Live Blog: Triathlete Chat

This session was captured by Tambra Means of Ginger Mantra

Triathlon Chat – Jennifer Sader
Blog – Perfect in Our Imperfections
Twitter – @toledolefty
Instagram – @toledolefty

Jennifer ‘Jen’ Sader started training for her first triathlon in 2001. She was tired of having “lose weight” as her only goal and she decided that she needed something bigger and more inspiring to shoot for. She completed that race in 2002 and has gone on to do dozens of other races, including the Chicago Triathlon in 2004.

Though she has continued to battle her weight, injury problems, and a lingering notion that she is not a “real athlete,” she hasn’t lost her love of the sport. Jennifer has been blogging since 2006 at Perfect in Our Imperfections. She shares her thoughts on trying to lose weight without losing her mind. She shares her training experiences along with recaps of “The Biggest Loser,” book reviews, favorite beauty products and fashion finds. Jennifer is a full-time faculty member at a small university. She lives in the Toledo area with her husband and her two cats, both named after Muppets.

Jen just finished her most recent Triathlon on June 26, 2014.

Order of race is usually Swim Bike Run for safety issues.

“So is this your first race?!” – Most common question at triathlons.

What do you need –
Triathlon suit
Swim cap

Suggestions from the crowd –

In transition think through what you need for each part. Set that up as what can you live without.

Before the race mentally practice and walk through the transition motions.

Do have the mileage on the race course to get a feel and walk through the steps.

Know where your spot is for transition, find a landmark.

Get a spot at the end of the rack or the back of the pack or side to give you more time.

Make sure you clean your feet in transition.

You have to get there either the day before or hour before to setup.

Common Distances for triathlons –
Half Ironman
There are other options like Duathon or Aquabike for options if you can’t train for one part of the race or are not ready for the swim bike run.

Recommendations for bikes –

If you buy a bike buy a road bike not a mountain bike or hybrid.

You don’t have to buy an expensive bike. You can use an entry level bike.

Carbon fiber helps reduce vibration.
If your just starting out just use whey you have don’t invest in a bike.

Road bikes can be purchases at places like Walmart or Target if you want to ‘try out’ triathlons before committing to a more expensive bike.

It is Important to be fitted for your bike. Checkout a bike at a bike shop even if you don’t buy from there. You need to know the size that fits your body.

Bike shops can also help customize your bike to your body and make adjustments and most of the time for a fee. Make sure you get tune ups on your bike especially before races.

Learn about how your body feels and learning to shift gears on your bike.

Clipping in makes your race more efficient. You don’t have to clip in for your race but makes it easier to train for long distances. You should do the race first to make sure you like it before investing in the expensive gear.

You don’t have to have everything (gear) at first. Triathlons are 90% athlete and 10% gear. You can use used gear. Most cases used gear has only been used a couple of times.

Go to swim lessons if you need it. Check out your local YMCA or master swim classes at your local larger pools.

Brick workouts and strength training and yoga to prevent injury are important. is a great place to get training plans for beginners or intermediate triathletes looking for training resources.

Find your weak points and train a little extra on those. They are what you need to work on to be most efficient in race day.

Brick Workout – at least once per week and more brick and intense workouts
Take one training and hit the next exercise immediately. Usually bike and them run immediately without a break or rest.

Know your course when getting ready. Bring a jug of water.

Some towns offer triathlon training groups. You can have several group training so to find your spot in the race.

When do you fuel?
The bike is the best place to fuel. For a sprint you probably don’t need to eat as much as hydrate. But you can also tape fuel to your bike. Electrical tape is good tape to use for your bike.

How do you Sighting Train?
Laps Tarzan style to do two stokes each side and pop your head up. Also bilateral breathing. Don’t make it a part of your breathing cycle. Just come up a little to take a breath and find your sitting.

Don’t be afraid to do whatever stroke on the swim that you are most comfortable with. Try different strokes and breathing in your training.

What if I have or develop Ear Issues? You can get custom earplugs if you have ear issues. Places that do hearing aids fist for custom earplugs.

Triathlons are not a ‘Social’ sport!
Don’t be discouraged if no one talks during the TRI. Smile at people and be encouraging since it is a less social race.

‘No matter what, you signed up for the triathlon and finished it. You ARE a triathlete!’

She has more resources on here – Perfect in Our Imperfections