Founder Series | Ep #40 | Elle Linton | Triathlon Preparation – Conversations on Building Stamina



the content discussed in this episode is for educational or informative purposes only and should not be replaced by individualized professional conductations or professional medical

advice welcome to the founders series of doctor of the podcast this year i’m signing up for a triathlon happening in summer and to prepare myself in this founder series i’m going to be having one-on-one conversations with experts in the field and hopefully it will keep myself accountable and nurture my community on a day to day so without further ado hope you enjoyed this episode so hi everyone so today i’d like to tackle what is the right training to have to prepare yourself for triathlon and so to guide the conversation i’m speaking to elle linton who is a fitness professional who specializes in helping women in finding their strength in running and cycling welcome elle hi gooney thank you so much for having me to tell you the truth the reason why i want to speak about training and preparation mine is not it’s not the best you’re not alive don’t worry okay at least you know it feels better but the thing is that i don’t know how to start what to do i do some running every other day i do some cycling every other day the swimming is the hard part because it’s very cold these days so getting the motivation to go there is another things you basically sound like me when i started triathlons like the biking and the running they were okay the swimming i actually had to learn to swim to be able to do a triathlon and i cannot stand the cold weather and i cannot stand cold water so i was that person who turned up to this swimming pool in like a full-length a full-length rash guard like i spent like 10 minutes like dipping my toe in trying to get the courage to get into the pool so i i know exactly how you feel but as for training i think the first thing that you need to do right now is sit down calculate my event is on this day and i have this many weeks to train and then you just need to do the best of the time that you’ve got one of the biggest things about triathlon and multi-sport events is that you have to train your body not only to run not only to cycle and not only to swim but to do them consecutively so that’s what you then need to do in your training you need to practice what it feels like to go from your your swim to your run and you need to practice to go from your run to your bike because when you or bike to ride which way is it swim bike run so yeah swim rim bike run yeah that’s right that’s the other way around you to practice from your bike to your run which is a really unique feeling when you get off the bike and you then have to start running because you’ve just been used to a completely different motion so yeah brick training that’s what it’s called is probably one of the most important things that you need to add into your schedule and vary that up to get used to feeling and know that you can do it when it comes to race day um and then i think the main thing is consistency like you need to do something and you need to do it consistently right build it up towards the distances of your event so i did i’m not completely ignorant on the subject i did some research the hardest part actually is the transition oh it’s an element of the race that people don’t always consider well how do i train for that they call that the fourth discipline the transition because there’s also a few rules around transition that could get you disqualified from the event so i know that sounds serious right maybe yeah yeah so but that’s what you would practice at home as well when you do those brick sessions so when you do your bike you’re going to set your kit up on the floor um and then you hop off your bike and you hop into your run kit or change whatever you need to change and then get out the door so you’re working on you’re figuring out what kit you need to change like how to place your kit and then cutting down the time that it takes to get off the bike and get out the door for a run so yeah transition is also very important now i’m getting scared do you need to do something do you have to like set up something with your bike no the main rule is about your helmet like you are not allowed to you’re not allowed to get on your bike and before you put your helmet on and so when you’re going to transition the first thing you should really do is put your helmet on and then like change your shoes into running shoes um wait hold on that’s the other way around and then cyclically you come out the swim put your helmet on i know i’m getting confused here i’m like which way does the triathlon go yeah when you’re getting on the bike put your helmet on first and then you know it’s done you can’t forget it and you’re right okay that’s a good advice so you’re on your bike you’re writing off and then you’re done now you need to transition to running and you were saying this change of motion from cycling to to actually being on the ground and how do you train for that so just by doing it so you do a bike session whether indoors or outdoors you get home you switch to your running shoes and you go and start with a ten minute run after and then you build that up next time you do a 20 minute run and then you go put it up and up and up until you’re like closer to the distances that you’re going to need to run after biking like this is a 40 kilometers bike and a 9.6 kilometer run do do i have to build myself up to train a 40 kilometer uh bike and then no and okay because yo this is a lot i’d say probably the max the max run you do off the bike is like 30 minutes i’d say um where you’re covering close to 5k because it’s more it’s just more about training your legs to run off the bike rather than your actual run training because you will or might do that separately like training for the 9.6 k all right so that’s the transition and how do you build yourself up for the individual sport which is running biking and swimming that depends on time and i guess swimming is probably the most technical one um so when i was training for triathlon i had individual swimming lessons because like i said i had to learn to swim and then i had to try and find some semblance of a technique so swimming it’s good to potentially like go to group classes or go to lessons if you can group classes are more affordable and then with cycling cycling’s probably the one that’s kind of the most expensive because you need like the right equipment you need a bike um unless you can borrow one from