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astrogirl

First half ironman discussion, tips and progress thread

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I've signed up for Port half, I was initially feeling really nervous especially about the hill, but I'm starting to feel it's do-able.

 

Those of you who have done it before and remember your first couple of attempts - would you mind sharing some things you learned?

 

Just for a little background, I've done 3 seasons of triathlons up to Olympic distance. I was an outlier bad swimmer but now I've improved to be just plain BOTP. Running is my best leg but I'm working back into it after having a shin problem sorted (going well at this stage). I've been working hard on the bike especially strength and hill efforts.

 

My goal is to finish but I have a secret time goal in mind.

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I have never done Port, but general advice if you are just looking to finish pacing and bike fitness are the key.

 

I did my first half in 2011 at Shep, had only done one sprint tri prior to that which was 12 months prior. Snuck home in just under 6 hours without doing any stupid volume of training. I went into the race wondering if I would make swim cut-off!

 

What length are your long sessions at the moment?

Edited by Toolish

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Long rides dropped off a bit the last couple of months but prior to that I'd worked up to riding 80km comfortably. Just not fast.

 

Long runs got to 19km the other week but doing city 2 surf length training runs at the moment ~12km ish.

 

Swim squads are 2-2.5km.

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Doing Canberra 70.3 and Challenge Melbourne.

 

1 Gatorade season in Vic under belt. Slow swimmer, ok on the bike, shuffling run. Aiming to finish each leg under cutoffs. Hoping new tt bike magically transforms me into elite athlete.

 

Swimming with Yarra Tri coach, riding and running with mates. First half marathon this w'end (Run Melbourne).

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Long rides dropped off a bit the last couple of months but prior to that I'd worked up to riding 80km comfortably. Just not fast.

 

Long runs got to 19km the other week but doing city 2 surf length training runs at the moment ~12km ish.

 

Swim squads are 2-2.5km.

Your long run and swim squad looks OK, but I'd suggest you need more time on the bike.

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I wouldn't mind going under 6 hours Toolish!

 

Rob, I'm now back to 3 rides a week, hopefully I can keep it up and will focus on getting the long rides done.

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All the best Phoebus! Report back how you go? When do you start your build?

 

I seem to have broken the font size???

Edited by astrogirl

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Main thing is...Don't stop!...

There's nothing better than a coached program.

I use an online one, cos I'm in country Vic and he's brilliant.

Training is good too!

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Port 70.3 will be my first long Tri (then challenge Melb in Feb). Previously club champs at Forster earlier this year was my longest. This was my first season of Tri, so keen to hear other tips, especially Port related. My goal is to complete, then will have a time to beat at Melb.

Like you nervous about the swim, learnt to swim last year. Currently do 2 swim squads a week, will be doing up to 4 times a week last 8 weeks and 4 open water swims.

Picked up a bike trainer today (tacx Satori) so I can get more time on my bike - got it a month or so ago, a Cérvelo P2 currently have only been 1 or 2 rides a week with a long one on the weekend. Have done 1 100km ride so far, plan to do more and some longer.

Also had a breakthrough on my run today, first time running over 2 hours continuously albeit slowly but just trying to get time into my legs.

Heading off to Bali with the family in a few weeks for 10 days, planning to do a couple of long runs and a swim or 2 whilst there, plenty of bike either side of holiday.

 

Good luck Astrogirl looking forward to hear your progress and of any others doing Port.

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I didn't have much experience or training for my first 70.3 late in 2010, which was the very newbie-friendly Shepparton. I followed about 6 months later with Port 70.3 in 2011 and found it to be very achievable and enjoyable- and I was under-trained, slow, old and am a crap runner (nothing has changed there). The bike course was nowhere near as daunting as I'd expected it to be and even I made it up all the hills.

 

My only tip is to enjoy the scenery, be thankful that you can do this and smile all day. .

 

Astrogirl, I'm sure you will do it easily and be back for more!

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Almost forgot the most important tip of all, get a Transitions hat and wear it for the day...extra motivation for sure!

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I've signed up for Port half, I was initially feeling really nervous especially about the hill, but I'm starting to feel it's do-able.

 

Those of you who have done it before and remember your first couple of attempts - would you mind sharing some things you learned?

 

Just for a little background, I've done 3 seasons of triathlons up to Olympic distance. I was an outlier bad swimmer but now I've improved to be just plain BOTP. Running is my best leg but I'm working back into it after having a shin problem sorted (going well at this stage). I've been working hard on the bike especially strength and hill efforts.

