General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Obesity and Triathlon Training Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2003-11-22 1:24 AM


Subject: Obesity and Triathlon Training
I am more than 100 pounds overweight and I want to begin very slow triathlon training. I realize it will take me a long time before I could race and that I will need to lose quite a bit of my weight so that I don't stress my joints. Can anyone offer suggestions for a training program or advice on how to modify a program designed for someone closer to their normal weight.

What motivated me to begin this path was, oddly enough, watching the behind the scenes footage of the Matrix movies. I fould myself a little envious of the actors who got such a great opportunity to push themselves physically in preparation for the movies. When a friend of mine told me she ran a triathlon, I was intrigued. It is a goal to work toward where a plan can be made and smaller goals set that pave the way for the larger goal.


2003-11-22 4:19 AM
in reply to: #1968

Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training
Are you, or can you join, a local gym/fitness center? Especially in colder regions, you'll probably get out there more often if you have a warm place to work out. Sit down and talk with one of their instructors. Work on your aerobic exercises - stationary bikes, ellipticals, even treadmills will be less strenuous on the joints compared to running outside on pavement. Go over and drop an intro note on's forum - despite its name, it has all levels of triathletes involved (I believe that someone over there just passed the 100 lb. weight loss). There's big forum, a number of training plans, etc. When you go for your first triathlon, you might want to look at either the Danskin or the Reebok race series; both are limited to women only, and are great as a first race (the focus is on completing the race, without the big competitve feel from other races).
2003-11-22 7:19 AM
in reply to: #1968

User image

Gold member
Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training

a gym program as peanut mentioned is a very good way to start...maybe get a training/diet plan with a personal instructor to get started...

swimming or biking is definitely something u can start now, it eliminates putting your body wieght on your knees as running does.  biking will get u to start shedding those pounds off now.  get properly fitted though...or use a gyms stationary bike.  how is your swim form?  if you can manage, than swimming is a good starting point to...some instruction there will help u a lot too - to become more efficient in the water.


  1. start biking about 3 times a week - follow the 10% rule and have a EZ week every month, do some strength training and get your diet on track.  this should minimize any obesity-related training problems. 
  2.  follow up with swimming once your body is used to the new activity of strength training and biking. 
  3. once u r able to drop some weight and u feel comfortable and your body is feeling good, a walk-run routine is the last thing to throw into the mix.  of course this may be SEVERAL months out...

don't hesitate to ask any questions...a lot of us ARE or once WAS in the same boat as u...we would love to help u succeed and to make u into a triathlete!!!


2003-11-22 7:33 AM
in reply to: #1968

Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training
Good for you Deborah, for getting the motivation to make some healthy changes for yourself. As Ron says, running should be the last addition to your training. When you do get to that point, I suggest you look at Jeff Galloway's "Book on Running". I did my first triathlons this past year (and am now as hooked as everyone gets) and had never been a runner. I shuffled through the run portions and still suffered with shin splints. I found Jeff's "walk/run program" a great benefit to helping me get to painfree training in my running (and still walking). I am hopeful that with this training method I will do much better in next year's triathlons, and at the least not have the pain I suffered in the past.

Don't give up -- take it slow and you WILL get there.

2003-11-22 9:21 AM
in reply to: #1968

User image

New Port Richey
Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training
HI Deborah,
I would like to suggest that you take some type of water arobics at your local gym. I know the Y I go to has an aquafit class five times a week and I have done it with my wife a couple of times and it is really less stressful on your joints. Any water activities is great for burning calories so you can will start losing weight pretty quickly if you watch what you are eating.
Good luck.
2003-11-22 12:56 PM
in reply to: #1968

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.

2003-11-22 7:34 PM
in reply to: #1968

Central Louisiana
Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training
You have taken the first steps on the way to what can be a great journey for the rest of your life. I feel as though that I can offer you a little advice on this particular subject. You are right by starting to take it slow, and you need to remember to believe in yourself and your goals. Swimming is a great low impact activity that you can start with and you can also couple it some light weight training to start strengthing your body. I would suggest to start walking some so walking start out walking what ever distance you are comfortable with and do that for 2 weeks, then increase your time by 10 percent. Every two weeks increase your time by 10 percent until you are up to 45 minutes at a brisk pace. Before you start running, I would do as others have suggested and move on to biking.

You will fight the mental battle many days, but just let us know that you are feeling a little down and we will pump you back up.

Congrats on you first steps!

Still Trin,
2003-11-22 9:20 PM
in reply to: #1968

Pittsburgh, PA
Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training

Best of luck to you! I tipped the scales at 360 lbs once & I know what a struggle this can be! I would definately stick to lower impact stuff at first. I didn't actually start a running program till my weight came down quite a bit... I walked swam, biked & lifted weights at first.

