A Beginner’s Guide to Triathlon Triathlon Swim Fears The Great Debate: One-Piece or Two-Piece Trisuit? What To Wear In Triathlon

Novice Training Day on 9th of June in Northwood

The amazing coaches at Tri50 and novice-training experts GoTri are teaming up this summer to offer a fully-coached triathlon training day!

Are you a novice triathlete preparing for your first event? Do you want to build your confidence and improve your technique for the OW swim? Or maybe you’d like more of a clue what happens on the big day? This triathlon training day will answer these questions and many more.

Sandra from Tri50 will be leading the course, drawing on her wealth of knowledge as a British Triathlon Federation Level 3 Coach, L4 Personal Trainer and IRONMAN Coach (to name a few of her qualifications!)

What should you expect?

  • 60 mins fully coached OW swim – perfect for less confident or inexperienced swimmers
  • Sessions on cycle/run technique
  • Transition training
  • Classroom sessions on kit, training plans, sports nutrition and hydration plus Q&A
  • An opportunity to put everything together in preparation for the big day

Though Trigirl isn’t running our own women’s training day this year, we’ve worked with Tri50 for years, including as coaches on previous training days. Jo from Tri50 also runs women specific triathlon training groups and wrote about it for us here.

Despite it not being women-only, we can highly recommend this course as a great way to gain the skills and confidence you need for your first triathlon.

The training day costs £50 and will take place on Saturday, 9th June at the lovely Merchant Taylor’s School in Moor Park (near Watford). It can be booked through the British Triathlon website.

Trigirl’s High-Intensity Triathlon Training. Today is High-Intensity Swim Day!

This HITT – high-intensity swim session will help build strength and increase your aerobic and anaerobic thresholds in very little time. If it feels tough – good! The results are worth it and you can do it!!

Getting Started

If you’re new to Trigirl’s weekly HITT training, see our introduction for more information on HITT. Here we explain how it works and how to approach the sessions. Though high-intensity training has been proven safe, if you are starting a new exercise plan (whether traditional triathlon training or HITT), it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor.

Your HITT Session for the Week:

This high-intensity swim session has longer intervals than our last HITT swim session, but try to keep up the intensity. For the sprint intervals, the goal is efforts around 90% of MHR (maximum heart rate). It should feel HARD. If you’re training without a heart rate monitor, think ‘all out’.

You may need to gradually build speed and endurance over a few weeks, but don’t give up!


Warm-up (10mins):
5 minutes, easy swim
3 minutes front crawl, increasing speed gradually throughout

2 minutes, changing between front crawl and kicking every length



Interval Set:
Sprint 50 metres (2 lengths), swim slowly (active recovery) one length, repeat four times
Sprint 1 length kicking hard (no arms), active recovery one length, repeat four times
Sprint 25 metres, active recovery 25 metres, sprint 25 metres, active recovery 25 metres. Rest at the wall for 20 seconds, repeat four times.

Cool Down (5 minutes):
2 lengths easy kicking

Swim easy for the remaining time, mixing breaststroke, backstroke and front crawl


Happy HITT training!

High-Intensity Swim Training - Trigirl HITT

Quadrathlon. For when three disciplines just aren’t enough!

Trigirl are delighted to be sponsoring the women-only sprint triathlon Deva Divas again in 2018. This will be the 11th year of the event which aims to encourage women into the sport of triathlon. It’s a brilliant event with an impressive pedigree. In 2016 it won the coveted British Triathlon ‘Event of the Year’, Triathlon England ‘Club Event of the Year’ and North West ‘Regional Race of the Year’!

As if that wasn’t enough, last year, organisers Sally Napthen and Jean Ashley decided to offer their competitors another challenge. The first ever ladies only quadrathlon IN THE WORLD was born!

Of course, the female triathlete community love being out of their comfort zone. As a result the 30 available places for the inaugural 2017 quadrathlon were snapped up in a matter of days. The event consisted of a 750m swim, 25k bike and 5k run followed by a 4k kayak. Competitors were offered the opportunity to take part in a 12-week canoe course at Chester Canoe Club as part of the quadrathlon training package.

Deva Divas TriathlonAnne Collins, who took part in last year’s race, said that the kayak training was, for her, almost as much fun as the race itself. “The women came from a complete cross section of backgrounds but shared a common goal. We were all rooting for each other and, having trained together as well, we shared a really strong bond”

For those of you tempted to give quadrathlon a go, sadly all 50 places for this year’s event are already taken but there is a waiting list!

The good news is that there are still places left for the main Deva Divas triathlon race which takes place on Sunday 8th July at The Meadows, Chester.

Deva Divas has a unique atmosphere. The emphasis is on fun and encouraging women to give achievable, short distance races a try. Something we at Trigirl wholeheartedly agree with.

