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2009-01-10 9:12 AM

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Subject: 50 yr old first timer

 First timer to triathlon any advice? I have had my stress test. I'm starting the couch to sprint...



2009-01-10 9:24 AM
in reply to: #1899389

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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer
Welcome to BT.  I was 56 when I did my first tri.  My advice is to have fun!
2009-01-10 9:26 AM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer
It may help to ask some specific questions. There's a ton advice to be given on the forum here, the real question is how you would like to begin learning about the sport. Welcome to a great world, by the way!
2009-01-10 9:26 AM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer

Build slowly but maintain a consistency in your training. Aristotle's "We are what we repeatedy do," is my mantra; he goes on to say "Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit."

Take serious your recovery days, as old muscles and joints take longer to heal the damage that training creates.

Welcome to BT! Hang around for the best triathlon advice you can find on the net. Plenty of us old farts around.

2009-01-10 9:37 AM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer

welcome

my advice: have fun and enjoy !

2009-01-10 10:19 AM
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Elite
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer

Welcome to BT old timer! first timer! I'm not quite 50 but I follow the advice of easing into things, especially when increasing your run mileage - err on the conservative side - if/when injuries pop up, they hurt a little more than they used to and last a little longer, too.

Oh, and if you accidentally read one of the "should I shave my arms/legs" threads, and foolishly decide to do it,  remember: wrinkly skin is harder to shave 

 



2009-01-10 12:07 PM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer

Well, I was a 51-year old first timer last year.  I will pass on some of the 'different' things I did to account for the age difference between guys our age and the typical triathlete.  I was pretty much a couch potato when I started and I had never been involved in endurance sports before.

I was concerned about damaging or injuring a knee or ankle, so I started taking glucosamine for joint health.  You need to take this for at least a couple of months for it to start benefiting your joints.

I have always enjoyed a nice big glass of milk with my supper and that's a good thing for bone density too.

I started taking a good multi vitamin just to be sure I was getting all of the nutrients I needed.

I started emphasizing protein intake after my workouts.  I used Power Bars, protein shakes, Ensure, etc., whatever was convenient to consume right after my workout.  Building muscle power for us is a slower, more difficult process than a 30-35 year old, so we have to make a more dedicated effort.

Do not skip or downplay the importance of long slow days on the bike or running.  These workouts will allow your joints to get stronger along with your muscles so that you don't get joint or bone related problems later on as your strength increases.  Also, the blood supply to your muscles will be enhanced during these workouts.  Your body can build stronger muscles much faster than it can strengthen bones and joints, so you need to give it time to do that.  Also the better blood supply to your muscles will lessen the possibility of cramps as you move to higher levels of exertion.

Do several brick workouts during the last four weeks before your first event.  Start with short ones and then push the distances out gradually.

Do not skip recovery days.  We need them more than younger ages do. 

You may want to consider spending some time in the weight room working on leg strength and core strength.  You can also get some great benefit from squats and some carefully selected core exercises at home without lifting weights.  Get one of those exercise balls and you can do all sorts of good exercises.

I am not a coach or anything, but these are the things that I did when I started.  Many of them are true for anyone training up for a tri regardless of age.  I think the most important thing is to just ramp up your distances slowly and keep the intensity at low or moderate levels for the first half to two thirds of your training.  During the latter part, add some speed oriented workouts to the mix.  I have had a lot of fun with the training and doing the events, you get hooked.  In general, the tri community is very supportive and helpful.  Most everyone is racing against their own time from last year instead of others although I think we all like to know how we did against others in our age group as a point of reference. ;-)

FWIW,

Greg

2009-01-10 12:24 PM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer
I started when I was 57. Lots of good things already said. One of my my goals is to remain injury free. I do lots of core work,stretching,and yoga.

