Swim, Bike, Run

Swim

Club swim times at West Park Leisure Center, Long Eaton;

  • Tuesday evening 7.30pm to 8.30pm
  • Saturday afternoon 5pm to 6pm

We can provide information on Triathlon swimming for all abilities, from those new to triathlon swimming, to those triathletes who are fine tuning the techniques required to deliver great open water swimming.

With all triathlon events opening up with a swimming distance, the ability to be able to stay with the pack during the swim is a key element to triathlon success. The primary swimming stroke is the front crawl and we are here to support the membership in achieving their swimming goals.

If you can swim 50 metres using the front crawl stroke, then come along to our coached swim session, which we run at West Park Leisure Centre, Wilsthorpe Road, Long Eaton, NG10 4AA every Saturday at 5pm until 6pm. The Club’s Coach, John Budworth, runs the session.

We want all club members, regardless of ability, to enjoy swimming and to reach their full potential, through a mix of serious and fun training, specific coaching, help, support and swimming tips.

SWIM EQUIPMENT

Essential
Goggles
Appropriate swim wear
A 500ml energy drink

Recommended
Pull buoys
Kickboard
Hand paddles
Long Fins

Bike

  • Winter (October 4th 2017 to March 2018) – Turbo sessions, Wednesdays, West park Leisure Centre, 7.30pm, open from 7.15pm to set up. £2.50 per person, we have turbos to lend by pre-arrangement
  • Summer (March 2018 to when it gets too dark or cold) – Depart from West park Leisure Centre at 7.30pm, no drop ride, all welcome, helmets and lights compulsory.

The ability to be able to cycle at a consistent pace so that the triathlete can complete the run element of a triathlon is a critical skill for triathlon success. Go too fast on the cycle and potentially your legs will give up during the run. Go too slow on the bike and the time lost may be just too much to recover when running.

The type and quantity of cycling training a triathlete will undertake over the year will vary dependent on the main triathlon events entered for the forthcoming race season. Cycle distances vary dependent on the classification of the triathlon.

Typically as follows:

  • Sprint: 20km (12.5 miles)
  • Olympic: 40km (25 miles)
  • Middle Distance: 90km (56 miles)
  • Ironman: 180km (112 miles)

A key element in the triathlon is the ability to cycle at pace and to then be able to run well after the cycle is the goal of all triathletes. The cycling stage can make or break a great triathlon time. Cycle too fast and the run performance will definitely suffer. It’s a fine balance.

The cycle section of a triathlon is also, in terms of time, the longest part of a race so it is important to build up and maintain bike fitness whatever the intended triathlon distance.

What to bring?

Your bike

Before any ride, always check your bike over to ensure that it is roadworthy. Look especially for potential slow punctures or thorns lodged in the tyres. Never assume that because the brakes worked last time, they will this time, so do a quick check!
Tools and Spares

We recommend that every rider carry the following items:

  • Minimum 1 ideally 2 spare inner tubes
  • Tyre levers
  • Pump or CO2 canisters (and knowing how to use them)
  • Multi-tool

Ideally you should be able to fix a puncture. If you can’t fix a puncture, let the lead rider know before you set off and they can arrange for someone to show you.

Food and Drink

Remaining hydrated, particularly on long rides is vital so make sure you bring adequate hydration and food. As a minimum:

  • 750ml of water/energy drink
  • A small snack (flapjack / energy bar)

Extras

  • A mobile phone in case of emergency or if you become separated from the group
  • Some cash is also a good idea, we sometimes make a café stop on longer rides
  • Up to date emergency contact details – some of our members wear velcro identity wristbands with emergency contact details inscribed.

What to wear?

Helmet

Rider safety is paramount which is why no club member will be allowed to participate in any ride without a helmet. There are no exceptions to the rule.
Clothing

The erratic nature of the British climate means that layers of clothing are ideal. If you are new to cycling be aware that your hands and feet will feel much colder on a bike. Clothing could include a combination of:

  • Short or long cycling bib shorts
  • Base layers
  • One or more cycling top(s)
  • Gloves or mitts in summer
  • Hat/ear warmers to wear underneath your helmet
  • Waterproof/windproof jacket
  • Shoe covers
  • Arm/leg warmers

Glasses

We recommend that riders wear glasses/sunglasses (interchangeable lenses are ideal for different light conditions), which keep the rain, bugs and stones out of your eyes!
Prior to commencing the cycle ride, the bike leader will always discuss and confirm objectives for the cycle ride with the group. The aim of the cycle ride is to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience while training. This may mean on occasion a slower pace or a shorter distance.

RUN

The third element of a Triathlon race is the run. For many triathletes running is a love/hate relationship. Running well, especially after cycling is not easy. Running effectively and efficiently is also a skill best learnt slowly. The good news is that everyone can improve their running stamina and ability, as long as they are patient, stick to the training and build up the mileage over many weeks.

Undoubtedly becoming a good runner also can be the difference between a good triathlete and a great triathlete. Good consistent running can be achieved.

