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SOFTSOAP Posts: 51
7/26/10 7:41 A

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Hello everyone! I completed my first tri yesterday (I posted a brief note in the Race Recap thread: http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_me
ssageboard_thread.asp?board=818x8x1724
3315)

On the bike, I started running out of steam at mile 8 and had trouble with the hills on the back end of the course. I was just tuckered out. I had to walk a few hills but I completed the course.

I'll be using the advice here as I will keep training and getting my weight down and becoming healthier.

Thanks again.

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SOFTSOAP Posts: 51
7/18/10 8:53 A

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IRISH: "Also, do you have clipless pedals or cages on your bike? If so, then when climbing hills you really want to make use of the full circle of the pedaling motion. Both push down and pull up. That way you are using both your quads (push) and hamstrings (pull) and your legs won't tire as fast. "

I'm using something like cages but it is made of flexible material. It has made all the difference in my cycling. Thanks for the tips.

Everyone, my race is next Sunday. Thanks for the advice and encouragement.

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GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD SparkPoints: (35,468)
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7/13/10 8:33 A

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Never be embarrased about how you get through a race. I have seen some interesting swimming techniques, but every one of those folks moved through it and continued on. It's what's IN you that's important!

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
COOKIE1100's Photo COOKIE1100 SparkPoints: (3,721)
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7/12/10 9:20 P

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Ok you sound more like me, a beginner. I also did a Tri with a ridiculous amount of hills. I found myself off the bike and pushing (not clip pedals) often on the hills, but hey I was so refreshed by the run that I made up time I wasnt' expecting! Most important, finish the race. At first I was embarrassed to be off and pushing but my time was good and I later learned that many others did the same thing! HAVE FUN

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7/12/10 8:27 P

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Irish, I think the problem is that I ride bridges, not proper hills. Some of these are fixed bridges, so they need to be high enough for tall masted boats to pass under - they are extremely steep.

In the past I have started in a higher gear mainly because I have to drop so many gears that I run out in the middle chain. If I shift to the smaller chain, then now I'm in granny gear and spinning out of control. So I start a little higher, push a little harder to keep up my pace and then drop gears.

I agree that clipless are easier to ride hills than cages or plain pedals.

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
MAGELLAN1's Photo MAGELLAN1 Posts: 550
7/12/10 8:02 P

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i was thinking small ring in front before the hill (unless its a roller that you can still kind of spin mostly to the top), and gear up in the rear before you hit the hill. if you try to go to the small ring in front during a climb, you are likely to drop the chain.
if it looks like a steep enough hill that i will need to shift down, i do it before i reach the hill. then i try to keep a steady cadence working with the rear cassette as needed to spin up the hill.
try not to go into your easiest gear too soon, but shift as needed.




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IRISH98's Photo IRISH98 SparkPoints: (18,717)
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7/12/10 7:48 P

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For the most part, that's how I do hills. I'm just a little confused by your hill start. Why would you gear up before starting a hill? That would probably slow down your momentum, which you want as high as possible to carry you up the hill before you have to gear down. Also, it would slow down your cadence, as while I agree you want a steady cadence, you don't want to go too low - the most efficient cadence is 80-90 rpm. For hills, cyclists like Lance will be at 100+ rpm.

Also, do you have clipless pedals or cages on your bike? If so, then when climbing hills you really want to make use of the full circle of the pedaling motion. Both push down and pull up. That way you are using both your quads (push) and hamstrings (pull) and your legs won't tire as fast.