Most participants stay to watch and cheer the other women over the line and the day finishes with cake for all. Now you can’t say fairer than that!

Check out the Chester Triathlon Club website for more information on the race and how to enter.

Deva Divas Quadrathlon

Tri50 Swim- and Triathlon Training Camps for Mature Triathletes

If you’re a mature triathlete of any standard, it’s worth taking a look at the triathlon training camp that Tri50 is running in spring this year.

There is a swim camp that will run from Mon 23rd April to Sat 28th 2018. The triathlon training camp will then follow on from 29th April to Sun 6th May 2018. You can also do the combined camp from Mon 23rd April to Sat 6th May with a rest day on Sat 28th.

The camps will take place at the stunning Sands Beach Resort Lanzarote where, guess what ladies, there’s a good chance it will be warm!

More details can be found on the Tri50 website . The camps include underwater filming, 1-1 corrective analysis and feedback, and a personalised comprehensive 6 week training program to take home. There will also be various presentations, workshops and sessions on S&C and core strength.

Trigirl were lucky enough to catch up with coach Jo Lewis to find out more about the camps.

Jo said “We had a ball at the last camp in November and are really looking forward to more of the same in April. Last time all 14 people on the camp made every session throughout the week which was fantastic. I’d encourage anyone who is considering coming along to pick up the phone and have a chat. I can explain what’s involved and answer any questions you have and if you can’t make the whole week we’ll try and accommodate your needs”

We’d love to hear how you get on. Don’t forget to share your camp experiences with us when you get back home.

More about the Tri50 coaches

swim and triathlon training camps Tri50Jo Lewis co-founded Tri50 in 2010 with a vision to inspire and nurture mature athletes. Far from winding down in her forties and fifties, she was just hitting her stride and ultimately achieved her fastest 10k and half marathon times age 47.

Jo took up triathlon in 1998 and has since achieved several podium finishes at national level including being National Age Group Champion at Sprint Distance. She has also captained the GB Age Group Team and won multiple medals at international level.

As if her own personal achievements weren’t enough to inspire us to get up off the sofa and get out there, she, along with her coaching partner Sandra Barden have made it their mission to offer practical help and training for mature athletes.

Their coaching is tailored to novice and advanced triathletes who are not yet ready to hang up their trainers.

Trigirl’s HITT Training – High Intensity Run Session

This HITT run session will help build strength and increase your aerobic and anaerobic thresholds in very little time. If it feels tough – good! The results are worth it and you can do it!!

Getting Started

If you’re new to Trigirl’s weekly HITT training, see our previous post for more information on HITT, how it works and how to approach the sessions. Though high-intensity training has been proven safe, if you are starting a new exercise plan (whether traditional triathlon training or HITT), it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor.

Your HITT Session for the Week

For this high intensity run session, you will need a hill that will take you just less than 60 seconds to run up to complete this session. It should be a real hill, but not so steep that you can’t run it with good form.


Warm-up for 10 minutes:
– 8 minutes of gentle jogging
– 2 minutes or more of dynamic stretching to loosen joints and prepare them for the session

HITT the Hills! (See what we did there?)

Run up the hill at a 9 out of 10 effort for 60 seconds. Ideally, you will just crest the hill and have about 10 seconds on the flat at the top to practice running hard out of an uphill.
Jog or walk to recover down the hill, then immediately run back up.
Start with 3-4 hill repeats, ultimately building to 8-10.

Cool down with an easy run on the flat and with static stretches to ward off muscle soreness.


Happy HITT training!

Hound of Happiness book review – 52 ways to feel good

Hound of Happiness ReviewWith an introduction from Jake, and canine-companion to international mind-body coach, Kim Ingleby, Hound of Happiness, is an inspirational little book that will brighten anyone’s day.

Jake (a super-cute Staffy mixed-breed) and Kim offer up fifty-two active, positive quotes, which can be read in a sitting, over the course of a year or just when you need a little pick-me-up. You also get photos of Jake so it’s a great gift for dog lovers!

Hound of Happiness is a quick read and its tips come from someone who not only is an expert in positivity, but has practiced what she preaches.

In addition to being founder of Energised Performance, a Global Award Winning Mind and Body Consultancy, Kim has given a TEDx talk and worked with well-known sports and entertainment figures, such as Team GB and Strictly Come Dancing.

Kim has used her own positivity to help heal her brain after catching Weil’s disease swimming in open water. On each of the book’s pages, you get some insight into Kim’s strength and resilience, which she clearly wants to share.

At Trigirl, we’ve worked with Kim a long time, so we know first-hand that her positive mental coaching works. Although Hound of Happiness isn’t specifically about triathlon, we love how Kim’s quotes help to inspire us to stay motivated, and everyone (especially a hardworking triathlete) likes a little extra happiness!