a friend and a family member and then ideally you need like some kit that will help support you feeling comfortable on the bike that’s right and then running is the one that everyone’s like oh it’s free but you need like good shoes to run and make sure you don’t get yourself injured you learned how to swim to to do this triathlon i found this terrifying i’m just trying to like put myself in your shoes and i was like i don’t know how the hell did you do this and where first first question is in what type of waters did you swim was like was it in the sea i’ve been told that getting into the water is the most daunting thing when everyone’s rushing like crazy people into the water how the hell did you do that so i have to be honest with you and they’re not wrong but firstly let’s cover them where did i swim when i signed up for my triathlon when i signed up for my triathlon i did not realize that it was going to be in the river thames um and when i found out i was mortified because i it would be too oh my goodness that adds a whole nother element because that then becomes open water swimming um and i did all my lessons in a pool and then i did have to take some lessons in open water swimming because it’s completely different thing um and when it comes to the start of the swim i mean i don’t want to scare you or anything but it is crazy but can i just say can i just say that you don’t have to run like a crazy person into the water my first triathlon i just i went up to the person who was doing the swimstar and i said hi this is my first triathlon i’m really nervous um i don’t i don’t feel comfortable swimming with a lot of people and he was like cool no worries just stand over there to the side we’ll do the start everyone will rush in and then leave it a few seconds however long minute and then you go in and that’s what i did um and that was yeah and then also swim in dorney lake and that was that was so much nicer when you’re at the back it’s calm and you don’t have anyone swimming over you you don’t have anyone like punching you as they swim and also they have like safety kayaks and when i was really struggling like the kayak guy stayed with me and like just encouraged me to keep going and when i needed to rest he was like just hold on here so i would hold on to the guy that’s so nice okay you know so i had a really positive experience and i think like don’t be shy about saying it’s your first time don’t be shy about being nervous like that’s completely normal and i went through a stage where because i did like a couple of smaller ones and i remember one day i woke up on the day of my triathlon and i was feeling so sick like i don’t know like i felt physically ill like something wrong with me and what i realized actually every time i did another triathlon i would wake up feeling sick but less sick and i realized that this was my nerves manifesting as an illness and which sounds crazy but that your body reacts in different ways right and the more that i did it and the more that i experienced it the less nervous i became the less the less sick i felt on that morning so again if you know you’re the type of person that feels nervous and whatnot you just need to experience it and put yourself in that position so you can get used to feeling those feelings so that when it comes to your big race day you know you’re feeling calm and you’ve got some methods to help you stay calm and stay focused and go do what you got to you swimming in that how did that go i mean i have to say that for that first triathlon in the thames i had learned to swim front crawl but when it came to the day i was so nervous like i couldn’t i couldn’t put my face in the water i had to do like a breaststroke with my head out of the water and i was just like as long as i get to the end i don’t even care how i got there so that’s what i did and then again that will come with experience right like just do what you got to do do what you’ve got to do to get it done yeah love it what’s the difference between a training that is targeted for a female versus a man women have hormones at play like we’ve got our menstrual cycle we’ve got the hormones that come with that and that affects energy levels that affects how we feel on a day-to-day basis and that needs to be taken into account for when you’re training for anything and that also affects like your nutrition like women and men have different nutritional nutritional needs and that also that changes during your monthly cycle as well however long your cycle is but yeah most of the research well i’d say a lot of the research has been done on men so whenever you’re hearing people saying oh you know this is what you should eat how much carbohydrates you should eat how much protein how much fat actually if you look into the research you’ll find that that was based on like 3 000 18 to 30 year old men and that doesn’t relate to you so it’s really important to like find the research that is specifically for who you are and it’s a tough one because like there’s one much no there’s no and then i think a lot of the content that’s out there is really focused on a on a western diet and i know that i was i was not born in the uk i was born in barbados in the caribbean and i still really like a lot of the foods from home and a lot of those foods are carb heavy but then all of the all of the content is like oh eat less carbs and you’re like but carbs alive and actually they’re really good for fueling your training you know so i think it’s also really important when we’re talking to a more diverse audience to to really find ways that we can eat our own foods and have our own culture as part of our training rather than trying to be completely different people just to do a triathlon i love that i love that message because i think that that’s like the tricky part because you see uh most of the people out there who are speaking about their stories about triathlon or even those individual sports are more westernized or the caucasian group and so you’re just like okay that sounds great but how does my curry fit there how does that mean you know what i mean and so i get what you meant by organizing yourself with regards to understanding also your your own cycle with regards to your energy level etc so you wouldn’t say like push through even if you feel low uh for example say you’re say you’re having your periods what is your advice on that so actually when you’re having your period that’s potentially when you should or could perform your best but obviously different people have different symptoms so your cramps might be