GLADGAD, in regard to your comment about how slow you could go and not fall over, in my last 70.3 triathlon, there was a 4 mile stretch of hill from 6-9% grade (they called it the wall). It was total chaos, as all the riders were zigzagging across the road at a snail's pace, trying to not fall over but still get up the hill. Totally crazy! Gotta love New England racing :)

2010 Goals:
Get under 6 hours for a half Ironman triathlon
Get under 8 min/mi for a 5K - DONE 4/3

2010 Big Races:
Jan 15-17 Bermuda Half Challenge (8:15 Mile, 1:01:20 10K, and 2:11:32 half marathon)
June 6 Mooseman 70.3 triathlon (6:30:25)
Aug 22 Timberman 70.3 triathlon (6:10:14)


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GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD SparkPoints: (35,468)
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7/12/10 7:15 P

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What you plan to do on the bike depends much on what you want out of this race. Since it's your first one, you want to finish, so in order to be sure to finish, I vote to pace yourself on the flats and then give what you can on the hills.

If you haven't practiced hills yet, make sure you do before the race. I am not very good at them, since I live in South Florida, and other than bridges, there's no hills here. Don't try to get a speedy start. Instead get in a slightly higher gear (harder to push) as you approach. Keep your cadence steady and as you go up the hill and it starts getting harder, gear down one at a time. Not too fast, otherwise you might drop your chain. Just before you crest the hill, start bringing up the gears again, as you don't want to be in a wild spin at the top and especially not on the descent. As you go down, lean forward for more speed and gear up one at a time until you have a comfortable resistance. You may have to gear down once you hit the flat part again.

This is how I do hills; if I'm wrong I'm hoping someone jumps in and corrects me. I don't want to tell you the wrong thing.

I will say that in one race the bridge was so steep that I was surprised at how slow I could go and not fall over!

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
SOFTSOAP Posts: 51
7/12/10 7:05 P

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Thanks everyone! I have a big smile on my face right now. I think it's just nerves and I was forgetting to just go out there and have fun. I have been enjoying the experiences I have had while training and that should be double for the race.

Thanks for the reminder!

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LAKELIFE's Photo LAKELIFE Posts: 788
7/12/10 7:00 P

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I can't give you any bike strategy, because I stink on the bike! - but I can confirm the whole last gets best cheers thing! I did my second tri this past weekend in torrential downpours. I'm strong on the swim, but exceptionally weak on the bike - which is when the heavy rain hit. And then I was completely wasted on the run and ended up walking a lot of it.....point being, I was most definitely LAST. But everyone was under the food tent, waiting for awards, and when I ran by, you would have thought I was the WINNER. Seriously!! The cheers were crazy wild - and so many people came up to me afterwards to congratulate me.

My husband (not a runner, and barely a walker!) said..."Well, people who aren't doing the triathlon can be impressed with what you did....but it takes another triathlete to really know what you went through to get to the end. And no matter how fast or slow you did it, when you finish, you all did the same distance." Wise man.

It was hard when I was alone on the bike course, struggling up the hills, so blind from the rain that I literally couldn't see, and the sweeper truck on my tail (I kid you not!!). But once I hit the run, I just gave in to the joy of the race and let myself be totally fine - even humored! - but my own last place-ness.

A friend gave me a mantra the night before - IT'S ALL MENTAL - and that's the truth. You can do all the strategy you find best, but probably for almost everyone, there's a place on the race where you just have to control your mind so you can keep going (Please, big fancy ironman folks, tell me that's true for you too!). And when it's over.....wow.....all the pain is forgotten, and you're just planning for the next one!

ENJOY FULLY!!! And make sure you smile crossing the finish line!!

1/31/08:  Joined Spark People! 
9/27/09: First 5K!
8/1/09: First 10K!
6/13/10: First Sprint Triathlon!
MAGELLAN1's Photo MAGELLAN1 Posts: 550
7/12/10 6:08 P

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lol.i go hard on my swim and go all out on my bike since i know i am not a good runner. i am really best with a steady pace which is why i should be doing Olympic or longer distance, i am sure i would finish better and probably feel better at the end!

if you are worried about finishing,and having done a lot of "bricks" going hard on the bike then running to see how your body responds then i would say keep it steady and finish strong. then you will know what to do for your next race.
about finishing last-the last finishers get the most cheers! i get teary eyed when i see someone finishing after being on the course a long time. its such an accomplishment. sometimes the last finishers are the biggest "winners" of all. : )



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IRISH98's Photo IRISH98 SparkPoints: (18,717)
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7/12/10 6:02 P

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Good luck if it's your first one! And just have fun. You'll learn a lot from this one, and then you'll better know what strategy works for you on the next one. I bet you won't be the last, but even if you are, we're all still cheering for you!