Would you like to win your own copy of Hound of Happiness?

Simply tell us why you think you need a little extra inspiration and cheering up.

Entries close on the 18th of March 2018. We will give away a free copy to the three most convincing answers. To enter simply scroll down and post your entry in the comment box below.

Steve Trew is one of the best-known names in world triathlon and has coached medallists at European and World Championships. One intriguing fact about Steve is that all the athletes he has coached to World Championship titles have been female.

Trigirl wanted to find out what Steve could tell us about female triathletes; what makes us tick, what we find tough and what we can all be doing to get the most out of our training.

Do women struggle with any particular aspects of triathlon? Are there any areas women tend to neglect in training? Do you think women get better results if they train in a group? What changes have you seen in women’s triathlon?

These are just some of the questions we asked expert tri coach Steve Trew in our recent interview. Click here to read the full interview.

Steve has published a number of books to help triathletes achieve their sporting goals. The book “100 Essential Triathlon Sessions” that swim coach Dan Bullock co-authored with him is particularly useful to triathletes of all levels. The book features 100 sessions – 30 swim, 30 bike, 30 run and 10 brick – that have been developed and honed over many years and have proved effective in improving performance.

Asked if he had one piece of advice for the newbie triathlete, Steve replied:

Give it a go! What’s the worst that can happen?!

Expert tri coach Steve Trew
Tri coach Steve Trew with Marc Dragan commentating Sydney Olympics.

Successful and injury-free Marathon training without the long runs?

Performance coach, massage therapist and friend of Trigirl, Emily Chong, subjected herself to a nighttime off-road marathon to test out her own theory about interval training.

Emily adopted a “no long run” style of training for the marathon, using gym-based strength training and high-intensity intervals in the pool and on the bike to boost her fitness, to great success.

Read more about Emily’s marathon training and why it could help to keep you injury-free here:


marathon training without long runs

It’s cold, dark, wet and icy outside. You’re feeling tired or maybe you’re recovering from an injury. Perhaps you have a marathon booked in a few months. Should you grin and bear it and stick with the mileage written in the training plan? Should you listen to your body and rest?

Is Marathon training without long runs possible?

Your answer may be interval training, cross training and pushing weights in the warmth of a gym.

At the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Emil Zátopek became the first person to win the 5k, 10K and the marathon in the same Olympics. Before then he had never run a marathon, not in training, nor in a race. His secret? Interval training.

Combustion Triangle

The “combustion triangle” of sports training consists of:

  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Strength & conditioning and
  • Technique

Using just one activity to train for these components is not uncommon; many runners only run. However, this can be time consuming and risky considering the amount of impact and the time it takes to recover from running.

My Marathon Training Experiment

I wanted to experience how effective cross training and interval training could be for this blog post, so I signed up for a marathon as an experiment. Apart from a very slow Ironman in 2014 (with a 5hr run split), I had never run a marathon before. While I’m used to high volume swimming and cycling, I don’t run more than 10km at a time.

Oregon Circuits for Triathlon Training

We’re back to run training this week, but we’re mixing it up with a high-intensity session that works on overall body strength as well as run strength and speed. Once again, you’ll get extra benefits in less time!
Welcome, Trigirls, to Oregon Circuits for triathlon training, Trigirl HITT-style!!

Getting Started

If you’re new to Trigirl’s weekly HITT training, see week one for more information on HITT, how it works and how to approach the sessions. Though high-intensity training has been proven safe, if you are starting a new exercise plan (whether traditional triathlon training or HITT), it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor.

This week we’ve got Oregon Circuits on the agenda. So what are they and how can you use Oregon Circuits for triathlon training?

Oregon Circuits were invented at the University of Oregon by coach Luiz de Oliveira. Combining run intervals with bodyweight strength exercises, they definitely suit our ‘more benefits, less time’ training approach.

Trigirl’s High-Intensity Triathlon Training – Tabata Bike Session

If you’re new to Trigirl’s weekly HITT training, see week one for more information on HITT, how it works and how to approach the sessions.

Though high-intensity training has been proven safe, if you are starting a new exercise plan (whether traditional triathlon training or HITT), it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor.

Your HITT Session for the Week:

This week we’re getting on the bike for a super-fast, super-efficient leg burner!

You can perform this session indoors or out. However, if you are training indoors, it’s recommended that you ride on a turbo trainer, Wattbike or spin bike, with a typical gym bike being the least-recommended option. (The closer that you can train to your actual bike set-up, the better!)

We’re basing this session on Tabata, discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata.

Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes. The first group trained at a moderate intensity level while the second group trained at a high-intensity level.

The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high-intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted just four minutes (20 seconds of hard training followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times).

The results; Group 1 had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle).

