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  • Does it matter where I live?
    No, all training is virtual. We can communicate via email, text, conference call, video call, whatever is convenient.
  • Do I have to be a cancer survivor?
    Yes, the Foundation is set up with those guidelines.
  • How much will it cost?
    The coaching is free and the race kit is complimentary. The race entry fee will be reimbursed after you complete the race and send us a photo for our gallery page. Your cost will be training apparel, equipment, and gym/pool membership.
  • What equipment do I need and how much does the equipment cost?
    You will need a bathing suit and goggles (maybe a cap), bike, helmet, bike shoes, bike shorts and top, running sneakers, running clothes, and a smart watch (with heart rate monitor). It varies based on the brands you select. If you borrow a bike that will save a significant amount of money (we recommend a bike fit). We estimate the cost to be about $1,000 to get involved, excluding the bicycle.
  • How much time will it take per week?
    That depends on your current fitness level and what your goals are for the race. If you have a low fitness level we will start slow and build up. If you have a higher fitness level you could train 5 to 6 hours per week and have a certain time outcome that is important to you. That does not include getting to the pool or gym, warm up, or cool down.
  • How long should I train before the race?
    It depends on your fitness level, the distance of the race, and your goals. Our main goal if for the athlete to have fun, to be safe, and not get injured. We would rather take our time then rush and have issues.
  • I have never trained before, can I try?
    Yes, most definitely. We will assess your fitness and design a plan so you will first be able to handle base levels of exercise. Once that is achieved, we will move forward with a plan to get you in even better shape and start thinking about the appropriate race.
  • Do I need Doctor approval?
    Yes, we require all athletes to get approval from their doctor (we will provide you with the form). We need a medical professional, that knows you, to certify that you can participate in all forms of training and racing.
  • What does the race kit look like?
    The race kit is made by Santini, an Italian company that is well known in the triathlon and cycling industries. Currently Santini is a sponsor of USA Triathlon and makes kits for many Tour de France cycle teams.
  • Is there a cut off time in races?
    Typically, there are cut off times for longer races but local shorter races are meant to be all inclusive and typically want to make sure athletes finish. We will check with the race director for your race to understand how the race is being operated in terms of timing.
  • What do you do in transition?
    You take off your wetsuit, having your Triathlon Over Cancer kit underneath, and put on helmet, bike shoes, and go out the bike exit. When the bike portion is finished you dismount before entering the transition area, return to your transition location and rack the bike, take off your helmet, put on your running shoes and head out the run exit. You might chose to wear socks and sunglasses (on the bike, run or both) as well as a hat on the run. We will work with you on this part of the race and you can practice this and decide how you want to accomplish the changing from swim to bike and bike to run. The transition is a “set play” so you will know exactly what to do and have the right equipment set up for the race.
  • Could I do a Duathlon instead of a Triathlon?
    Sure, we can help you with completing a duathlon.
  • Should I train alone or with others?
    That is a completely individual thing. There are Master swim sessions at many pools and there could be a coach and a number of swimmers at each workout. Some people like swimming with others, some do not. That is the same for biking and running. It depends on your schedule and can you be at the pool or at a bike or run meeting spot at a certain time?
  • What is the most important thing about training?
    There are actually two things for us. First, we do not want you to get hurt. If the body feels funny, you feel a slight stiffness in your shoulder while swimming, issue with knee while running you should immediately stop. Take time and understand your body and see if it was a one time issue or a more serious situation. The second thing is consistency. We want you to keep to your training schedule and remember, you get out what you put in. If you have to do some training and you just do not feel like it, that happens. We would suggest, you do the workout but if the effort is scheduled to be high that day, do not worry. Put in the time, be consistent, and realize you are not 100 percent every day of your life.
  • How hard is the training?
    That depends on your current training status and your goals. We will create an individual plan for you that is based on workout time (biking and running) or distance (swimming). Some workouts are planned to be easy (80% of the time) and some are hard (20% of the time). We will develop the plan and work with you weekly to tweak the plan so you can be successful. This is not about having any athlete exhausted every day and losing interest. We want the whole experience to be fun and we will figure that out together as we progress through your training.
  • What if I can not swim, what should I do?
    We recommend you get swim lessons to learn the appropriate way to swim, get comfortable in the water, and feel you are capable of swimming 0.25 to 0.5 miles in a lake or ocean. Once you are comfortable with the swim portion with swim professionals, we will work with the athlete to develop an individualized plan for more swimming. We would prefer that swimming comfort is achieved first before moving to biking, running, etc.
  • What if I am a horrible swimmer?
    We would recommend taking some swim lessons at a local pool. You should learn the proper way to swim the freestyle stroke and once that is accomplished, we can help with the rest. We believe that “learning to swim” or “Improving your swimming” is difficult to accomplish in a virtual setting and needs hands on guidance.
  • There are no lines in a do I swim straight?
    We know the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. One of the challenges of the swim is going straight. It is not easy, but can be mastered with training.
  • What if I get uncomfortable in the swim during a race?
    It can happen and there are typically lifeguards on surf boards or kayaks along the swim course that will gladly provide assistance. You are allowed to grab on to a board or kayak to rest, recover, or get aid and not get penalized.
  • Do I need a wetsuit to race?
    No, you do not need a wetsuit. However, the wetsuit does provide some buoyancy and typically you can swim quicker with a wetsuit than without. There are many good wetsuit manufacturers and we can help you select a product that fits your skillset, goals, and budget.
  • How do you practice the start of a race?
    Some people will get a group of friends and all start at one end of the pool and swim to the other end together. You will understand how the start begins and it can include getting hit or kicked. This is not on purpose but everyone is trying their best. A strong swimmer might choose to start with a sprint to get ahead of the other people in the swim wave. However, if you do not want to deal with this part of the race, just wait a few seconds and start. You will avoid the wave start beginning and that might be better for you.
  • What if I do not own a bike?
    The bike is the most expensive initial investment in the sport of triathlon. You could borrow a friends bike. It might have to be borrowed for a few months. Or maybe you could rent a bike or purchase a bike. We always recommend getting a professional bike fit so you get the most out of the bike and limit injuries. You can purchase a bike that you can race on and also ride around the neighborhood, such as a mountain bike or a gravel bike. Or, you could select a triathlon or time trial bike that has a slightly different fit (sizing/dimensions/position). We can help with your decision process and get you the best bike for your budget if you decide to purchase a bike. Keep in mind there are now many websites that sell previous owned bikes which can also be a great option.
  • What if I am scared of cars when I bike?
    We fully understand there are cars, trucks, motorcycles, animals, etc. all lurking on the road to cause a cyclist problems. One option is to get a indoor bike trainer that your bike fits on so you would be riding your bike in a stationary format. You get comfortable to the geometry and seat of your bike, you are out of harms way, and you can watch television, listen to music, or ride on courses virtually with various biking applications.
  • Could I do all my bike training indoors?
    Yes, it is possible to train 100% indoors. Our only concern is your bike handling skills and your comfort level on the bike going fast. That can be a significant trade off when it comes to racing on a bike as you want to be safe.
  • Do I need bike shoes?
    It depends on your bike but the quick answer is no. You can wear running shoes during the bike portion if you want. Are bike shoes more efficient? Yes, but being clipped into the pedals is not comfortable for some people. We understand and that is not required.
  • Do I need a bike helmet?
    Yes. You must have a CPSC approved helmet to enter a race. The helmet must be on your head and the chin strap buckled before you leave where your bike is racked in transition. When you return to transition, you cannot unbuckle your helmet until you get to your transition location and rack your bike.
  • Do I need bike gloves?
    That depends on you. Some people wear gloves but we estimate that most triathletes do not wear gloves while racing. Many bikes have very soft bike tape and bike gloves are just one more thing to take off when speed is of the essence. If you want to wear gloves…then you wear gloves.
  • How much running do I need to do?
    That depends on the race distance, your running history, your strength, and your goals. Running can be the most difficult portion of the training as it is a full weight bearing event. We will work with you to accomplish your goal with a focus on being careful not to over train your body and cause injury. We also want to make sure you have the correct running shoes, the right mechanics, and your body is in good shape to manage the stress of running.
  • What are the best running shoes?
    There are many great running shoes currently on the market. It will depend on your style, foot type, foot width, and goals. If you have a wide foot, there is are fewer selections but still great shoes for all types of runners. There has been a dramatic improvement in running shoes and we will work with you to get you in the correct pair of shoes.
  • Can I use my running shoes I walk in?
    We would prefer you have a dedicated pair of running shoes that you use for one thing, running. We also will track your mileage and make sure once you achieve a certain distance you change shoes. Running shoes wear out and the distance varies based on the brand, runner, surface, style of running.
  • I have never run much, now what?
    We will start you out slow, possibly walking a certain distance. Then have you walk much faster but no running and then start to jog. This could take a period of time for a person to build up to running. We want to make sure you do not get injured and you are comfortable with the pace of training.
  • Can I walk during a race?
    Walking is permitted in every race. During the run, if you are tired, need to get a drink while not running, or have any reason to slow down, you can walk.
  • How many transitions are in a triathlon?
    There are two and the location of your transition spot is based on your race number. The first transition is also referred to as T1 and happens between the swim and the bike. You might take off your wetsuit, goggles, and swim cap. Put on your helmet, bike shoes, and sun glasses and run with your bike to the “bike out” sign and go to the bike mount area. The second transition is called T2 and happens between the bike and the run. You dismount your bike, run with your bike to your transition spot and rack your bike, take off your helmet and bike shoes. Then put on your running shoes, maybe grab a hat and sunglasses and exit transition at the “run out” exit. We can help you with this process and review exactly what you will need at your transition location for the race. The key is to bring everything you want and nothing else.
  • What do I need in the transition area?
    You will need your equipment to ride your bike, your equipment to complete the run, and maybe some nutrition (drink and food). Typically, before a race you place all your things at your transition spot for the bike and the run. Place your bag in an area that is out of the way and acceptable to the race officials. Also, in your bag will be all you need for the swim. You put that on and head to the swim.
  • Does the time in the transition area count?
    Yes, your time starts at the beginning of the swim (when you cross the timing line or the horn sounds) and ends when you cross the finish line at the end of the run. Every second counts from start to finish. You could swim faster, bike faster, and run faster than a person in your age group. However, if both your transitions are slower, versus the other athlete, you might finish the race with a slower time.
  • What food do you bring to transition?
    It depends on the race. If you are doing a sprint triathlon you should have a water bottle on your bike with an electrolyte drink mix. You might want a gel for before the race and some drink before the race. Typically, a race will have some water or other drinks during the run. And of course, there are various things to drink at the finish line.
  • The transition area is large, what is the right way to go?
    Every transition area is different. You will need to get to the race set up your equipment at your transition location and then walk through the transition. We find it best to walk from where you will enter transition from the swim to your bike. Then walk to the “Bike Exit” spot. Then find the spot where you will return on your bike and walk back to your transition area. And, finally walk to the “Run Exit” spot. Walking through your entire transition “path” will help you during the race.
  • I have heard that people can get lost in transition?
    It is possible to get lost but that can be avoided with a bit of due diligence. We recommend, at every race, that an athlete walks the path from entering transition after the swim to their transition location (where you pick up your bike) and on to the bike exit. Then understand where the bike dismount area is and bike entrance, after the bike portion of the race, and on to your transition spot to drop your bike. And finally, once you have your running shoes on when to go for the run exit. You will need to carefully walk the transition area to understand the quickest way to move through transition during T1 and T2.
  • I have heard you need to be mentally strong to race, true?
    Depending on how you approach your race you might get to a point on the run where you are tired but still have a bit more running to do. You could stop and walk or you can decide to “push through” and continue to run to the finish line. One way to practice this type of mental strength is during training when you are tired but still have more swimming, biking, or running.
  • How do I deal with stress before and during the race?
    First, we will have you fully prepared for the race. But there might be some stress since you might not have ever completed a triathlon before. You should have confidence with your fitness but “butterflies” are natural for many athletes. Once the race begins, and you get into a rhythm, you will forget about the nerves. As you may have heard before, we want you to “be in the moment” focus on the task (swim, bike, run, transition) and block out all other thoughts as progress through the race.
  • How do you keep going when you are exhausted?
    Part of training is understanding your body. And know what it feels like to continue to swim, bike or run when you are tired. Not only are you training your body to handle the distance you are training your brain. Each time you get into the situation of being tired you will learn a bit more about yourself and your capabilities. We have various techniques to “talk to yourself” as you are doing the activity to strengthen your body and mind.
  • Should I lift weights?
    Yes. We recommend everyone lift some weights. We will work with you to provide a lifting program. You will not be lifting heavy weights and at times utilizing your body weight can be highly effective. Strengthening your whole body will help you manage the stress you put on your body.
  • How often should I lift?
    It depends on your history of lifting and your schedule. Big picture we would say twice per week for maybe 30 minutes. But we will develop a plan with you and make sure you go slow, understand how to do the exercises, and do not over stress your body. The lifting of weights is meant to strengthen you and not break you down.
  • What do I eat before a race?
    We have a recommended eating plan before a race depending on the distance. It involves things that are easy to digest, things you like, and foods that will provide the nutrients you will require in the race.
  • What do I eat and drink during a race?
    Based on the distance of the race we will develop a nutrition plan. It will certainly involve a sports drink, possibly some gels or some food. It also depends on how your body handles liquids and solids in your stomach. Some athletes have sensitive stomachs and that requires a better understanding of what you like and what you can handle.
  • Will I lose weight while training?
    Depending on your training you might lose weight but that is not our main goal. We want you to eat well and to fuel your body before and after exercising. A body that is dieting and possibly “starved” of some nutrients might not perform well during training. And the training plan we develop might not be executed well because your body, if dieting, is under nourished.
  • Should I drink during training? And what should it be?
    We will develop a liquid strategy for you for swimming, biking, and running. You might want to have a water bottle with your favorite sports drink while swimming, on your bike while riding, and you can even carry a beverage while running. It all depends on how you train and everyone is different. We would not recommend doing any exercise without some sports drink with electrolytes. There are many products and flavors that come already prepared or in a powder that you mix with water. This is a trial and error process and some flavors or brands might not work for you. The drink you train with will be the drink you race with as your body will be comfortable with the consumption and digestion of the beverage.
  • Do I need to change my diet to train?
    Yes and No. If you are eating fast food, prepared foods, cookies, soda, etc. then yes we would recommend you change. If you are eating a balanced diet with plenty of variety then we would say no. We will direct you to various sources that can help you make decisions about your diet that helps your increased exercise and does not deprive you of a well-balanced diet.
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