debilitating you might have you know headaches or something that stops you from moving so i think it’s really important to just listen to your body um learn learn how your cycle flows through the month like keep a record of when you feel energetic when you don’t and then tailor your training to that so like you don’t want to you don’t want to push through and end up injuring yourself you want to come out stronger and better so you want to ensure you get rest when you need it recover when you need it and push when you can but yeah i think a good a good method for deciding whether to push or not is you know if you’re not feeling in the mood for a session just say to yourself you know what i’m gonna do 10 minutes i’m going to do 20 minutes and if after that time i’m really not feeling this i’m going to stop and i think the majority of the time you get to 20 minutes and you’ll actually be like you know what i feel all right and you keep going and you’re like i’m glad i did that i’m glad yeah i noticed that as well it’s like before starting it takes forever and you hit you hit a point and you’re like okay i’m there i’m continuing what would be an advice on how to keep track of this because it i feel it’s hard not to get into a self slightly competitive space where for example strava and all these applications where you you record them and sometimes you want to share it and sometimes you don’t want to share it but it becomes a bit of a competition right yeah and so i don’t know if it feels healthy or not but i think it’s important to keep track but like i’m finding um a tough time to find that balance between tracking the right amount of stuff uh like in terms of my training and to what extent and where what what’s your advice my advice would be that strava is a great place um and i think first of all what you said there about the line between it being a healthy thing to do and an unhealthy thing to do tracking everything you do like you need to know yourself and know whether it could become an unhealthy habit for you and if it could like you can still use java and just keep everything on private and you can also like decide which activities are not private so you could share like a few bits here a few bits there um and otherwise like you don’t have to go the technology route you can just keep a little journal and write down your week and what you trained and what you did and you can just talk about feelings and like i don’t know on a scale of one to five or just some smiley faces like a big green smiley face to be like do you know what i felt awesome or a little yellow face with uh i don’t even know what to call it when it’s a straight line across your mouth and you’re like that was all right or unhappy like you don’t have to you don’t have to use strava but i do think it is important like you said to track what you’re doing because you know you wanna you wanna see how you’re progressing you wanna you wanna remember where you started because sometimes when you’re in the thick of it you know you’re like oh nothing feels easier i don’t feel like i’m getting stronger but then you look back and you’re like look at my first week of training like i only ran 4k and almost died and now i’m running 10k and feeling all right at the end of it so i think it’s important from that side of things and also to just like keep an eye on your rest and recovery because that’s something that people don’t really appreciate and i think we forget that actually your hard work comes together when you stop like your training sessions are important but your body’s never going to reap the benefits of those training sessions if you never stop and allow it to heal and come back stronger makes sense makes sense and how was your journey in that like starting off and what was like the biggest challenge as you were training so i’d say for me when i was training for triathlon i had to choose where to focus the majority of my energy which ended up being on swimming because like i couldn’t swim to start with so most of my training was swimming based and then brick based so two two activities in one training session and then i just kind of did as much cycling as much running as i could um so yeah but i was a fair bit younger as well with a fair bit more energy so i think if i were to train for triathlon today i probably would train maybe four times a week and also add in the non-specific stuff so your core workouts like your weights training like those kind of things that are gonna keep you injury-free and also make you stronger for each individual sport as well okay that that sounds somewhat doable um the reason why i’m also doing this is to be able to kind of cater to the bam community especially female and get being active because when you look at the bam community unfortunately in at least in the uk they are not active south asians are the least active and then the second least active are actually black women so seeing their stats i mean how do you feel like how does it resonate with you i mean doing the job that i do that doesn’t surprise me it’s unfortunate and there are so many reasons that like come into why that is the case but i think and i would like to hope that now that people are realizing this now that you know those stats are there we can do something about it like you can’t do something about what you don’t know um but yeah i think again it’s because you know we’re we’re living in a western world again and our cultures do play a factor in that and i know that even stuff that’s maybe like stereotypical but you know as coming from the caribbean for example like education was always like top top of importance oh my goodness yeah yeah playing games and playing sport was not seen as important especially for for a girl right yeah yeah exactly so you know coming into coming into a world where you know you actually and i think even more so now as a woman we have more choices like we’re able to choose what we want to do and you know be have more freedom so you can’t change a whole a whole like generation of thinking or generations of thinking in five minutes it’s going to take incremental change over further generations um to see those stats improve and increase and it’s important for people like us to be out there doing these things to show everyone that you know it’s possible and to show everyone that it exists because when i was in school like i didn’t even know that people rode bikes other than to go to the shops or go to work like when a friend at work invited me in my 20s to ride around richmond park i was like why would i want to do that like