303Beginner Tri Project – Training 101: Bare Essentials

by Alison Freeman

 

I firmly believe that ANYONE can do a sprint triathlon. And you don’t necessarily need a coach, a training plan, or 10 hours a week to prepare for it, either. But you’ll have a more enjoyable experience if you do some training prior to race day. Here are some general training guidelines that will set you up for success at a sprint triathlon:

 

– Whatever your starting point – the couch, the peak of fitness, or somewhere in between – start your training exactly there and build up your workout frequency and duration gradually. Jumping into a six-day-a-week training plan if your most recent marathon was Netflix-related is not the road to success as much as the road to getting injured.

 

– Endurance is built on consistent training, week after week, so build up to a training frequency that includes two swims, two bikes, and two runs each week.

 

– Increase your longest swim, bike, and run distances with the goal that your longest swim, bike, and run are at least 20% greater than the race distance. For a standard sprint triathlon, that means swimming 950 meters, biking 14.5 miles, and running (or walking or jogging) 3.75 miles.

 

 

– Make sure to include recovery in your plan! You need to give your body time to “absorb” the fitness that you’re building. Even when you’re firing on all cylinders, make sure to have one workout-free day each week. (And that does not mean go ahead and climb a 14er. That means sit on the couch.) Additionally, every 3-4 weeks should be a recovery week that has 20-30% less overall workout volume than the weeks prior.

 

– Give yourself several opportunities to run immediately after biking, even if it’s only for five or ten minutes. Your legs will not cooperate the first time you try this – which is why that should not be on race day. The more often you do it, the easier it will feel. (By the way, this type of workout is typically called a “brick,” which comes from BRC: bike and run in combination.)

 

– If you can find a good location for it, do a race simulation day – swim then bike then run – three weeks before the race. A metric version of your race distances (about 60% of the actual distances) is a good approach. This race day simulation will provide some good experience, like how it feels to bike when dripping wet, and will also give a great confidence boost before race day!

 

– Your biggest training week should be three weeks prior to the race (the week that concludes two weeks prior to race day). After that, you DO want to continue training so that you don’t lose all the fitness that you worked so hard to achieve! Two weeks prior to the race decrease your overall training volume by 40%. The week prior to the race, do a short swim (or two), bike, and run, and stay off your feet as much as possible.

– Be sure to incorporate training on terrain that is comparable to your race location. If your race swim is in a lake or reservoir, be sure to find some opportunities for open water swimming. If your bike and/or run courses are on trails or have some big hills, hit those up in training as well.

 

 

If reading all of that gave you a headache, and you now feel more confused about triathlon training than you were this morning – just swim, bike, and run. You’ll be fine!

 

303Beginner Tri Project: If I Wanna Tri, What Do I Need? What DON’T I Need?

by Alison Freeman

 

If you, your friend, your sister, your neighbor, or your mom is thinking about doing their first triathlon, here’s everything you need and everything you don’t:

1. You DO need to pick a race! And you need to sign up. Don’t think; just do it.

The 303 Beginner Tri Project recommends five beginner-friendly races:

The Longmont Tri / Longmont Try-a-Tri on June 2nd/3rd (pool swim!)
The Lookout Mountain Tri on June 30th (pool swim!)
Tri Boulder
on July 21st

Bounder Sunset
on August 25th
The Oktoberfest Sprint on September 23rd (fair warning: this one can be chilly!)

2. You DO want to find a person or a community that you can turn to for encouragement, accountability, questions, and support.

Join the 303 Beginner Facebook Group ! The group is for those new to triathlon, and is a place to share encouragement, whining, setbacks, and accomplishments. Coach Alison Freeman of D3 Multisport will be providing training guidance for the races listed above and is available to answer questions and provide guidance along the way.

3. You DO need to know how to swim; you DON’T need to know how to swim freestyle. Any which way you want to get though the swim portion of the event is just fine: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, sidestroke, doggie paddle, whatever. Sorry, those little arm floaties are not allowed (that’s why they make wetsuits – they’re practically flotation devices).

4. You DO need a swimsuit (for training) and goggles; you DON’T need a wetsuit … although it’s worth thinking through how much you enjoy cold water. If you’re not partial to it, your local multisport shop likely rents wetsuits, and there are bargains galore online for purchasing one if you don’t want to think about what the last person to rent the wetsuit might have done in it. (Don’t judge, though, everyone does it.)

