam, and cycled. It was a big sweaty mess, but let me tell you - as we rode into Todd's Point after completing the swim and bike and saw our children's faces beaming as they cheered us on - it was so worth every ounce of sweat and pain. The extra added bonus? As a team we raised $5000 for charity.

The basics: It's a 1/2 mile swim in the Sound off Todd's Point, a 15 mile bike ride over and back to Cos Cob, and then a 3 mile run around the point. Sure the swim is brutal and many of us thought we were going to drown last year but we buddied up and made it. The bike ride - yup our buns were burning for days to follow. And that run? Holy smokes were our faces red! But again - we ALL finished. And finishing means winning in my books.  

Team ribbons made us easy to spot on the road.

Prepped and ready the night before!

The sweetest little note from my hubby as I headed out bright and early.

The Young Spectators

Our BIG Fans

Gaga rocking the ride.

Quick pit stop for some love from the minis!

Check out those guns on Mrs. Custar!

Andra and Graham crushing it!

Me, not so much.

The Proud Competitors

So there you have it. It is going to be one heck of a day - rain or shine - so save the date! Check out this link to sign up online or head on over to Threads and Treads in Greenwich to sign up in person. Mickey Yardis and his son Matt are great and they run just about every race in town. They are always happy to answer any questions about the event. 

In the next few weeks I will be doing a series of posts about swimming in open water, training for races, and buying the correct supplies (bikes included). First up - Triathlon Coach and Certified Personal Trainer Mike Christie walks us through the basics of training for a Tri. Get ready! Game on!

Q&A with Mike Christie, Triathlon Trainer for ESH Tri

What is a sprint triathlon?

The Sprint triathlon is an event that consists of a 750 meter swim (usually open water), 20 kilometer bike, and 5 kilometer run. It is the shortest of the triathlon events and the event that people new to the sport normally do first. 

What do people say is the hardest part? Swim, ride, or race?

Most triathlon competitors say that the swim is the hardest. The reason is the large majority of adults either never learned to swim or have never learned to swim for speed and endurance. It is the part of the triathlon that causes the greatest stress for newcomers to the sport. This can be easliy fixed by hiring a swim coach and learning proper swim mechanics. 

For the person who is in decent shape (hitting the gym 2-3 times a week) how do you train for a sprint triathlon when you have 8 weeks to get ready? How much biking, swimming, and running do you really need to do?

Training for a Sprint triathlon is not an overwhelming task but it does require some planning and organization. Proper training schedules will consist of "Build" weeks and "Transition" weeks. The build weeks are designed to build one's strength and endurance for each discipline. The max number of hours for a build week is about 8 hours of training. Transition weeks are for rest and recovery. The number of hours for a transition week is typically about 4 hours of training. Since the bike is the longest part of the race, the athlete needs to spend more time cycling than swimming and running. 

What is the safest way to practice swimming in open water? Along the shore or out and back?

Along shore. This way if you get in trouble, you are not far from shore. Do not go into open water without people around. Even the most experienced swimmers can get into trouble. 

What is the trick to getting the most out of your pedaling? Do you pedal downhill or glide? Should you push with your heels or toes? When do you change gears?

The recommended way to pedal is with your heels down on the "down stroke" and your toes down on the "up stroke". This will give you the most power. The best way to ride the hills is easy up and hard down. Never glide downhill when training or racing. This is where you pick up time.

What's the best thing to wear so that you have easy transitions between water, bike, and run?

A suit made specifically for triathlon is best. They come as a top and bottom or a singlet which is a one piece suit. Avoid loose fitting clothing and fabrics that absorb and hold water. 

Day before and of the race what should you eat for optimum energy?

Carbohydrates are recommended because this will fuel your tank. We have about 2 hours worth of usable glycogen in our bodies before we need refueling. Pasta, breads, rice, sweet potatoes are great to eat the day before. Stay away from high fiber foods and avoid eating a heavy meal right before bed. Drink water and sports drinks to get fully hydrated. Avoid alcohol the day before as this will dehydrate you. 


We can DO this!!! Think about it. You won't regret it.

Stay tuned because we are going to do a "Beach Course" with Mike in the next few weeks where he will coach us on swimming in open water, biking, and running. Email me at lindleypless@gmail.com if you want to join the team and get regular updates!

To contact Mike with questions or to set up a training session: 

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