So Sara, How’s Triathlon Training Going?

Here’s where I’m at right now:

I’ve been working hard on my swimming. I do one or two swim workouts a week about an hour each. I’ve been working on bilateral breathing, which is breathing on each side during the freestyle stroke. I’ve read I’ll have a more balanced stroke with bilateral breathing. It’s taken me a while to get used to breathing on both sides. Some helpful drills for me have been using a pull buoy and just practicing pulling with my arms and breathing on both sides. Another one is doing the side swim stroke.

I’ve been working on my other swimming strokes as well: breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly. My butterfly looks like someone trying not to drown. It’s a sad sight to see. I read that there’s no rule saying you have to swim freestyle the whole time. I also read that it’s a good idea to practice a variety of stokes to help strengthen your freestyle stroke since there’s some aspect of the freestyle stroke in the other three strokes being butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke.

I’ve been practicing floating on my back as well. I read that’s the only way you can rest during an open water swim if necessary.

Lastly I’ve been practicing the water polo stroke–swimming with my head above water and also spotting every 3rd or 5th stroke for trying to spot the buoys. I haven’t spotted any buoys in the pool yet, but damn it I’ll be ready when I hit the open water!

I’ve been taking a yoga class once a week to stretch out and strengthen my core muscles. I’ve seen a lot of improvement in my core strength in the poses we do in class.

My muscles, for whatever reason, has completely gone to mush. It’s probably because I do mostly cardio-type workouts. My mushiness is driving me crazy so I’m back to weights three times a week. I’m doing a full body strength training workout three times a week. I do the strength training in the middle of my run-bike bricks. I’ll do one run-bike brick to start, then I do my strength training in the middle and then finish with another run-bike brick.

The purpose of the run-bike bricks are to practice the transition between the bike and the run phase. It’s to help practice the quick switch from one activity directly into the other. This has been pretty helpful. All of the biking I’ve been doing has been on a bike at the gym and all of the running I’ve been doing has been on a treadmill.

I’ve been focused more on the swimming the last two months since I felt that my weakest aspect. Now that I’ve improved on than I’m going to focus more on biking and running.

Goals going forward:

1. Pick out a bike. I just got my taxes done and am planning on buying a nice road bike to start doing my triathlons.

2. Planning my triathlon race season. I found a duathlon in LaPorte which I’m going to try out in May to ease into triathlon. A duathlon is biking followed by running. I’m also searching for an indoor triathlon to try out and see how I like it. I’m also going to start searching online for different triathlons of sprint and maybe olympic distance.

3. I’m going to join NWI Triathletes so that I can be around people who are also engaged in the sport. All of my knowledge I have on triathlon so far has come from books and magazines.

4. I’m going to get a swim cap so that my wet hair doesn’t fall into my mouth as I try to take a breath and then I choke on the water that streams into my mouth.

5. Add in one long run per week outdoors.

6. Add in one long bike ride per week by doing a spin class once a week. I think an indoor cycling class will help build up my cycling skills.

Creepy story:

My hair-dresser’s boyfriend does triathlons. She mentioned a triathlon at Wolfe Lake in Whiting. Apparently there are dead bodies which have been spotted at the bottom of Wolfe Lake. Creepy. That kind of got me on the open water swimming part.

Open Water Swimming Plan:

Stay at the very back to avoid any chance of panic attack during the race. I have no desire to win the triathlon so I’ll be just fine in the back. I’m not wimpy. I just really don’t want to get kicked in the face.

So that’s where I’m at in triathlon training so far! There’s a whole lot of self-education going on right now!