The goal of training is to make yourself better, but more importantly proper training. I decided it was time to get some professional training advice to help me along in my journey on becoming a competitive age group triathlete. I went with Tridot since I found them by an accidental click on Facebook and it’s panned out very good. I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in the saddle and I’m starting to see all around improvements although I need to get some solid time trials this coming week before my coach yells at me. I also joined the Tri Club of San Diego which was without a doubt the smartest move I made and I should have joined years ago but I can’t look back I have to look forward.
The Swim! I used to swim back in high school so I have a small background in swimming. I wasn’t the best but I wasn’t the worst either. I was one of the few guys who could do butterfly with the proper form so I was always stuck doing the butterfly in all the IM’s and individual events. But I also was never really focused back then I just went through the motions. I can still recall the coach yelling all the laps we had to do which helps me to this day to keep on track a bit. Enough of the past on with the future. I’ve always been a deep catch swimmer with a lot of core twist and I generated a lot of power with a smooth glide. It’s all I knew and didn’t know there where different types of freestyle catches. Well once I got into Tridot I learned about the High Elbow Catch and how you go faster with using less power. This was completely foreign to me and I struggled at first with how awkward it felt (It still feels awkward). But I’m paying more attention to it and low and behold my 100M times are improving slowly at an easy pay I sit around 1:28 to 1:30 compared to my 1:39 with the deep catch. I have 8 weeks till the Tri-Rock so lots of room to get my 1:30 average down to 1:15 (Goal).
The Bike! I was never an efficient cyclist but I had fun and I used a lot of power in the top gear so I just assumed I was good at it, I was wrong. I learned really fast that I was awful at the bike I used way too much energy with very little return and that in fact hurt my run since my legs were toast after the bike. Tridot immediately bumped my cadence up to 90-100 average which means that I had to use lower gears to keep my HR down so I wasn’t using so much energy. I was skeptical of this at first cause I wasn’t going very fast according to the bike computer but I pressed on. Low and behold keeping a cadence has become easier and I’m in higher gears to where going slower than a 90 cadence feels awkward. Because I’m on the indoor trainer I’m in a little protected area from cars, tourist, and external factors so I’m not able to readily hit my weaker spot of hills but thankfully there aren’t any in the Tri-Rock course so I won’t have to really worry about it till I train for Oceanside 70.3. I should also note that my quads don’t hurt as much anymore which means I’m using less power to go faster. Of course my junk is still getting used to the saddle for so long.
The Run! My weakest more dreaded part of the triathlon. Yeah I’ve done several 5K’s and 13.1’s and recently had a new PR of 2:27:53. I thought I was doing really good and working my way to a good time for my half marathons. Then came Tridot and the workouts had a high cadence of approximate 90 SPM. Now I still have issues hitting that count while keeping my HR in the 130 range. In fact my average cadence was 70 if I was lucky and my HR was at 160BPM, now I can keep an 80 cadence with my HR around 140-150. But there is a sacrifice here, my time per mile at that pace is back to 12 minute miles. Sure before at the 70 cadence at 160 BPM I was averaging 11 minute miles at a half marathon pace. So what does that mean in English? What it means is that my foot is spending less time on the ground and I’m using less energy. So that is an improvement and I need to focus on my mechanics to where I can really get my 10K pace down to 8-9 minute miles.
So over all I am seeing vast improvements on my energy use and my output. My weight has gone down to around 250lbs and will be dropping even more as I keep training. The mental aspect is the biggest hurdle for me throughout the entire process. I seem to be holding back and second guessing my ability to do it during training, maybe it’s in fear of getting hurt or not being able to do it. When the reality is that I can do it and the numbers prove I can do it. I just need to believe in myself that I can do it.