FREE open water swimming workshop

WhittleFit will be hosting an open water swim training workshop at Jackson’s Bay, Barry on Wednesday 29th May at 6:30pm.

Confidence is key with open water swimming or the open water swim section of triathlon, our aim is to provide you with all the advice and support to help you achieve this.

The workshop is aimed at novice triathletes but all are welcome. If you haven't swam in open water before or in your wetsuit, with others, then this is an ideal opportunity for you to test out your wetsuit and learn all the skills required to succeed with your open water/triathlon racing. 

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How to kickstart your fitness training program

Kickstart your fitness training program

The most common challenge that people I talk to face is how to incorporate fitness into their lives. They know they have to do something to get in shape but they really don’t know how. It can be quite off-putting because of the abundance of information out there. So much so that you may not know where to begin.

Our society has so many food choices that it is easy to pack on the extra pounds. Also our day to day jobs are far less physical as they where 100 years ago so we have more sedentary life styles. We know there are benefits involved when we exercise and clean up our diet, however, most of us don’t know how or where to start.

So where do we begin? Or is the question: How do we begin?

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Ever wanted to do a triathlon?

So what’s a triathlon and specifically, what’s a sprint triathlon? A sprint (or novice) triathlon is a short distance triathlon, which is ideal for the beginner athlete, comprising of a swim, a bike and then a run (all in succession, with no breaks!). Sprint triathlons can vary in distance, but typically a sprint triathlon consists of a 400-750m swim, a 20km bike and a 5km run, well within the capabilities of most active people (with some focused training).

So what training do you need to do to complete your first triathlon? It depends on your current fitness levels; however, you must feel comfortable about being able to complete each discipline (swim, bike and run) on its own, before stringing them together one after the other. So you must be happy that come race day you have enough fitness to be able to complete the 400-750m swim without too much trouble, be able to bike for 20km and be able to complete a 5km run without dying! As a triathlon uses many different muscles and different energy systems, varied training is required in the three disciplines; however with some focus most people are able to train to complete their first triathlon.

How about equipment? For your first triathlon, you really only need the minimum of equipment; some swim-wear and goggles, basic biking gear (bike, helmet and clothing) and running gear (trainers and clothing); and that’s it. You don’t need to invest loads of money on your first race, I think most people probably own the majority of the required equipment, or at least can borrow some from friends and family to train with and use on race day.

On the day of the race you will usually be asked to arrive nice and early to register/check-in, at this point you’ll receive your race number (if you hadn’t already received it in the post) and some final instructions regarding the race itself. Now it’s time to set up your transition area, this is where you rack your bike and lay out your cycling helmet, running trainers, etc ready to change into when transitioning from one stage to the next stage of the race.

Now you’ve set up your transition area, you’re ready to race! The swim is up first, depending on the race the start will either be a mass start (everyone starts together) or a wave start (small groups start at the same time), so make sure you know what time your start is (it might be different from your friends start time). Once out of the swim you’ll make your way to the transition area, here you’ll change into your bike gear (helmet on!) and set off on the bike course (usually very well marshalled and signposted, but make sure you have an idea of the route before starting the race). At the end of the bike course you’ll return to the transition area, jump off your bike, change into your running gear and set off for the final leg of the race. This is usually the hardest part of the race as you’ve already swam and biked for maybe up to an hour, so you’ll be pretty fatigued before setting off on the run. No matter, you’re nearly done, but don’t forget to smile for the camera (there’s usually a photographer at the finish line).

That’s it, race over. You’ve just completed your first sprint triathlon!

Breakfast before your early morning run?

A few people have asked if missing breakfast before going for a run is a big deal, well, here’s our response. 

Cardiff sports nutritionSome people feel they can get away with not eating anything before their morning run, but I guarantee that unless they are fuelling during their run, then they’re not getting in an optimal training session. Studies show that people who train without eating anything run at a slower pace AND it feels much harder than it should.
 
In saying that, it doesn’t have to be a full English breakfast. Something simple and light will suffice, perhaps some toast (with peanut butter), some Greek yoghurt, a small bowl of porridge or cereal, some fruit, a smoothie or even a few small bites of an energy bar; all washed down with a glass of water. Simple. 
 
Remember, by fuelling your run correctly you’ll feel better during your run, you’ll be getting in a much better workout and you’ll recover much quicker. Eating something is much better than eating nothing! 

Porthkerry 5: multi-terrain running race

This morning Mark took part in the Porthkerry 5, it's a 5 mile off road (multi-terrain) running race held in Porthkerry Park, near Barry. Porthkerry 5It's a tough race, all off road, with some tough, tough hills thrown in at several points in the race, plus some running on grass and a short section on the beach just to spice things up a bit!

Mark was using this race as a training race in the run up to his 'A' race of the season (a triathlon in Holland in July as part of the GB off-road triathlon team) and managed a very creditable 7th pace in a very large field of runners!

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