5. You DO need a bike and a helmet; you DON’T need a “tri bike” or clip in shoes. Absolutely any bike will do: road bike, gravel bike, mountain bike, cyclocross bike, your standard cruiser with a basket and tassels, your kids’ bike, whatever. Just no e-bikes, cuz: really.

6. You DO want a way to carry water while on your bike, and you want to be comfortable taking sips of water while you’re riding.

7. You DO want to train so that you’re in shape enough to swim, bike, and then run or walk the designated distance. You DON’T need to be fast. (That should have been obvious when I said “run or walk.” Really, you can walk.)

8. You DO need something that you can wear from start to finish, cuz they don’t approve of public nudity in the transition area (that’s where you “transition” from swim to bike and then from bike to run); you DON’T need a fancy tri kit – an outfit that is specifically designed for swim-then-bike-then-run. You can swim in a bathing suit then pull bike shorts on top for the bike and trade for run shorts for the run. Or you can just wear the swimsuit. In which case you might want some bodyglide.

9. You DO want a bag or milk crate or duffel that will carry everything you need to the race start, and then home again after. Triathlon involves a lot of gear.

10. Finally, you DO want to enjoy it! All of it: the learning and the training and the nervousness and the excitement and – most of all – the finish line.

Weekend Preview: SPRING!

Triathlon Events

Saturday March 24th

 

Criterium 101: by ALPS RACING

Boulder


Sunday March 25th

 

Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon

Waikoloa, Hi

 



Cycling Events

Friday March 23rd

 

GiddyUP! Film Tour

Colorado Springs


Saturday March 24th

 

BRAC MotoRef Clinic

Colorado Springs


Criterium 101: by ALPS RACING

Boulder

Tri Coach Tuesday: Announcing the 303Triathlon Beginner Tri Project

 

Inspired by the USA Triathlon and IRONMAN “Time to Tri Initiative,” 303Triathlon is excited to launch the 303 Beginner Tri Project. As with the Time to Tri Initiative, the goal of the 303 Beginner Tri Project is to attract new athletes – and new people who don’t realize that they are athletes! – to the sport of triathlon.

Alison Freeman, 303 Triathlon Staff Writer and USAT Certified Coach with D3 Multisport, will publish regular columns specifically focused on information helpful to beginners, answering basic questions about equipment, training, and racing. Alison will also be moderating the new 303 Beginner Tri Facebook Group, a community where new triathletes can post questions, accomplishments, setbacks, and encouragement.

Within the 303 Beginner Tri Facebook Group, we will focus on a series of beginner-friendly triathlons throughout the season. Alison will post workout goals and key workouts leading into select races, and group members are encouraged to work together to accomplish those goals!

If you are interested in toeing the start line of your first triathlon, or know someone who is (or should be!), please join the 303 Beginner Tri Facebook Group and keep an eye on 303 Triathlon for our first beginner column next week.

Winter Training: Best Snowshoe hikes in Colorado – Top 5 trails for beginners

From The Denver Post

With snow flying in Colorado’s mountains, an off-road trek can reward those who make it with stunning views of frozen lakes and waterfalls, slopes that glisten in the sun and the deep hush of wilderness.

But an enjoyable experience isn’t likely if each step is a struggle through deep snow.

Enter snowshoeing, which is among the fastest growing winter sports in the world, according to the Winter Wilds Alliance.

“If you can walk, you can snowshoe,” said Alan Apt, author of “Snowshoe Routes Colorado’s Front Range.”

“It doesn’t require special skills like skiing does,” Apt said. “And unlike skis, you’re not going to kill yourself going downhill, or slide backwards going uphill. There is a minimal learning curve.”

People have relied on snowshoes to cross deep, snowy terrain for thousands of years.

Snowshoes spread the wearer’s weight evenly across a large, flat surface area so the foot doesn’t sink into the snow, and provide “flotation,” a quality that, coupled with spikes to grip the snow, allows for hiking and climbing, according to outdoor retailer REI.