We offer members the chance to do a short, slow group run after every Wednesday evening group ride. This is known as a “Brick” session, going from one discipline, straight into another.
Top Tips

1. Check with a doctor or a Physio before you start running

Firstly, before embarking on any new or rigorous exercise programme, especially if you have not run regularly for some years, you should see your GP for a check up. This will help identify any problems or limitations you may have, which can be accommodated into your training and mean that you set goals appropriate for YOU. This is especially important if you are aware of existing restrictions or there is a family history of, for example, heart problems. Use your common sense: if in doubt, see your doctor.

2. Running shoes

Everyone’s running style or ‘gait’ is unique and different types of shoe/brand suit different types of runner. Seek advice from a specialist shop, discuss your running goals and likely weekly mileage and, if you can, get your running gait analysed – many good shops have the equipment to do this. On the subject of kit, if you are female, make sure you also invest in a decent sports bra.

3. Start slowly and build up

The first thing to point out is that just about everyone who starts running after a period of absence (years, months and sometimes just weeks) find it hard. So do not think that it’s just you – for many, the first 3-4 weeks are a real struggle, every time you put on your kit you wonder why you are doing it. But it will, and does, get easier. A common mistake made by new runners is to get carried away and to try to do too much too soon, which can lead to injury or loss of enthusiasm. So if you want to enjoy running for the rest of your life, start out slowly – a good way to begin is to run for two minutes, walk for one and build up gradually until you can run continuously. As a guideline you should also be able to run and hold a conversation so if you can’t, you are probably running too fast.

Don’t expect things to happen miraculously – it takes time. Be patient because one day you will feel the wind at your back, your pace will feel smoother and you are breathing more easily. You feel you can run further and faster. Enjoy it – you have become an athlete!

4. Goal setting

Setting yourself a goal is a great way to keep motivated, especially during those early weeks of running or on particularly uninviting days. A specific target such as a 5km race, your first triathlon or losing a stone will help you stick to your training plan. As a tip, make sure that your goal is measurable, realistically achievable and that it really is something you want to succeed at. Write it down and visualise yourself crossing that finish line or reaching your target weight. Keep reminding yourself of what you want to achieve so it becomes deeply embedded in your mind. Whatever your goal, it is exciting and motivating when you notice how you are improving and getting closer to achieving your target.

5. Keep a training log

Many runners find keeping a training log useful. It is a record of each run that you do, detailing how you felt, the weather conditions, the distance covered and time it took along with any other relevant information. Some runners invest in technology that allows them to download data to a computer but you can just as easily use a pen and notebook, your personal organiser, or a spreadsheet on your computer.
A training log is an excellent way of tracking progress and identifies how/where you have improved plus how changing things round works for you. What’s more, it can really motivate you to keep improving!

6. Stretching and flexibility

There are few runners who would not benefit from running fewer junk miles (too many!) and using that time for stretching, flexibility and improving core stability. Stretching makes muscles more flexible and reduces the chance of injury. Developing your core means you can hold your posture for longer and reduce the onset of fatigue. So consider taking part in a Pilates or other form of flexibility class at your local gym.

7. Make the most of running with a club

Running with a club or others is a great way to remain motivated and to ensure that you stick to your training goals. Beginners can benefit from more experienced runners who are often an excellent source of advice and can really inspire you to achieve your target. All clubs welcome both new and experienced runners and try to help the real beginners progress to get fitter, stronger and faster. What’s more, by running with people who are faster than you, you will improve quicker than training on your own. But be wary of trying to keep pace with more experienced runners before you are ready – use them as a target but don’t push so hard that you injure yourself, fall ill or fail to meet your goals. You should not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% in any one week – this will ensure that you build up slowly. Remember – we were beginners once!

8. Run safely

Take responsibility for your own safety. Use your common sense, stay visible at all times and watch traffic – many people do not run and may not be aware of you. A good idea is to wear a high viz vest which draws attention to you, especially in the dark. If you are female be aware of your environment and do not run alone on isolated roads. It is a good idea to take a mobile phone with you, in case of injury and carry some cash should you need to call a taxi.

9. Nutrition, drinking and eating

All athletes need fuel for energy and runners burn more calories than non-runners. Your car won’t start without fuel and it’s the same for your body so you need to eat the right foods to suit you – before and after running. So much has been written about nutrition (there is loads of information on the Internet) but you are an individual so you need to find out what suits you best to get the most from your exercise. One thing is for certain, hydration is key before, during and after running so make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day.

10. Enjoying the experience of running

Don’t let running become another stress in your life by setting yourself such a rigid or time-consuming timetable that you struggle to achieve it. It’s important to allow yourself breaks – a day, a week, and month each year – when you don’t run at all. Otherwise you may find your enthusiasm for running waning and your motivation dwindling.
Rest is just as important a part of your training programme as running. Your fitness and strength do not improve while you are running, the improvement comes while you are resting, as your body responds to the stresses it has experienced. When you start running remember to build up slowly, i.e. run no more than every other day. As you become more experienced you can run more frequently, but remember you should always take a day off each week.