Aug 04

Lessons Learned

After having a few days to reflect back on Steelhead, I have come up with some areas in which I need to improve.  These are strictly triathlon related, so no comments from the peanut gallery please – I know that I am deficient in other areas as well :).

#1 Core Workouts

I need to focus more on core workouts (eg. crunches, weight lifting, etc.).  I really don’t enjoy lifting weights, but I think it will help with some of the soreness I had in my arms and back during the race.  I have a book (The 12-Week Triathlete) that has a great section of strength exercises that can be done with only dumbbells; no fancy equipment needed.  So, it looks like I am going to have to buy some dumbbells.  Any recommendations on what to get?  I really like the Bowflex SelectTech for their convenience and space savings, however, the price tag is a little steep.  I’d sort of like something adaptable rather than individual dumbbells of specific weights.

#2 More Running

With the training plan I was using, I don’t think there was enough running.  I maxed out at something like 25 or 30 miles a week with long runs of only 8 or 9 miles.  I would be much more comfortable upping the long runs so that I was doing at least the full 13 miles once every other week.  Coming from a primarily running background, I miss the long 15-18 mile runs on the weekends.

#3 Train Longer

Eight weeks isn’t quite enough to fully prepare for the half Ironman.  I was sort of pushing the limit to get ready because I had been training for a marathon in early June and didn’t start focusing on swimming or biking until after that.  I thought that the number of miles I was putting in running would offset the shortened training period, but I really needed more brick workouts to fully prepare.  The only thing that really saved me for Steelhead was the two triathlons I did in preparation for Steelhead.

#4 Get a Proper Bike Fit

While not necessarily a personal improvement, this is probably something I should look into investing in.  I struggled a bit earlier this season with pain in my upper leg after getting off the bike.  I seemed to have solved this by lowering the saddle about a half inch or so. However, it still isn’t quite as comfortable as it should be.  Also, I am wondering if an improper fit led to some of the back pain I incurred during the race.


As for recovery from Steelhead, I am just about back to 100%.  I have done a few light workouts the past couple of days, but nothing too strenuous.  My left hamstring is a little sore, but it seems to loosen up once I walk on it for a bit.  I’ll continue to do a couple more light workouts this week; just enough to stay ready for the Millennium Triathlon on Saturday.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2009/08/04/lessons-learned


  1. Krista

    I definetly recommend checking out craigslist or see if you have a used sporting equipment store such as Play It Again Sports. Lots of people invest in this stuff and then realize that they don’t actually want to do the work or they upgrade. I bet you could get a great deal!

  2. David

    I would recommend the PowerBlock (http://www.powerblock.com/) for lifting. I have a set – very easy to use and simple to store.

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