Tips on staying active and healthy
Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is super fun...because there is mud involved. There is something about getting dirt all over you that makes you feel like a kid again! Plus, recent studies have shown that soil contains microbes that act in the same way as antidepressants, making you feel a lot happier! So you can use this as an argument the next time that someone tells you that you're crazy.
No matter where you live, chances are good that there’s a mud run (or several) coming up near you. Some races are particularly noteworthy. We really like the following five!
Okay, so you’ve decided to sign up for a triathlon and start training. Congratulations! The hardest part is over. Once you actually start sticking to a training cycle, you’ll start feeling really good, because you’re doing it! It’s happening! You’re going to do a triathlon! You’ll feel your muscles start to tighten up in the first few weeks, so make sure that you stretch as much as you possibly can (check out these great stretches, by the way) and you may notice that your immunity takes a hit. Don’t worry, that will go away as your body adjusts to your new regimen.
At first, it’s pretty easy - you’re starting to train in late winter/early spring, so you don’t really need to worry about gear too much. If you’re taking spin classes to train on the bike, swimming in an indoor pool, and running as usual, you probably haven’t bought any “serious” gear yet. You have your running shoes, your gym clothes, and a bathing suit (watch out - the thing might disintegrate a lot faster than you think if you run it through the spinner too many times) but now it’s time to get serious!
Time to start open water swimming!
At some point, as the weather gets warmer, you’re going to want to start doing some open water swims. You really need to do these to feel comfortable in a race. When you swim in a pool, you can see everything beneath you and you know where you’re going. The first few times swimming in open water, you’ll probably feel like you’re swimming blind. Everything below the surface of the water is a mystery! So you’ll have to learn how to sight. You’ll also feel pretty constricted in the wetsuit and it’s easy to panic in that situation, so definitely don’t do your first few swims alone - go with some experienced triathletes.
By the way - once you get over the initial fears of open water swimming, you’ll love how much easier it is to swim when you’re floating in a wetsuit!
Gear You'll Need:
Be as prepared as this guy on the bike course.
This is probably the most intimidating part of triathlon gear purchasing because there is just so much to consider...especially if you’ve never ridden on a road bike before. Take deep breaths. Give yourself time and patience. Walk into the bike shop and confess that you know absolutely nothing and need help.
Gear You'll Need:
Look like a total pro in the run portion of your race.
You’re probably more-or-less set on the run portion as long as you have running shoes. During training, try a few runs not wearing your socks and see how it feels - putting socks on in transition slows down your time.
Gear You'll Need:
Make transition work for you with a few easy things:
Last but not least, you'll want to get a tri suit. They come in one or two pieces and are made to withstand everything during a race.
So, those are the basics of tri gear! Start small, don’t get too fancy, and just get out and enjoy yourself. Coming next - fueling during a race!
Spring is around the corner, but we’re still facing winter weather for another month or so. This is really not the best time of year for easy training - especially with going to Daylight Savings Time! Just when it was starting to get a lot easier to get out of bed in the morning, all of the sudden, it was way darker again.
Then there’s the rain and snow. There’s something about waking up to the sound of rain that suddenly makes you feel so much more tired. Your bed has never felt as warm and comfortable. It’s so easy to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. But then the guilt gets to you later, and you feel terrible!
So how do you keep yourself motivated when the last thing you want to do is work out in the cold, dark, rainy or snowy weather? We’ve put together a few pieces of advice that can help you with motivation.
What’s your preferred method of get-out-the-door motivation in bad weather? Tell us all about it!
It’s March, spring is coming, and it’s time to shake off your winter blues and start training! If you want to train for your first triathlon, now is the time! It’s fun, it’s positive, and when you cross the finish line (no matter the distance) you’ll feel like you’ve really accomplished something.
It can be really intimidating to start training for a tri, though. First of all, there’s the gear. Then there is the actual training. This week, we’re going to focus on the disciplines of triathlon and how to get started and feeling confident. Next week, we’ll go through the gear checklist.
1. Identify your goal. How much time do you have to train? What kind of prior experience you have? Most people start with training for a sprint triathlon, where you swim just under a half mile (750 meters), bike 14 miles (20 km) and run just over three miles (5 km.) The next distance up is an Olympic/International Distance, which is more time-consuming. To train safely, you should budget about three months to train for your first sprint and four and a half to train for your first Olympic Distance tri.
2. Find a tri club and pick a training plan. The best place to start with this is your local triathlon club! Tri clubs exist in most cities in the United States. Some are very structured and you follow a strict schedule, while others are more loosely-organized. Either way, this is a great way to make friends to train with, and to come up with a training plan. You’ll meet experienced triathletes who can share their plan with you and most likely the club will be affiliated with coaches who can help you with your plan. Or, search for plans on the internet. There are so many free ones available like this sprint plan from Tri Newbies, or this four-month Olympic Distance plan from Leon’s Triathlon.
3. Get a coach. If you are participating in a highly-structured triathlon club, this isn’t necessarily what you need to do, but if you’re planning to train a lot on your own, it is a great idea to work with someone that can help you craft a plan based on your body. If you can’t afford it, no worries - you can totally still complete a triathlon! Coaching is also great for individual disciplines, particularly swimming. A lot of people haven’t been in a pool in a long time and are afraid to start tri training for that reason. Gyms have masters swimming classes and private lessons that will help you get back into the pool. When you start practicing open water swimming, be sure to go out with other people to stay safe and learn how to do it.
Cross the finish line feeling proud and strong!
Fit Factory exists to help athletes achieve their fitness goals by rationalizing their space and being able to bring everything with them, all the time! Check out the MobilityPack, which is designed for your active lifestyle. Need motivation? Want to say hi? Talk to us on Twitter, we love hearing from you!