what why would you want to ride in circles and then she told me that we would be stopping for cake and coffee and i was like okay i’m gonna try this exactly that is how i get motivated yes yeah but she introduced me to a whole new world like where people were socially riding bikes and people were trying all these different um categories of cycling track cycling and cyclocross and all these different things and you you need someone to show you show you that that’s there to be able to know it exists right so you you did touch upon the fact that there’s internal factors that make us less active but what about the factors that are part of those institutions or these sports that could be a bit more tailored to the bam community do you think that there are external factors that we could work on yeah 100 i think the brands and you know organizations now have realized especially over the past couple of years where you know the whole race thing has really come to the forefront and i think that they’re having to either do what they say they’re gonna do or they’re gonna get left behind because i feel like the bain community is always put under this stereotype of you know they don’t have money they they they can’t access things because they don’t have money when actually our spending power is real and that is a power that we have you know choose to spend your money within the bank community and with brands who are actively supporting like us to get active and be involved as a part of society so yeah i think there’s definitely steps being taken and there’s always more that can be done right no definitely and i think that even from having more people out there that are even ambassadors so you you’re one of them and i think that that that is something that we need to keep on building and it’s having people who are actively going to take a stand to to say like i want to be uh an example agreed what are some of the steps that you think we can introduce to the community out there because it could sound a bit daunting because i you’re thinking three individual sports but then these transitions that you need to do might sound daunting what is the first step that one could take to be like it’s all right you know i’m getting there one step at a time so one option is a duophlon um so that’s a run bike run and they start at pretty small distances or by all means just start each discipline by itself and exploit each discipline and you can go to like local community events like park run which is a 5k run every saturday it’s free it’s a really nice way to get involved in community you can even volunteer um as you know as a part of the organization team so that you can just have a feel for it rather than have to run your first time and when it comes to triathlon british triathlon i think they have a program called go try where they do really small events um they do women’s specific events i do believe and they also talk you through you know some of the protocol about triathlon so they’ll go over transition and help you to understand how that works and what the rules are and give you as many tips as they can and then i think it’s about like finding a community so finding a group that’s local to you um and don’t stop until you find a group that you feel comfortable in like most triathlon clubs for example you can go along to a few sessions to see if you know it feels like a good fit for you and if it doesn’t don’t go back find another one and then sometimes you know if you can’t find you can’t find a group then you just need to make your own group just wrote rope a family member or friend in and make your own little group and be accountable to each other and do it love it when you start thinking about it there’s no real excuse you just need to do it and there’s always options for you out there you just need to be okay to feel slightly uncomfortable and so now we are we’re gonna slowly close off our episodes with rapid fire questions so people can get to know you better and so the first one is what is the first sign that you recognize when you’re out of balance i would say i get super tired and feel a little bit low and then sometimes i’ll get like stomach issues and tension in my muscles and as a follow-up what do you do to what is the coping mechanism that you’ve identified my coping mechanism is 100 to prioritize sleep so i make sure that i go to bed on time get eight and a half minimum hours of sleep i eat well have my three meals a day i take supplements and i hydrate those are my those are my things to rebalance myself love it what is a book that impacted your approach to wellness oh this is a tough one i’d say the most recent book that’s impacted my approach to wellness is the miracle morning routine um and it gave me a way to structure my mornings which allows me to get more out of my day and therefore my week my month my year and my life and i think it’s probably it’s not probably definitely a good one for people who are training for events as well because you have an opportunity to visualize and to create goals and to use affirmations and you can think about your event you know and be like i will i will swim confidently and i am a confident swimmer and you tell yourself that you can do this and you see yourself at that swim start feeling confident feeling strong and doing it and that’s what’s going to happen yes yes i love it it’s it’s that routine right that discipline but yeah the routine doesn’t mean that okay i’m going to be swimming this amount it’s also like scheduling in as you said those affirmations those things are going to keep you grounded and feeling like safe as well so love it thank you thank you what would be the best way for our audience to keep in touch with you so you can find me on all social media all social media and under l linton and then you can also come to my classes i run classes specifically for women who are looking to get strong in running cycling or fitness and i also have a community called beyond cc which is for women of color and women to support them to find their strong on a bike with training plans and off the bike classes so a lot is going on you know what i might be in your classes uh very soon because i need that support i think so thank you again thank you so much for being on the show and speak soon thank you if you enjoyed this episode go ahead and select that follow a subscribe button for now stay safe and we’ll see you next week

Founder Series | Ep #40 | Elle Linton | Triathlon Preparation – Conversations on Building Stamina

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