This year my wife Kate and I started training for triathlons. We had raced in one a few years back and figured we could just read some stuff on the internet and be fine. We raced in the Pumkinman Olympic distance tri in October and both finished but realized if we wanted to continue doing tri’s then we would need to get smarter about training.
We had taken some swim lessons from Sarah at WannaTri in July and that helped our swim times immensely. I went from trying not to drown to enjoying swim training and feeling very confident in the race. So we signed up with them for their coaching plan and have been working for over a month now.
One of the first things they do is have you do some tests. These are not fun tests either. They call them lactate threshold tests and what that means is you will be in pain during the test. The idea is that you run or bike as hard and fast as you can for about 20 minutes and try not to puke or pass out. During the test you have a heart rate monitor on and then you send your data to your coaches for analysis. From this information they can then determine your heart rate or power levels for various workouts to help build your endurance and power for racing.
If you are interested in racing in a triathlon even just for fun you should give a coach a try and learn more about how train smart and effectively. You might not be interested in winning any races but you will have a bigger smile at the finish.