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Your Questions About Triathlon Workouts

Robert asks…

What time should I being doing a triathlon in?

Okay, I’m 12 years old and the triathlon is:
A 200 metre swim (lol, lame)
A 9 kilometre bike
And a 3 kilometre run.
Can someone tell me what times I should be completing each of these seperately and altogether. Thanks.

Mike Rich answers:

200 M swim should be done in around 3-4 minutes. If you forget to clip that helmet it results in a DQ. Every race I’ve ever been in has at least 1 helmet DQ and it usually occured coming out of T1.

You should be able to bike at around 15 mph for the distance. SO I’d guess around 22 minutes. Transition 2 should take about 1:30.

When you get to the 3K and your legs aren’t bricks, you should be able to do it in about 16 minutes.

In a nutshell…

Swim 4 min.
T1 2 min
Bike 22 min
T2 1-2 min
Run 16 min

Total 48 minues.

Triathlons are a sport unto themselves — when you come out of the water you’ll be disoriented. You’ll lose any time from sprinting that distance in T1 trying to figure out where your bike is.

When you get off your bike your legs can feel like bricks (Hence the term BRICK workouts). Go ride your bike for 20 minutes at a good pace then get off your bike and try to run 1 mile.

Nancy asks…

What do I wear during a sprint triathlon?

I am participating in a sprint triathlon in Texas this weekend. It is an open water swim with temps around 72-75 degrees F. What should I wear? Just a pair of bike or tri shorts? Should I wear a shirt during the swim?

Mike Rich answers:

What you wear kind of depends on what kind of swimmer you are. If you are not going to wear a wetsuit, the water will be brisk, but bearable (unless you are the type that chills easily).

Should you wear a shirt? It depends on the type. I wouldn’t consider wearing anything but a tight-fitting tri-top. Anything else will introduce too much drag. Also, if you have never worn a tri-top swimming, don’t do it for the first time in a race. Too many opportunities for surprises — like the possibility of chafing.

Tri-shorts will be better than bike shorts, since the pad won’t absorb as much water. Since the ride will be short, you won’t miss the bigger pad.

Whether you wear a shirt on the bike and/or run is up to you. Have you done any of your workouts shirtless? (Again — you don’t want to try anything new on race day.) What will the air temperature be that day? Will you be prone to severe sunburn?

I just finished a race series over the summer that consisted of a sprint, Olympic, and 1/2 IM. I wore the same thing for each: tri-top and tri-shorts. (Oh, yeah, I also wore a bra, but I’m assuming you won’t need that.) In the Olympic I went without my wetsuit, and rubbed the inside of my arms raw during the swim. Watch out for that! In sprint in late spring, I wore a swim suit (before I got the tri gear) and added a cycling jersey in T1 because the air temp was cool. I would rather struggle a few seconds in T1 putting on a jersey than try to swim with it on.

Michael asks…

What should I do for my triathlon for kids?

We go biking one day, running the next, and swimming the third (ages 7 – 11). Any good routines for the swimming portion. We do “workouts” (no extreme) in the water for halt an hour then play games in the water or on the field.

Mike Rich answers:

Light gymnastics by the pool side before going in (stretching exercises and such). Then lengths in the pool from a few per day, to more, progressively.

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