August 31, 2011 cburnham

Guest Post: Triathlon Tales From the Darkside

Tony Zamora is a cycling and Triathlon coach based in Florida.  I coached Tony for several years and helped him build fitness for several Sprint, Olympic, and Xterra races including the Xterra World Championships in Maui.  While he still races, a few years ago he started coaching as well.  It has been pretty cool to see him progress from a beginner athlete to an extremely knowledgeable coach (He’s all growns up now…)

Getting Started

I’ve talked to Burnham several times about guest writing for his blog about triathlon tips and things to avoid in your quest towards triathlon awesomeness.  I’m going to jump in and provide you these tips from an insider’s prospective.  Over the course of several posts I’ll provide general triathlon tips, tips on open water swimming, transitions, and all the things that make triathlon challenging (and freaking awesome!).

First things first:  why do you want to do a triathlon?  If you’ve done one before; why do you want to do another / why that specific distance?  You know what I’m getting at here… what’s your goal?  It’s something I’ve written in the past here; [here is something I wrote about goals as well]   but the first thing you need to do is write down and plan out your goals.  Once you do that, then it’s time to figure out how to balance your personal life –family, work, kids, dogs – with your training life; and figure out how many hours you have to devote to training a week.  We are all busy, so finding the best return on your time investment will go a long way!  Having a coach can certainly help you here and take all the guessing / thinking out of it for you.

So, before we get into what everyone wants to hear about getting faster in triathlons, let’s get the basics down that shouldn’t be overlooked.  Once you have these down, you’ll have a good foundation on your path towards that triathlon goal of yours.

  • Write down why you’re racing triathlons.  Lose weight?  Looking for a challenge?  Endurance nut?
  • Plan out when your goal race will be.  BE REALISTIC!  If you’re just getting started, doing an Ironman in 3 months probably isn’t going to work.
  • Get the proper gear.  Good running shoes, good swim suit and goggles, a bike kit, helmet, shoes and a working bike – and invest in getting a fit!

* Damn that’s a lot of things for a triathlon…. Make sure you have a good local bike/tri shop to go to, or find an online store which gives you points for every purchase; you’ll thank me later! [I recommend finding a local shop.  The expertise and customer service there can be invaluable!]

  • Write down what your training schedule will look like.  Or, get a coach! Start off slow and smart.
  • Eat Healthy.
  • Learn how to fix a flat.
  • Learn how to ride with a group / in a pace line.  And DO NOT ride a pace line in your aero bars!  This includes you Mr. IhaveanMdottattoosoIdraftinaerobars.
  • Relax, and have fun!

So there you have it.  The basics to get you started in your quest towards being a triathlon legend.  Detailed posts on swimming, biking, running, transitions, nutrition, recovery and gear will come in future posts; so stay tuned!

Check out Tony’s Blog at


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