 

My goal is to finish but I have a secret time goal in mind.

 

Hi Astrogirl and congrats on entering Port as you first Half. Its a great event and was my first Half as well (my second ever triathlon)

 

I was actually living up there at the time so my riding was on the course so I know it fairly well. My training had to fit around work so I only managed 3xruns (approx 15km each), 2xswims (2km Sat and Sun), 1xride (75km) each week. My tips now would be to not worry about the hill. It is steep but it doesn't go forever so as long as you incorporate some hill work in your riding, you will be fine.

 

Good luck. I'll be up there again in Oct too

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Astro,

Do all your clubs training sessions every week and always train with faster people wherever possible. Don't waste your weekends by riding purely for time or distance, do hard bike intervals as per the "I wanna bike faster" thread.

 

I think you understand what I am getting at here.

 

Dave

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Keep coming to the club weekend rides and get time riding aero. West Head loops (rolling hill stuff good for Port) and Kurnell (bit of wind and lots of aero time - good for Port) and as Shoti.s said, step outside the comfort zone :)

 

You will have no problems with Port :)

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I'm reading everything that's posted, thanks everyone. Tips so far...

 

Toolish: if you are just looking to finish pacing and bike fitness are the key. Trannies hat.

Copy that! I'm hoping to post a reasonable bike time and come off it feeling half decent. I'll try to get a hat!

 

Rob: more time on the bike.

Got it. Will happen :)

 

smiffy: .Don't stop! Coached program. Training is good too!

Hehe. No coached program for me but we have a great one written by one of our experiences tri club people that works in with our club's training sessions.

 

Rough rider: My tips now would be to not worry about the hill. It is steep but it doesn't go forever so as long as you incorporate some hill work in your riding, you will be fine.

I really appreciate this tip! Over the last few weeks I've been getting my nerves a bit more under control and just thinking of things to do in training so I can do it :)

 

 

 

Kombi, thanks and look forward to hearing your progress as well! Have fun in Bali then it's time to get stuck into training after that :)

 

Catcam, I remember "meeting you" here on a TBL thread, and remember marvelling at how brave you are. Two years later here I am...! I plan to enjoy it, thanks so much.

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The main thing I learnt from my first HIM (Yeppoon '10) was you won't be as prepared as you think you are.

 

I would suggest 80km isn't long enough for your long ride. You should be doing 100km plus fairly regularly.

 

I'm a crap swimmer too, so as long as you think you'll get through the swim comfortably, that's all you need to worry about. You're not going to knock time off your swim at this stage. Just keep the sessions up so your swim fitness is up to scratch.

 

You sound like you're under control with your run, but if you're bike isn't strong enough, all the run training in the world isn't going to get you over the line in good shape.

 

So, in summary, more time and miles on the bike.

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Hey shot'is

 

This?

 

Luiz Suarez, on 16 Jul 2013 - 5:41 PM, said:

Someone in the know on this site summed it up perfectly a few months ago.
Session 1: 2x20 min hard
Session 2: 6x5 min very hard
Session 3: 3-5 hours on the road with lots of race pace efforts.

 

I can never imagine that faster people would want to train with me! Do I just need to get over that?

 

I'll definitely be incorporating some efforts. I've just started riding to my weekday ride point (instead of driving!) which adds 20km and also a hill about 2km from home. I'm giving that hill a red hot go every time and in coming weeks might do some repeats. Yesterday I got to the top and still had two gears left which was better than I expected! This after doing some efforts (the aim was 5min x8, I think we got most of it done).

 

Quack - good point on the aero but the physio told me I can't even think about aero bars till I can use the drops. I've got a dud back. I had a little breakthrough this week and felt comfy on the drops for the first time, but only for a few minutes at a time. Aero bars by October is probably too big an ask but maybe for Husky long it'll be achievable.

 

I'll keep pushing the comfort zone, thanks guys.

 

 

Anyway, I don't want this thread to be all about me - really keen to hear other people's progress!!! Is it possible to change the thread title? It should really be First half ironman discussion, tips and progress thread!

 

Edited by astrogirl

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I would suggest 80km isn't long enough for your long ride. You should be doing 100km plus fairly regularly.

 

 

I only did 100km + once prior to my first half, got through the bike ok but not great. Did a lot of 60-70km mod-hard rides though. Long easy volume can be a bit over rated I think. If you are time limited shorter harder rides can get the fitness up.