Group 2 showed much more increase in their aerobic system than Group 1, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent!

In conclusion, high-intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

Welcome to week two of HITT, Trigirl’s High-Intensity Triathlon Training!

Getting Started

If you’re new to Trigirl’s weekly HITT training, see last week’s post for more information on HITT, how it works and how to approach the sessions.

Though high-intensity training has been proven safe, if you are starting a new exercise plan (whether traditional triathlon training or HITT), it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor.

Your HITT Session for the Week:

This HITT swim session can be performed in very little time, but a decent warm-up and some drills are included to get you and your swim form prepped and ready for the hard work HITT intervals. There is also a recommended cool down at the end, but all-in the session still clocks in at under 30 minutes!


Warm-up for 10 minutes:
– 5 minutes front crawl easy
– 3 minutes light kick (keep it fairly easy!)
– 2 minutes pull (front crawl using a pool buoy)

Drill set:
4-6 x 50 metres (as 25 m 6-3-6 drill, 25 m front crawl)

British triathlete, Leanda Cave, is expanding her female Team LC ambassador group in the US. Though the programme is currently in the US only (Cave lives and trains in the States), we’re excited to see that they are hoping to take it worldwide in the future. (And we’re hoping that since Leanda is British, that we’ll be next!)

Leanda CaveTeam LC is a women’s ambassadorship program for both elite as well as amateur age groupers from across the US. They are expanding from 18 ambassadors in 2017 to 30 this year.

Even though we can’t apply (yet!) we’re thrilled to see the increase in an organisation that is so in line with Trigirl’s core values.

 

On their website, Team LC lists their beliefs as:

  • Creating opportunities for achievement
  • Creating a supportive environment to help realize personal and professional goals
  • Increasing women participation in sport and female leadership in the business world
  • Recruiting women athletes from all over the US and eventually worldwide
  • Building and growing a strong community of women to be physically active
  • Encouraging other women to participate in triathlons
  • Looking for women role models who are full of energy and motivation
  • Recruiting women who will have a positive influence on others to live a healthy lifestyle

Welcome to week one of HITT, Trigirl’s High-Intensity Triathlon Training!

Getting Started

If you’re just starting out, there’s nothing wrong with incorporating high-intensity. However, since running involves impact, it’s suggested that you build up to the sessions to get your body prepared.

Spend  a few weeks getting your body used to running (and swimming and cycling) with some easier efforts. Then, progress by adding minimal intervals, building up the number of intervals each week.

Start with one high-intensity session weekly, with the aim of ultimately doing at least one per week per discipline.

Though high-intensity training has been proven safe, if you are starting a new exercise plan (whether traditional triathlon training or HITT), it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor.

How does HITT differ from other triathlon training plans?

Traditionally, triathlon training plans are written based on the concept of periodisation. This breaks a season into base, build, peak and race phases.

HITT – try time saving High Intensity Triathlon Training sessions this season

If you take classes at the gym or have paid attention to the fitness world over the past several years, you’ve probably heard of HIIT. But what is HIIT and how does it apply to you as a triathlete-in-training?

HITT - High Intensity Triathlon Training

HIIT, short for high-intensity interval (or intermittent) training, is a training programme that incorporates high to very high levels of effort, mixed with short rest or easy recovery intervals. Though it’s been around since the 1970s, HIIT has recently gained greater popularity in the fitness community because it equates to better fitness and higher levels of weight loss in less time.

As written in an article in Shape magazine, ‘When it comes to HIIT, less might actually be more. Squat jumps for joy.’

So, is high-intensity training right for triathlon? (Yes.) Is it right for you? (Probably.) And how do you incorporate high-intensity triathlon training into your training regime? (We’re here to help.)

Stay tuned for our new weekly training session offering HITT tips and a suggested workout that you can incorporate into your overall training plan.

It will help you get to the finish line in less time – both in training, and on the race course.

Save time and achieve your goals with HITT!

Happy Training!

Click here to read more on HIIT and high-intensity training for triathlon.

Triathlon Training Log – helping you to achieve your goals

It’s that time of year when everyone is talking New Year, New You. You’re hearing about dry January, Run Every Day January (for a great cause), New Year’s resolutions, detoxes, and unending ideas on how to make a fresh start. Sticking to your goals can be difficult, but there are ways to ensure that they don’t go by the wayside by the first of February.

triathlon training goal settingThe best way is to create goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time sensitive).
For more on what a SMART goal is and how to set them, click here.

One of the best ways to make your SMART goals stick is by writing them down. We can help! Try our FREE 2018 Triathlon Training Log. With a one month per page format, you can see what you’re working towards and how you’re getting there.

Want to access our Triathlon Training Log? It’s available FREE to our newsletter subscribers! Not a subscriber? Click here.