This is a common question I receive as the parents are entering the sport for the first time. The first answer is NO!!!!
No you do not need a fancy tri bike or anything remotely close to that at this time, and YES their first bike that is in the garage is fine. A quick tuneup at your local bike store is recommended. This would include inspecting the chain, tires, brakes & if the bike is equipped with shifters, these will also need to be inspected.
Once the bike is ready, of course you will need to have a bike helmet.
For swimming, a pair of goggles should be first on the list. If they do not have any experience with them, I would make sure they use them prior to the event. This is to get the right fit on the goggle straps. Many big box retail stores or any sports store will carry kids sizes. They should swim in either a speedo like suit or for the guys a pair of bike pants that fit close to the skin. Wearing baggy pants, will create drag ( resistance) when they swim. This will considerably slow them down & tire them out.
For the run portion of the event, the most important thing at this time is their comfort. A pair of tri laces will help in their transition from the swim to the bike. These are elastic laces that do not require lacing up. They make the transition from swim to bike much faster. They can be purchased at any specialty running store for under $10.00 A pair of sneakers with a velcro strap will be fine & will eliminate the need for the tri laces.
Our title sponsor is City Bike in Aventura & their newer store in Pembroke Pines Florida. They offer a wide variety of kids bikes, and many of the staff have backgrounds in triathloning. Any questions, or comments, click the Email form button to your right.
Now did you really think I wanted your child to load some bricks in a backpack while biking or running? In the world of triathlon training the term Brick refers to, normally a bike distance followed immediately by a run distance. I have incorporated swim/run brick workouts in our training programs at the Miami Kids Tri Club. We do sprints in the water, followed by rapidly getting into their sneakers for a short burst of speed run distance, while then getting right back in the pool to do a sprint followed by another run. The amount depends on the level of fitness & in most cases we do these for the more advanced triathletes. A brick workout is a great barometer after a period of 3-4 weeks of training has been completed. A 2-3 day taper is effective before your scheduled brick workout. A taper will be discussed in deeper detail at a later time. For your purposes a taper is a rest period to get ready for the brick workout. You do not have to totally stop training, but you should dramatically rest those young legs. Any questions or comments, click the Email button to the right.
If you are starting with a child who has no formal training in the sport, the most important aspect at the beginning is the swim. A program of at least 2-3 days per week will be enough to get them started. A 45 -60 minute session to include drill & technique work will get them along rapidly in the free style or what is referred to as the crawl stroke. There are many pools that have learn to swim programs. The YMCA, JCC & other swim teams have excellent learn to swim programs. Combining the swim, bike & the run is the challenge. The bike portion of the training will be your easiest to accomplish. The run will take some time and should not be rushed or over done. A jog/walk program is the safest way to start someone who has no background in run training. A 2 minute easy jog with a one minute rapid walk recovery, followed by a 2 minute jog & the same recovery will help in building confidence, while not stressing out the body. The amount of jog/walk recoveries will depend on the child's level of fitness. As time goes on you can decrease the walk/recovery time & add more time to the jog. Once you know the distance they need for their event, you can then adjust all of the above to fit your goals. Adding in 2 runs per week, with 2 bike sessions & 2-3 swim sessions will be necessary to get your young triathlete ready to enter their first event. With a consistent program a period of 4-8 weeks should be enough to get them adjusted and ready to go. This certainly has a lot of room for adjustment if your child is coming from a swim or run background. The above is a program for those who are starting from scratch. Any questions or comments, click the Email form button to your right.
Buying equipment for your junior triathlete
Miami Kids Training Tips
On a weekly basis, we will be bringing valuable information to your beginner or seasoned triathlete. We will also be allowing you to interact with this page. We will welcome your email questions and comments. Click the bottom to the right and it will take you to the form page so you can email us any questions or comments you may have. Ask your children if they have any questions. So let's get started.
Basic weekly training schedules
Add some BRICKS to your workouts!!!!
When entering into the sport of triathloning there is so much to absorb with all the training information that is available. Although there are certain techniques that each coach may or may not have as part of their program, there is one thing they all have for a beginner and that is the approach to your base miles and yards for the pool. Your base is the slow approach to attaining mileage while not forcing the speed workouts that will come later. Once you know the distance that your age group presents, you can then start your program. If you have never ran before and have to drop a few pounds, the recommended and safe way to start your program is to walk/run. A 2 minute easy jog, followed by a 1 minute recovery, followed by another 2 minute jog and the same recovery, is not all that difficult & it will build up your endurance to complete your full distance without stopping. The amount of these 2 minute runs followed by the 1 minute recovery will depend on 2 factors. The most important is your level of fitness, & also the distance you will need to complete your first triathlon. If you need to run a mile, the easiest way is to measure a half mile out, and come back to complete the mile. While doing the 2 minute/1 minute routine, in a short time you can increase the run to 2:30 & decrease the recovery to 45 seconds. As your increase the run time & decrease the recovery time you will in a short period of time be running the mile without stopping. The goal of first getting up to a half mile will show you that this is not that bad after all. In this way you are building a strong foundation or as we call it a strong base. The same approach can be taken for the bike and the swim. The bike distance should be easy to attain as it is easier on the body than the run. Once you have been instructed in the freestyle stroke technique for the swimming, you can then begin swimming from one end of the pool to the other. When you have completed one lap you can take a 30-60 second break, before you repeat swimming another lap. As you progress you will decrease the 30-60 recovery. Eventually and similar to the run in a short time you will not need any recovery and you will be swimming 2,4,6 & even 8 laps without stopping. Seems like a lot at the beginning, and I will agree it is not to be taken lightly, but if you do not force it, in a short 4-6 week period you should be very close to being ready for your first kids triathlon. A program of 2 swims, 2 runs & 2 bike rides per week will be necessary to be ready in this period of time. Yes you can combine the workouts, as these are not to taxing on the body. Enjoy & safe training. Any questions or comments, click the email form to your right.
So there you are exiting the water, while excited to get to your bike. On goes the helmet, followed by your sneakers or bike shoes & then you grab your shirt as the temps are a little cool. That's when the chaos begins. The shirt will not fit over the helmet. How about this one. You put your helmet on & progress to bend over to secure your sneakers or shoes, & then the helmet is not secured tight or has a loose strap. The helmet is now below your eyes creating havoc as you are trying your best to be a begin your bike ride. The easiest way to avoid these common mistakes is get dressed from the bottom to the top. Shoes/sneakers, shirt if need be & then the helmet. For those that are new to the sport, there will come a time where every second will be counted. Rest assure you can spend 45 seconds or as much as 2-3 minutes in transition. Of course a pair of tri laces or a velcro strap on your foot gear is a must. Also the race belt for your race number is a more convenient & certainly more comfortable strategy when working with your run race number. So there you have it, a quick and fast transition strategy for your next event. Any questions or comments, click the email form to your right.
Get dressed from the bottom up