I'm not a strong swimmer and hate people swimming over me in the open-water. How can I avoid the commotion?
Line up to one side or the other of the pack or at the back if you're not racing competitively. When approaching a turn buoy, plan your route to stay to the outside of the buoy to avoid any possible congestion. Also remember that it's all part of the racing experience and no triathlete would put you at risk intentionally.
It's a technique used to get through shallow water efficiently until you reach a depth that is suitable for swimming. It simply involves taking short shallow dives, standing up and repeating until you get deep enough to swim.
Apart from aerobars, what else makes a tri-specific bike different from a road bike?
Basically, the frame geometry. Typically, that means shorter head and top tubes that you'll find on a road bike, and a seat tube angle that's closer to vertical. All this is to get your upper body lower and further forwards. This makes you more aero but also opens up your hip-leg angle to make it easier to run after the bike.
Functional threshold power (FTP) is your maximum sustained effort over a 45-60 min period. You can work it out by performing a 20min bike test and calculating 95% of your average power output for the ride. You will need a power meter or smart trainer to obtain these results.
Everyone is different, but studies have shown that 90rpm is roughly a good figure to aim for. Having said this, your cadence can be affected by your physiology and bike set-up, among other things. Check you have the correct crank length.
A negative split - most commonly used in relation to the run - is where you pace to make sure that the second half of the respective discipline is faster than the first. It's a common tactic to ensure that you don't go too hard too early and 'blow up' further into the race. It's especially important if you're not good at pacing yourself.
How does off-road running benefit me in the long term?
Running off road is easier on the body, strengthens the core muscles due to variable surfaces, is more interesting than running on pavement and can include steep hills. Try it, you'll almost certainly enjoy it!
When I'm running in zone one, it feels really slow. Is that right?
Yes. Base training is all about keeping your heart rate down and building fitness, not about speed. So, you may well find that you're running slower than usual but that means you're doing it correctly!
I always feel like I'm slacking on rest days. How important are they?
Rest days are absolutely vital to a good training plan. Your body needs time to recover after you push it hard in training. If you don't allow your body to recover you'll accumulate fatigue, your performance will drop and you may even end up injured. Make sure you take days off.
It really hinges on your comfort in the water and the time you can afford to your training. You can probably ride or run (or walk) the distance in longer events. But don’t put yourself in the water for a longer distance than you can handle.
If you’re just starting out, you may want to consider a sprint distance race that is approximately 750 meters swim, 20K Bike ride and a 5K run.
A Duathlon is similar to a Triathlon, but the swim leg is replaced by another run leg, so it becomes a run, bike, run race. Basically, a duathlon is a triathlon without the swimming. Duathlon distances are similar to those for triathlons.
An Aquathlon is similar to a Triathlon, but without the bike leg. So, it becomes a swim and run race. Again, just like Triathlons and Duathlons, there are varying distances. However, the distances are normally of sprint distance.
An Aquabike is similar to a Triathlon, but without the run leg. So, it becomes a swim and bike race. Again, just like Triathlons and Duathlons, there are varying distances. However, the distances can be as long as ½ ironman distance.
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