“Don’t be overly ambitious that first time out. Do something short and easy and make it a fun trip. If it is a death march,” Apt said, “they won’t want to go back out. If the snow is deep and fresh, it’s good, but it takes more energy and can be challenging.”

For a wilderness adventure, Apt suggests the trails that lace Rocky Mountain National Park. For one thing, “there are three ranger- led snowshoe hikes each week.” The park also offers a beginner showshoe from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays through March 4, at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center. (Reservations required.)

 

5 hikes for beginner snowshoers

1. Sprague Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park

This flat, half-mile trail circles the lake, which lies in the shadow of magnificent peaks. “This will make a good family outing,” Apt said. Access the trail from Bear Lake Road on the east side of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

2. Bear Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park

Bear Lake offers scenic lake views at 9,475 feet. The trail is just over a half mile and runs near the base of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain. There is a slight elevation gain, but overall it is an easy hike, Apt said.

Find the trail at the end of Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

3. Mud Lake – Boulder County Open Space

This small Boulder County Open Space park north of Nederland has good beginner snowshoeing trails. There are two short loop trails— the 0.8 mile Tungsten Loop and the 1.1 mile Kinnikinnick Loop— and the 1.5 mile out and back Caribou Ranch Link.

“You can go around on a very easy short outing, or go up on the hills. The trail is well marked and heavily used, so you’re not likely to get lost,” said Apt, who lives in the area. Find the trailhead off of Colorado 72, aka Peak to Peak Highway.

4. Echo Lake Park – Denver Mountain Parks

This Denver Mountain Parks trail system gives snowshoers an easy, flat and smooth trek near Echo Lake at the base of Mount Evans. Find the trailhead by taking exit 240 off of Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs and then following Colorado 103 to parking just north of the Mount Evans entrance station.

5. Hidden Valley – Rocky Mountain National Park

At this reclaimed ski area tucked into Rocky Mountain National Park, recreational trails head up the valley. For beginners, it’s best to go when trails are already packed in— not first thing in the morning after a storm. Find the trailhead just past Beaver Ponds on Trail Ridge Road, which is closed for the season a few miles ahead at Many Parks Curve. Distance: go out as far as you like, then come back.

Other places to look for a trail:

• Snowshoes.com lists events as well more than 3,300 trails nationwide in a clickable map.

• The Breckenridge and Frisco Nordic centers each have more than 12 miles of snowshoe trails. Rentals and tours are available.  breckenridgenordic. com or townoffrisco.com

• Devil’s Thumb Ranch near Tabernash has more than 12 miles of marked snowshoe trails.  devilsthumbranch.com

• Leadville and Lake County have a groomed trail network that includes the Mineral Belt Trail as well as a network at the Mount Massive Golf Course and a snowshoe trail to Interlaken in Twin Lakes. leadvilletwinlakes.com

 

Complete article here

Swim Clinic

Boulder

The coaches of Vixxen Racing will be hosting a FREE open water swim clinic targeting for beginner open water swimmer, but all levels of open water swimming ability are welcome.  

What does the clinic cover? How to ease the nerves of your first mass start, how to breathe, swimming in a straight line, putting on a wetsuit without ripping it to pieces, how to take off a wetsuit without falling over, how to train for the open water in a pool, and everything else related to your open water experience.

 

Limited to the first 25 people to RSVP to maintain a small coach to athlete ratio.

Clinic is FREE for all Stroke & Stride registrants, but you must RSVP 

Note: If you’d like to just attend the clinic and participate in that night’s Stroke & Stride  the cost is $10

 

Event details and registration here

Women’s Beginner Bike Maintenance Clinic

Boulder

 

You did it. You bought your first bike and you have been enjoying riding it all up and down the front range. But when it comes to actually taking care of your bike, much less knowing what to do when you get your first dreaded flat, you are a bit paralyzed. Let us take the stress out riding and arm you with the tools you need to keep biking longer and more confidently.

Learn the basics of care, maintenance, and safety from CMS’s own Caitlin Standifer and D3’s Alison Freeman. They will be teaching you everything from what are the basic parts of your bike to how to efficiently and confidently change a flat tire. Have more advanced questions? Our mechanic will be standing by to answer any and all questions you may have as it pertains to your bike and you. Food and beverage will be provided.

DETAILS: