Recently I had the pleasure of meeting athlete and actor Daniel MacPherson. He’s been the Ambassador for the Fitness First Corporate Triathlon Series, and with over 20 years experience as a Triathlete; I figured he could give us a tip or two on training for a Triathlon.
Amelia: Dan, you’ve just returned from the US, what race did you do there?
Dan: It was the Iron Man 73 world champs in Las Vegas: 1.9km swim, 90km bike leg, 21km run. It heated up to 35 degrees, and was hilly, so yes very hard! But I was happy with my 35th place.
Amelia: What is the 2014 Corporate Triathlon National Series?
Dan: It’s been around for many years and is one of the largest triathlon series in Australia. There are 5 races held around Australia; Melbourne, Perth, Gold Coast and Adelaide. Sydney has around 5000 entrants so it’s quite an atmosphere, and all levels have a go. I reckon for the majority of the entrants it’s their first time. You enter as a corporate team, minimum 3 per team. Everyone has to complete all three legs, but the good news is the distances are manageable: 300m swim, 8km bike, 3km run
Amelia: How much training does a Triathlon like this involve?
Dan: For someone with an average level of fitness, aim for 6-10 weeks of training. Ideally, three sessions of each discipline per week is fine. Remember you can double or triple up in a session. EG. run to the gym, jump on a spin bike for 20min, jump in the pool and then run home. Training with buddies makes it so much more enjoyable.
Amelia: Which leg do you find the hardest and why?
Dan: Running. I’m not a natural runner.
Amelia: What’s next for you?
Dan: I’m racing at the Sydney Corporate Tri Series, then later this year, going to Germany for the ‘Challenge Roth Iron Man’: 3.8km swim, 180k, bike and 42km marathon.
Dan’s Top Tips for someone starting out in their first Tri:
- Have the correct gear: It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to fit properly. From shoes to bike and even swimming goggles. Get the gear working for you before race day, it will make the event so much easier (and will prevent injuries).
- Consistency is key: When it comes to training, you’re better off doing three x 30min sessions per week than one x 90min session on the weekend. Set your schedule up so you can train regularly.
- Nothing new on race day: No new gear, no new eating regime. Stick to what works, and experiment only in training.
Dan’s Top Tips for someone wanting to get faster:
- Structure sessions better: Warm-up, intervals/tempo session at or above race pace and a cool down. Intervals and tempo sessions are gold for getting faster.
- Planning: Put some planning into your training. Mix up the distances, paces and make sure you cover everything from the short and sharp to the long and steady.
- You can race well on a budget: Whilst top equipment is great for motivation, you don’t need it to do well. You’re better off spending less on a bike and more on good nutrition/training. Look to get faster through your training and your body, not through equipment (unless you’re elite).
Wishing you a great race, Dan! Thanks for the chat (what a TOP bloke!)
Visit the Fitness First Corporate Triathlon Series, for more information, and get thinking about setting a goal such as this one – it makes training so much more motivating.