Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!
Overweight, Slow and Frustrated
I’m terrified of biking hills and the triathlon I am registered for has several hills…on AND off road!! I’m willing to do whatever it takes to finish this triathlon. Any guidance?
I’m looking to do a triathlon four days after turning 39. I am overweight, slow and frustrated. It’s time for me to finally do something about it. Swimming is my favorite workout, but the bike is another story. I’m terrified of biking hills and the triathlon I am registered for has several hills…on AND off road!! I’m willing to do whatever it takes to finish this triathlon, even if that means carrying my bike up the hills! I would really appreciate any/all guidance you could give me!
I know that it is not fun to feel slow and frustrated…however, one day, you are going to be very thankful you were slow and frustrated (believe it or not). Trust me. This point that you’re at is what we are going to consider your “baseline.” It’s VERY important for us to have a “baseline” so we can track, feel and see our progress.
If the bike is your biggest obstacle in the triathlon, then that is where we are going to begin. Work on your fears slowly but surely. Start training on an indoor trainer or on a spinning bike. Get your strength up in the high gears inside and that will simulate the hill climbs. As you get stronger, get out on your bike and do some hill workouts. The only way to cure this fear is to get on your bike and conquer it head on!! I remember my first time on my bike, clipped in flying downhill with my hair on fire!! I HATED it! I was scared to death and thought I was going to crash into the first oncoming tree and/or vehicle!! Now, I LOVE to fly downhill!! I tuck up and see how fast I can go, continually checking my bike computer to see if I’ve broken any world records! Of course I haven’t…but we all have dreams of grandeur…right?? You MUST get on your bike and experience the hills, bumps, winds, traffic, trees, etc. first hand. Feel free to BEGIN your training inside…but get out on the roads as soon as you start feeling gains in strength and the gains in confidence will soon follow.
You can do the same with your running. Start small, think big!! Get on a treadmill and put the grade up to 1%. This will most accurately simulate your runs outside and you’ll be more prepared to hit the roads when the time comes. If you have joint issues, back/knee pain, etc., take a few of your runs and move them onto an Elliptical trainer. These machines are GREAT for runners. They mimic the running motion without subjecting your body to the impact of the streets. Just be sure you use a program. Get hills and resistance changes in there!! Interval work like that is OUTSTANDING for your metabolism too!!
Now, for the swimming…I LOVE that you are so comfortable in the water. This is where a lot of new triathletes have their mental and physical blocks. Swimming is the most technical of the three disciplines, so just be sure (even though you are comfortable in the water) that you practice drills, bilateral breathing and stroke/body position. Triathletes also worry about other swimmers swimming over them, they panic and then that sets the tone for a rough triathlon. Instead of anticipating being swum over, position yourself to the back and outside of the pack. That way, you are less apt to be used as another athlete’s speed bump in the water.
Once you begin this cross-training regimen you will find that you will start to shed pounds and feel more enthusiastic and energetic about your sport. Be sure to properly hydrate (remember, once your mouth feels dry…you are ALREADY dehydrated). Drink several 6 to 8 oz. servings of water all through your workout (before, during and after). Try eating 5 SMALL meals during the day (one every 3 to4 hours); this will keep your metabolism burning and your blood sugar in check. It will leave you satisfied longer throughout the day and you won’t have crazy desires to binge on food when you are less hungry.
Oh yeah, and EAT BREAKFAST! That is the most important meal of the day and one FAR too many athletes forget to have. It will jump start your metabolism and get that fire burning!!
Please be sure to let me know how you are doing! Check back in and give us the results/progress you made during your training! Now get out there, be sure, be strong, and be safe.
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