 

Actually, I only did 1 x 100km+ in my only Ironman build...and that was just 100 so maybe I am not the best person to talk!

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Thanks for the title change!!!!!

 

I've got 1x 100km in the program and the rest are 80km or 90km from memory. Shorter on recovery week.

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I'm picking up my new, shiny, awesome, beautiful tt bike tomorrow morning- BMC tm02 ultegra everything. Antidote to a shit week at work. So excited! Half marathon Sunday, but from then on the tt bike goes 100km + every weekend at some stage. That's the deal I've made with myself.

 

Astrogirl if you want some clip ons eventually I'm taking mine off the roadie soon - you are welcome to try them out.

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Sounds like you are there astrogirl with those long training days.

6 hrs isn't real fast...even us ruthless and toothless can manage that...(on a good day)

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Astro,

Yes to the gist of Luiz's training. To re enforce my earlier comment you really need to forget about riding "100 k" on the weekend and focus more about riding 3 or 3.3 hours including perhaps 40 minutes every hour closer to Olympic pace than half ironman pace IE faster than race pace efforts.

 

Happy to chat next week if health permits training.

 

Dave

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Thanks Dave, I'd appreciate that :)

 

2/3 of a long ride at Olympic pace will put me in the hurt locker but I'm willing to give it a crack. My best bike pace ever (sprint or olly) was Wollongong Olympic in March and I was really pushing! Managed 30kph. Best ever long ride speed 29 at Kurnell - 80km on the flat loop only.

 

Thanks Phoebus, I think I'll leave the bars for a while. Have fun picking up the new bike tomorrow!

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Take the Tri bars astrogirl. 30 kmh isn't real quick, and an aero position will help you get there and run afterwards (which is where you can really come unstuck). They'll feel weird at 1st, but hang in there. There is a reason people use them!

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Hmm just seems a bit ambitious considering it's taken me 2+ years to use the drops. I've got a friend who just got a new TT bike so I could try his bars when he takes them off his road bike - maybe...

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The good part is you can set the tribars up nice and high for a HIM distance. I have only about a 2cm drop from the seat to the tribars, and you can lower it as you get comfy/ stronger in holding aero.

Found practice and yoga really helped.

Now I'm probably more comfy in aero than not. Borrow your mates tribars and stick with them, just be aware of traffic when you start off.

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Okies, I'm getting the bars from my friend.

 

No commitment on when I'll give it a go though :)

 

I actually started yoga a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully that'll help!

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I've just signed up for Canberra after a bit of coaxing from a couple of mates.

 

I have done 1 sprint tri before and that's it. But have run a few marathons and do a bit of bike racing.

 

It should be 'fun'.

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My first one (almost an HIM) was Gundi in 2007 - I hadn't trained enough, rode too hard, suffered like a dog on the run & swore never again.

 

My first real HIM was Canberra later in 2007 - much better trained, I went pretty hard, had an ITB problem from 4kms into the run, but it really wasn't that hard.

 

If you race it, it will be hard but satisfying. If you go around at a less ambitious pace, it will be fun, but still satisfying esp for your 1st one.

 

Make sure you can change a flat efficiently. Practice your nutrition in training, find out what works & stick to it on race day. I eat gels on the bike/run even if i don't feel like them as i know if i run out of fuel, I'm toast.

 

The No.1 training session for me for an HIM was a hard 100km bike TT then get off and run a cruisey 4kms. Do that 2-3x beforehand & there will be no shocks on race day. My TTs were about 20% harder than I actually rode on race day - I'd nearly collapse off the bike after them. Made running on race day seem easier.

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For me, the best lesson learned during training was to hit the wall. Now I know how it feels and the importance of sticking to the plan.

 

On my 2nd last training brick, thought I had things dialed in pretty well with fluid and fuel, but ran the first 10k, 5 minutes faster than planned in 35 degree heat. By kilometer 16 I was suffering, by kilometer 18 I was walking.

 

Race day ( and others ) went well after that.

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I can change a flat thommo!! Everything else you mentioned needs work though :)

 

softy - no chance of me going out harder than planned hahahahah

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hi Astrogirl,

what always stressed me was the thought of a long run after such a long bike. So I started doing lots of brick sessions, and by that I mean that every week after the long ride, I'd do a quick change and head out at an easy pace. Once I'd settled into a running rhythym(sp) which was within a couple of km, I'd turn for home, so the run wasn't long, just enough to get used to the changeover.

fast forward to this season, and that sounds like a practice I should return to....

 

good luck & we'll see you out there... Avago

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