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Triathlon Training A Guest Post by Matt Herald

Matt Harold is our guest author today.

He is sharing his basics on training to run a triathlon - something I will most likely never do.
You can find Matt on Twitter at @MattHerald

Self described as:

Beer drinker, Bourbon lover, Geocacher, Runner, Triathlete, Father of 3, Husband of 1, Keeper of ALL!

Triathlon Training
A Guest Post by Matt Herald

  Most people think of triathlon and instantly count themselves out.  Don’t worry, I used to do it, too.  But now, I am a triathlete.  Not only do I do triathlons, but I train so that I can be better at them.  And the craziest thing of all is that I enjoy it!  I enjoy the races, the competition, the mental preparation, the physical strain, and the most important part: crossing the finish line!  So what’s it take to train for a triathlon?  Well, it may not be as much as you think.  So here’s a peak into my triathlon training.

  As I am writing this, it is January.  This is the off season for triathlons as the water is too cold to swim in and there is usually snow on the ground (I live in Northern Indiana) so swimming and biking would be next to impossible.  Running is fine as I run all year round.  I am also in training for my very first Half Ironman distance triathlon.  This is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run for a total of 70.3 miles.  The race is six months away so my training right now is not as heavy as it is going to be.  So here is what I do.

  One night a week I have weight training.  This will stop once race season starts up.  Lifting weights builds muscle, but it takes a lot out of them in the process and you need what it takes out to last for an eight plus hour endurance race.

  I swim two or three times a week.  I used to just get in the pool and swim laps until I hit a mile.  Not sure why I did this, but I did. Now I have a coach and she gives me a structured workout that has me doing various swim techniques such as one arm laps, kickboards, swim buoys, swim sprints and breathing techniques.  These are things that I would never think of on my own!

  I bike three times a week.  Two short rides during the week and a long ride on the weekend.  The short rides are 45 minutes to an hour while the long ride is two hours or more.  So how am I riding in the winter in the Midwest? I train on a bike trainer.  It’s like a stationary bike, but I use my actual bicycle.  My bicycle fits into the trainer and then the trainer connects through Blutooth to my computer.  Then I use a program that will simulate riding.  So when the computer shows me riding up a hill, the trainer increases the tension and I have to pedal harder.  Sure it isn’t perfect, but it is the best way to bicycle train in the winter.

  I run two to three times a week.  This is step down from my previous five times a week.  See I was a runner before a triathlete and I was a lazy coach potato before I was a runner (but that’s a story for another blog). So my coach feels that my running is strong so we need to focus on my bike and swim.  So my runs usually consist of a 50 to 60 straight run.  An hour or so run with intervals.  This is where I run hard for a short period of time, then run slow for a short period of time.  Then a long run on the weekend of about an hour and a half or longer.

  This may sound like a lot but it is spread out through the week.  And I still have a day of rest.  I usually get the majority of my training in first thing in the morning. I do also get a lot of my shorter rides done at home during conference calls.  The runs I just work in where I can, when I can.

  So that’s the Clifs Notes version of my training right now.  My big race is in July so I am expecting my training to evolve as the date gets closer.

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