Total Newbie PLEASE Help!!!!

andynewns  Aug 4th 2008 at 16:32
I have been reading all the posts on here from other newbie's but they all seem to have swapped from running cycling etc, I am swapping from the Pub and the sofa.

Basically my best friend is a officer in the army and I opened my big mouth while at their summer ball, about them not being very fit and how i could do their PT with my eyes closed...... Its amazing what you will say after 8hrs of drinking.

The short of it I am now doing a Triathlon next year, and there is no way i can get out of it (MALE PRIDE as well as £50 bet)

Until this i really hadn't done any exercise since my late teen early 20's, I have now bought a road bike and ride 6 miles to work every day, and have done a couple of longer rides 26 miles etc.

I haven't started the swimming training yet which i need to as my last experince was doing my 1km badge at about 14 but have just joined a swimming club

The running is where i struggle I am a big guy, and running for me it was 100m not 10k, I have been running on the treadmil for 20min at 7.5 miles an hour, but i don't seem to be able to transfer that to the road, I run 500m and i am dying.

Running especially but any help will do :)

11 replies
RichG  Aug 5th 2008 at 02:14
Run slowly for as long as you can, then walk for a bit, then run again. Build it up that way. Hopefully you should find that over time you will be able to increase the time you run and decrease the time you walk. People I speak to that start running seem to find a magical time limit (usually 20-30 minutes) whereby trying to run up to this time is painful, but when they can finally do it non-stop then it becomes a lot easier to run further and longer.

Two problems that I find in people learning to run is that they struggle with pacing and tend to run off too hard to start off and can't go very far. The other is trying to compare the treadmill to the road - remember the road doesn't move for you... unfortunately...
Justinsanderson  Aug 8th 2008 at 13:27

I'm a newbie myself and have the same issue of being a bigger guy...
I agree with Rich, if you can't run at 7.5mph on the road, then run at 6mph!!! On a treadmill you need to put it at one degree slope to match road running effort more closesly.
I have just started a proper programme with a coach, and the single most helpful bit of advice I can give which has really made a massive difference to me, is speak to a pro and get them to work out your heart rate zones and then work to these... I don't worry about pace or speed anymore, I just hold my heart rate in certain zones for set periods of time. I've slowed right down and it's really delivering for me!!
Also get a speed and/or heart rate monitor, preferably something like the Garmin GPS devices of a Nike + thing so that you can pace yourself!! Forgot your speed and just hold your effort level for a period of time... You will find each week you cover a little bit more distance and are a little bit faster...
andynewns  Aug 11th 2008 at 09:29
Cheers guys great stuff,

more toys for me to play with lol
Guest  Sep 1st 2008 at 16:10
i am also a total newbie...and in terms of distance training, how far over distance do i have to be training so that i am comfortable on race day. I know 'comfortable' is perhaps the wrong word.....but able to complete.

Done quite alot of sport in the past, was a rower and am transferring over but don't know how much i should be doing in preparation. Going for sprints first...

Any advice would be great. THANKS!!!

alex  Sep 2nd 2008 at 02:54
As someone mentioned. The best thing is to alternate running and walking. Even if you are only running short distances like 50m. You could run around a football field, run the short lengths and walk the long lengths ore visa versa.

And for sure get in a pool ASAP
alex  Sep 2nd 2008 at 03:00
I dont think overdistance training is necessary for running. Say you are going to run 10km in the race and your target is say 45 min, I think it is good to have training runs say on 55minutes. But these dont need to be overdistance.

I think Overdistance work on the bike will be far more beneficial for a newbie
joydonnell  Sep 3rd 2009 at 17:28
i'm also a total newbie at this and i have found running to music at a certain beat takes my mind off the impending aches and pains and also keeps me at a certain pace. i have found some rather boring but the right beat musuc at podrunners and downloaded them onto my ipod and that has worked wonders! shame i cant do the same for the pool...
also years ago i trained for a marathon on a treadmill and did the 1-2% thing and it got me through without any real horror stories. also its worth considering that the slower the treadmill speed, the longer your foot is in contact with the belt and therefore less effort from of luck!
Magsi  Oct 16th 2009 at 07:58
Hi, I'm a complete newbie too and through trial and error through the off season want to get fit enough to have a busy season of sprint triathlons, duathlons and 5 and 10 k races, at moment i am two and a half stone over weight but the desire to achieve the new me and with a goal in mind i know i will get there, sorry to hijack your comment but i didn't know how to add a comment doh!!! i would also appreciate any tips, help advice and magic soloutions that would make me lean and fit whwn i wake up in the morning lol.. Also i live in Daventry where would be the nearest place to practice open water swimming please?

Thankyou x x
Judymac  Oct 28th 2009 at 14:27
Do you have a plan or coach to help you?
If not then here are a few recommendations to help:

Matt Fitzgerald's books on Triathlon. In particular the training plan book, 8 levels for each type of triathlon and in depth.
Other useful coaching info from books:
Chi Running.
Run Less, Run Faster.
Total Immersion Freestyle for Triathletes.

There is also a site with free coaching advice, click on the plans on the left hand side:

wardy  Oct 29th 2009 at 08:02
hi everyone, i am a novice at the sport, i did 2 events last year, a sprint and an olympic. I found that the best way to start was to get in the pool and start doing some lenghts, i had 6 group lessons that worked on my front crawl, my fitness came on well but i got injured then but the swimming was a great way to start, i am starting a fresh now buy doing circuits and riding to work on a mountain bike.
I have entered the Windsor tri, the london tri both olympic distances, i have now just entered the uk half ironman(idiot) now i have some goals to work on.
Has anyone out there got any advice on training with a heart monitor.
cheers sean
clanga71  Oct 29th 2009 at 11:07
If you are thinking of buying a heart rate monitor, consider buying a GPS watch that has a HRM and can tell you the distance,speed, average speed etc. I have used one for over three years and love it! On longer runs you can really stick to the distance you have set yourself. If you feel ok, then you can convince yourself that another km won't be too hard!! That's how you get the distance into your legs. I have never used the heart rate monitor that came with my watch as I really preferred to know that I was overloading the km's, not really worried about how hard the ticker was working.
When training for the half ironman (you're not an idiot, you'll love it!) the GPS will really keep you honest when you are getting off the bike after a long ride then running 15km's or so. Knowing that you can finish a 80km ride then 18km run in training makes a half Ironman race seem much more achieveable. I would be happy to help with any program ideas if you like. I'm no great triathlete at all, just like sharing ideas and thoughts.
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