John
2009-01-10 12:32 PM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer
Wow, at 47 I am starting to feel too young.  Maybe I should wait a few years Smile
2009-01-10 12:42 PM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer
I started with I was 51 and will echo what's been said, especially about taking it slow, keep it fun and don't skip your recovery days.  Welcome to a great sport!
2009-01-10 12:56 PM
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Elite
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer

I think pretty much everything trinewby said can be taken as good advice for anyone at any age, except his comment about building muscle being harder for the 30-somethings...I don't ever remember it ever being easy to build muscle back in my 30's...or my 20's    

I'm content just not having man-boobs.

 

 

 



2009-01-10 7:15 PM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer
Excellent advice thank-you very much.
2009-01-10 9:43 PM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer
Wow!  I'm starting tri's at 40!  How far ahead of the game am I?  Laughing
2009-01-10 9:48 PM
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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer
Relish the fact that you will be the youngster competing in your age group (likely 50-54) in your tri's...for now.

I'll be 49 this spring (2nd full season of tri's) and looking forward just a little to moving up from 45-49 to 50-54 in 2010...
2009-01-11 6:50 AM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer

I did my first tri at 50 last year.  My advice is keep to whatever training program you select but don't feel guilty about taking a day off or going easier if you body tells you it needs it.  Also, try to get plenty of sleep.  It takes longer to recover the older you get and lack of sleep can wear you down.

 

Good luck!

2009-01-11 11:01 PM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer
I'm 55, and did my first tri at 50. I thinkwe tend to get injured more-not all of us, just generally. So I echo what others above said. Apart from that, the sky is the limit. You'll get hooked and will do them until you can't-but then there's always relays
Get a good sports orthodpedist in your pocket now. Just good to have that info....
Good luck and have fun.


2009-01-12 4:55 AM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer

Hoorah, more (slightly) wrinklies on board.  Much respect to you for taking up the challenge.

I'm 46 and think triathlon is the most wonderful sport to take up later in life.  Training for the three disciplines takes less toll on the body than concentrating on one and the community is so accepting and supportive.  

I did a beginner's course at my local stadium in August and have continued training and it's been wonderful; having a focus rather than just exercising to stay fit and healthy really is motivating.  The physical changes have been incredible, I keep poking bits of me and smiling.  Pyschologically, I feel more alert and confident than I have in years.  

I echo what people have said above, take it easy and build slowly.  Establish a good relationship with a PT and see them at the first niggle.  Core work has been really good for me, sorting out some back problems I've had.  Get a thorough bike fit to avoid putting extra strain on your joints.

Most people have been incredibly supportive but I have had some negative comments so don't be surprised if some come your way; my sister told me I was "sad and ridiculous and you should have more dignity"...........

Be warned, it's very addictive but fantastic fun

 

2009-01-12 12:44 PM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer
Great to hear your getting into the sport. I will be 62 this year and got back into doing TRIs when I was 59, after a 20 year break. As others have said start out easy and slowly but consistently increase the training workload. That approach works no matter what age you start.

I started like you are planning with the couch to sprint plan the first year. Then worked up to the Olympic distance last year. This year planning on doing a HIM late this year along with a couple of sprints and OLY distances.

I plan on staying with the sport well into my retirement. It beats golf or fishing for a retirement activity in my opinion.
2009-01-12 2:35 PM
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Philadelphia, south of New York and north of DC
Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer

I'll be 51 this year.  It's my 5th season, although I had to take last season off for a variety of reasons.

You've already found the best tri site to have all of your questions answered and build a community of support.

Now just dive in and have fun.

2009-01-12 4:15 PM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer

Good for you!

I finished my first IM at 50 after doing two sprint triathlons.  Older means wiser so listen to your body and take time off when needed.  Weight training and yoga/stretching are highly recommended, both saved me from injuries.

Triathlon is a great sport with a lot of fantastic people.  I think I found the fountain of youth thanks to triathlon!

Have fun and welcome to BT! 

 

2009-01-12 9:14 PM
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Subject: RE: 50 yr old first timer

I was a few months short of 56 when I did my first tri too.  I don't even think of age as being any sort of limiting factor.  Train and race at your own comfort level and enjoy!

 



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