In the race that I did yesterday (an International distance tri) there was a little person racing. I've seen him at a lot of races. Honestly, I don't know how he made it through the swim. But even though he was the 2nd to last person to finish (a 69 year old man was last) he had the biggest smile on his face and he was just enjoying being out racing on a beautiful day with friends. I hope that you experience that as well!

2010 Goals:
Get under 6 hours for a half Ironman triathlon
Get under 8 min/mi for a 5K - DONE 4/3

2010 Big Races:
Jan 15-17 Bermuda Half Challenge (8:15 Mile, 1:01:20 10K, and 2:11:32 half marathon)
June 6 Mooseman 70.3 triathlon (6:30:25)
Aug 22 Timberman 70.3 triathlon (6:10:14)


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SOFTSOAP Posts: 51
7/12/10 5:55 P

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Thanks IRISH and DESERTFLOWERG. This is my first triathlon. I want to finish but do the best I can. In my head I'm afraid I'll be the last one to finish but as someone else posted here, even if you finish last, you are still ahead of those who didn't tri. I keep telling myself that.

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IRISH98's Photo IRISH98 SparkPoints: (18,717)
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7/12/10 5:50 P

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I agree that the strategy for a sprint tri is to go all out the entire time (which is why I don't like sprints, I'm better at pacing myself). But if you're already planning on doing a run/walk for the 5K, I think it's better to pace yourself or else, while you might not bonk on the bike, you will on the run, and then you'll just be walking. It depends really on what your goals for this race are.

2010 Goals:
Get under 6 hours for a half Ironman triathlon
Get under 8 min/mi for a 5K - DONE 4/3

2010 Big Races:
Jan 15-17 Bermuda Half Challenge (8:15 Mile, 1:01:20 10K, and 2:11:32 half marathon)
June 6 Mooseman 70.3 triathlon (6:30:25)
Aug 22 Timberman 70.3 triathlon (6:10:14)


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DESERTFLOWERG's Photo DESERTFLOWERG Posts: 1,437
7/12/10 5:42 P

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Personally, I would go all out on the bike for the 12 miles. But I do many times that distance in training, so I know I won't bonk on a 12 mile course.


Desertflower
5'5"


When it's time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived . . .
Henry David Thoreau


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IRISH98's Photo IRISH98 SparkPoints: (18,717)
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7/12/10 5:37 P

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I would go steady on the flats. Ride as hard as you can until you feel it in your legs, but they are not burning. Then drop down to a lower gear and spin up the hills. I think that if you are spent for the hills, getting up them would slow you down more than you would gain by hammering it on the flats. Good luck!

2010 Goals:
Get under 6 hours for a half Ironman triathlon
Get under 8 min/mi for a 5K - DONE 4/3

2010 Big Races:
Jan 15-17 Bermuda Half Challenge (8:15 Mile, 1:01:20 10K, and 2:11:32 half marathon)
June 6 Mooseman 70.3 triathlon (6:30:25)
Aug 22 Timberman 70.3 triathlon (6:10:14)


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SOFTSOAP Posts: 51
7/12/10 5:32 P

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Hi all. I tested the bike route for my upcoming tri and the first half is mostly flat and the second half is a combo of rolling hills and 1-2 steep hills. The route is 12 miles. Do I go hard on the flats and do my best on the hills at the end (to make time) or just go easy but steady to leave me enough "gas" for the hills? I will be doing a walk/jog for the 5K and want to try to make time on the bike since I know I'll be slower on the final leg of the tri. I'd love to hear others advice/strategy on how to get this done in the best way.

Edited by: SOFTSOAP at: 7/12/2010 (17:32)
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