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    • Garrett Taylor

      Alright, I've been meaning to post on this topic for the last couple of weeks. I need help from all you triathletes. I really want to get into races and do not really know the best way to start. Up to this point I've been "pre-training". I've been pretty good about going to the gym 4-5 times a week over the past two years, but lately have been pivoting away from weights and angling towards the three magic workouts: swimming, biking, and running. Next step for me is figuring out what race to sign up for, the length of my first race, how I should go about seriously training, a time I should shoot for, etc.

      Here's where I'm at:
      - Swam in high school, currently can swim a mile in about 28-29 minutes, surf often
      - Have always ran off and on, ran one half marathon at a 7:43 pace, barely can break 6:00 in a mile sprint
      - Biking is my blind spot, almost no experience aside from cycling at the gym and boy scout merit badge ha
      - Did a Sprint Length triathlon at the gym the other day at a time of 1:30ish
      - Can easily set aside 1-2 hours a day for training
      - 5'11 177lbs

      Help!

      (Disclaimer: Had no related pic for this topic, but didn't want to be lame and not post a photo. Enjoy this surf photo of me from a time when Santa Cruz still had good waves)


    • Looks like you have a solid base to start your triathlon journey!

      I have been training and racing for a few years now and would love to help you out with whatever advice I can. Here are a few suggestions:

      1. Get a bike! If you are serious about jumping into triathlon racing then go for a TT bike. Don't get the cheapest one, but also don't leave your wallet at the shop ๐Ÿ˜œ. Since you haven't ridden a bike that much it is critical to develop good bike handling skills. You can only get them by being out on the road. The reason for going straight to a TT bike, is that if it is your only bike it will suck in the training but you'll fly on a race day.

      2. Your swim is solid. Just maintaining that pace will be good. The swim is the most intimidating part of the triathlon and if you are feeling confident the rest will be easy. I would double down on the other two disciplines.

      3. Sign up for Olympic Distance Triathlon and start training for a specific race. I suggest picking a local one since you'll learn a lot in your first race. Picking a popular race is OK too, but you might get caught up in all of the chaos and lose focus on what you need to get done. The reason I'm recommending to pick an Olympic Distance race is based on your strong swimming background. In that distance as opposed to 70.3 (Half Ironman) or 140.6 (Full Ironman) the swimming portion counts the most in your overall time. After doing one you'll know if you want to go longer but at a lower intensity.

      4. Focus on a consistent training rather than "binge" training. I often see people get too excited when they start training for their first triathlon race. It is very easy to overtrain when you have 3 separate disciplines. You'll always feel that whatever you are not doing at the moment is going to suffer. If you are swimming one day, you'll feel like you are falling behind on your run. If you are running, you'll think that your bike is collecting dust. This is normal!

      5. The last yet the most important point: Listen to your body! If you are feeling tired from overtraining, work or inadequate sleep, forget your planned workout. Focus on recovery. This means: you should take a nap, eat a good, healthy meal and wait a few hours. If you feel good enough after, do an easy workout. Otherwise, call it a day and postpone the planned workout until the next day or when you start feeling better. This is the only way to sustain long-term interest in a triathlon and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Focus on the big picture and have fun!

      P.S. Here is a more appropriate triathlon picture of me training... ๐Ÿ˜

    • Knowing that you are living in Utah and coming to Santa Cruz for the next 4 months changes the gameplan a bit.

      Since I live in San Jose California, it is only 40 mins from Santa Cruz, so please stop by for a visit. If you are on Strava then lets connect, if you are not on Strava then you should sign up asap. It will help your training by showing workout stats and pretty graphs. Being on Strava will also help you expand your triathlete circle of friends and reinforce social commitments. When you see your friends working out you are more likely to do one as well.

      I've done most of the triathlon races in California at least once, so if you have a question about a specific event you have in mind, don't hesitate to ask for a recommendation.

      Chris asked if I recommend indoor training. The short answer is: absolutely! The long answer is a lot more complicated when it comes to the actual set up, choosing the right trainer and program.

      Here are some good conversation about indoor training:
      Zwift Changes Everything
      Loving the Tacx Neo Smart bike trainer so far!

      The most beautiful race in California (if you are willing to drive):
      Toughest race at the most beautiful place...

    • I am no longer a tri-guy....but, I was active in the scene for about 5 years....In hindsight the BEST thing I did was find a local tri club that I dug the scene.....typically, triathetes are TYPE A x 10 so some crowds can be a little agro but joining a club made the beginner experience really great.

    • I will definitely be paying you as well as Chris a visit! I'd previously checked out your conversation on the June Lake Triathlon- looks amazing. The race I'm angling towards right now is the Folsom Triathlon on August 5th. I'll probably try to do at least one before. Also will do the Santa Cruz Dip n Dash on July 1. I'd like to do an olympic length tri in July, so let me know if there are any that you recommend.

      Also just downloaded Strava!

    You've been invited!