Beginner Triathlon – FAQs

What is a Triathlon?
A triathlon is an endurance sport that combines swimming, biking, and running. Triathlons come in several distances – spring to Ironman. The swim always comes first followed by biking, and running is last. You are timed for the whole event including transitions times between sports.

Who Can Complete a Triathlon?
Anyone can complete a triathlon. The misconception that you have to be an experienced athlete keeps a lot of people from considering the possibility. The fact is, with proper training and preparation anyone can complete their goal event. People of all shapes, sizes, and speeds participate each year. This program is designed to give you the skills and confidence that you need to get to the finish line and meet your goals.

What Type of Equipment Do I Need?
To complete a triathlon you will need several pieces of equipment. The following equipment would be considered the minimum:
•swim goggles and bathing suit
•a bike and helmet (BIKE FAQs)
•running shoes (a good pair will help prevent injuries)
•sports watch with a chronograph feature

What Do I Need to Do Before I Begin Training?
Consulting a physician before beginning any exercise program is highly recommended. This will help insure your safety and well being. You must fill out the 2014 waiver which includes a basic health questionnaire. Those with medical conditions are not excluded from training but must get a physician signature to participate.

My race isn’t listed as one of your group races. What do I do?
You can still use a group training plan and compete in a different race. You can also sign up for an individual training plan. Email Becky at nacendurance@hotmail.com to modify your plan.

How Do I Stay Motivated To Train?
•Set your goals – Having a goal and written plan to meet those goals increases your chance of success. Write them down so they are visible and you can be reminded of them daily or weekly.
•Get support – A support group to encourage you and hold you accountable will play a huge role in your motivation. Support can come from family, friends and other members of Nacogdoches Endurance Training. The best way to gain support is to get a workout partner or partners. When people are counting on you to be somewhere, you are more likely to show up. It’s easy to talk yourself out of exercise, but not so easy to talk others out of it.
•Share your goal with others – Sharing your goals with others will help build your support base and keep you on target. People will be excited for you and want to know how you are doing.
•Attend the group workouts – Attending group workouts will help you feel part of something great. Teammates are there to help, encourage, and support one another. Knowing that you all share the same goal brings a bond that will never be forgotten and friendships that will last forever. We will be meeting on Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings!
•Sign up for the race – Signing up for the race will make it seem more real and the thought of backing out diminishes. Knowing you are invested in this program and the race will help to keep you motivated.

What Obstacles Might I Face During The Program?
There are many things that might slow you down or discourage you during training. I will discuss a few of these and what you should do when you encounter the problem.

1.Missing Workouts – The workouts that I provide are a guide. Completing each workout is important, but it’s equally important to understand that everyone’s lives are different, and schedules will vary. If you miss a workout, for whatever reason (uncontrollable or maybe you just feel tired), you can make that day up on one of your off days. DO NOT, for any reason, double up the next day thinking this will help. Doing so could cause injury. If for some reason you can’t make it up, just skip that workout and continue the workouts as scheduled.

2.Injury – This training is designed to keep you injury free. There are, however, steps you need to take to ensure you finish the training without problems.
•Always warm-up slowly and do some light stretching before beginning your workout especially if any muscles feel tight.
•Cool down easy and stretch any tight muscles after your workout. A cool down should lower the heart rate.
•Avoid over-training. Many injuries are caused by not listening to the body. When something hurts, pay attention to it. Some pain is normal and acceptable to feel when beginning an exercise program. An example of this is the ‘side stitch.’ Although very painful, it can be ignored and stretched out. Signs that should not be ignored include pain in the chest, muscles (such as cramping or pulling of a muscle), bones (such as shin splints), and joints. Anytime your body speaks to you, recognize it and adjust your activities as needed.

3.Competition – This training does not create a competitive atmosphere, however, by nature we feel intimidated by the better athlete. Try to remember that you are only in competition with yourself. Everyone in this course will be on a different level, will advance at a different pace, and will train at different speeds. Train at your speed and your speed only. Training with someone who will push you is recommended, but only when it is reasonable. Don’t try to keep up with an intermediate runner, if you are a beginner. Everyone will be successful at their own level.

How Do I Know if I am Training Hard Enough?
You don’t have to train hard to successfully complete a running event. Your training should be a reflection of your race goals. This program is designed to get you to the finish line. If you want to race hard, train hard. Only you know your goals and how hard you need to work to reach those goals.

Exercise DO’s
•Follow the prescribed workout
•Take your time
•Adjust the days as you need to
•Take your rest days
•Go SLOW and STEADY!

Exercise DON’Ts
•Over do it. The program starts slow, so take your time. It will speed up quickly.
•Skip off days. Rest days are just as important as workout days.
•Do two hard workouts back-to-back. This includes long walk/runs, hill work or interval/tempo training (unless prescribed by me).
•Double up – if you miss a workout and can’t make it up – skip it
•Feel pressure to keep up. Everyone advances at a different pace. Run your race.

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