Series: Things I Wish I Knew as a New Triathlete.
As a child of the '70s I happily began Saturday mornings eating a bowl of Lucky Charms and watching The Land of the Lost reruns.
In this popular TV series, two kids and their dad warp into an alternate pocket universe complete with dinosaurs, time doorways, crystal matrixes and the hissing Sleestak, a lizard-like creature.
Looking back, I now see how bad LOTL was. As a child I loved watching that little yellow raft tumble downstream. And the Sleestaks' hiss and slow-motion stalk was scary, not lame. Now, I see the horrible blue-screen special effects and wonder how I totally missed that as a kid?
It took me years to discover similar flaws in my triathlon training. Basically as a new triathlete I was stuck in the muck. I trained in the Land of the Lost, a cardio nowhere zone. In case you've yet to tune in, here's what I mean.
As a new triathlete, I swam, biked and ran. Good. But my workouts were random and sluggish. Not good. I could do Land of the Lost cardio all day. But without intensity and purpose, I'd make few improvements as a triathlete.
Intensity is key to training, writes Joe Friel in The Triathlete's Training Bible. "Pay close attention to the intensity of training," he writes. "If you get this part wrong, it doesn't matter what else you may be doing right." Too often triathletes get wrapped up in mileage. While volume is important, focus on what you do with the miles.
Stuck in TLOL? Doing the same mindless workouts? You're in good company. Even 2x world-champion triathlete Normann Stadler admits he's trained for a decade without structure. Now Stadler is working with Carmichael Training Systems to perfect his training, hoping for a third Ford Ironman World Championship title.
Fortunately, Kona champs and first-time triathletes can all access the following resources:
- Learn how to setup a heart-rate based training plan in Joel Friel's free chapter . Look at goals, limiters, race dates and training objectives. And Friel's new edition of The Triathlete's Training Bible promises to make athletes smarter, stronger and faster.
- Active.com's Gale Bernhardt shares a free article on training intensity, heart-rate and perceived exertion.
- Find triathlon training plans and more at: active.com, beginnertriathlete.com, Triathlon Club of San Diego, Trifuel & Tri-Newbies Online.
- You'll also find newsletters and downloads at Carmichael Training Systems.
- Also check out active.com articles Tri-Training Investment Principles for the Upcoming Season and Planning for Perfection- Nail your early-season peak.
Tip for new triathletes: Don't train in The Land of the Lost. Going through the motions won't get you back home as a triathlete. You'll be forever stuck in a timewarp, total Sleestak bait.
Land of the Lost hits the big screen this summer. View its trailer and Superbowl commercial at http://www.landofthelost.net/.
Triathlon is a rewarding sport for people of all ages and abilities. 2009 is your year to taste triathlon. As a triathlete, you'll surprise yourself as you face fears and set personal bests. You'll be more confident, have more energy and smile more often. People will be drawn to that difference. Triathlon is a rewarding sport for people of all ages and abilities, wearing underwear while cycling is optional. Sleestak sightings rare.
Check out Why You Can series:
Common excuses:1-I have no time. 2-I can't afford it. 3-I'm too old. 4-I'm afraid. 5-I'm not an athlete.
Also see Series: Things I Wish I Knew As a New Triathlete:
#1 My swimsuit was see-through.
#2 Go Commando: Things I Wish I Knew
And visit me in active.com's triathlon community. Come say hello, I'm a volunteer moderator!