Best of luck on your journey! Keep us posted!
2003-11-23 3:28 PM
in reply to: #1968

New user

Nowra, Australia
Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training
Hi musiclee, I, like you needed to lose a lot of weight and started exercising and dieting etc. I did all that, but wasn't losing a lot of weight and found I was very tired. Finally I was given the advice that I should try and work within my heart-rate, this will help me lose the weight and not stress my body. At first I had to start slowly, walking, swim slow etc, but I had to remain within my heart-rate. I found that the fitter I got, the faster I could walk and swim and now of course I can run 10kms within the same heart-rate and not feel like I have stressed my body, as well as losing quite a bit of weight. If you can get advice from a gym on how to work your heart-rate out, there is a formula! It would be difficult for me to explain that to you in an e-mail. Of course you could purchase a 'Polar Watch' which measures your heart-rate whilst you exercise, it will let off an alarm to let you know if you go over or under your heart-rate so you can regulate the chosen exercise you are doing at the time. Anyway, this may help, good luck for the new you.

2003-11-24 10:00 AM
in reply to: #1968

Rockledge, Fl
Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training
You have already gotten a lot of great advice Deborah! Congrats on getting started! Be sure to start off slow and steady. Your diet is a big factor in weight loss. I would recommend taking a look at the Body For Life program which your tri training can easily be worked into. That program helped me to transform myself this year. Good luck on your new journey!
2003-11-28 6:19 AM
in reply to: #1968


Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training
Hey Deb
it can be done I lost 72lb in a year ( went from 17st 8 to 12st6 ) I changed from a completly sedentary lifestyle and very poor diet with lots of drink to a healthy living type who has just done 5 sprint tri's in his first season2003 . I lost the weight in 2002 by changing to a healthy eating plan so had muesli / fruit / lots of water and homemade soups for dinner. ( I was on about 800 cals a day for 6months - not much fun but hey had to be done ) I also joined a gym and started going everyday and just doing cardio, rowing/ bike / treadmill walking / swimming and going to any class i could fit in. Spinning classes were a re great help. You have to be determined and keep it up but are allowed to cheat once a week with a pizza and a beer ( good for the soul ) I am now 13st (same bfat %age) and eat normally eg baked spuds pasta lots of tuna etc etc

keep your motivation up it can be done see the before and after below

good luck - there is no feeling equal to completing a triathlon , just watch out they will take over your mind !!!

hey my first post as well ! greetings from the UK all great site !

Edited by dr dre 2003-11-28 6:21 AM

2003-12-02 10:18 AM
in reply to: #1968


Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training
In Sept I did my first tri- the Danskin- it is a woman's only race. You may want to look into that. There was a women there that had to be 400lbs that finished!! And that was her THRID race!! Plus there were women of ALL ages there from 12- I dont even know!! And there were women from all over the country!! It is a kind race for a beginner, not too much pressure, they have meetings the day before to talk about the race.

Good luck!
2021-06-17 8:02 AM
in reply to: #1968


Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training
This is such an awesome site. I am also overweight but adore triathlon. Tx for all the advice. You guys rock!!!
2021-06-17 11:40 AM
in reply to: Ellablignaut

Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training

I think this wins the prize for the oldest zombie thread.  18 years!!! 

2021-06-17 2:30 PM
in reply to: jmhpsu93

Denver, Colorado
Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training
Originally posted by jmhpsu93

I think this wins the prize for the oldest zombie thread.  18 years!!! 

Ahhh... it's the year I came to US!!!
2021-06-26 1:30 PM
in reply to: Guest

Subject: RE: Obesity and Triathlon Training
I have a few suggestions that may help on your journey that I learned on my way to loosing 100 pounds and getting back into shape and back into triathlons.

After two bouts with cancer and hip replacement surgery I had gotten so out of shape that I had trouble walking around the block . All I wanted to do was eat and watched TV. I was 66 years old when started to work my way back

I got some help from a close friend who happens to be my cancer doctor and a triathlete as well to get me back on track.

1) You need to have a mindset that you can do this. As Jimmy V said," Don't give up, don't ever give up."

2) What you eat and how much is just as important as a good exercise program. I followed Weight Watchers, but any sensible nutrition plan will work if it includes a well balanced diet. I found it helped if I kept track of what and how much I ate. As my friend reminded me," if you have ridden your bike 20 miles don't eat like you have ridden 100."

3) Start slow, but be consistent. Part of the fun of triathlon training, is the verity of activities to do. I followed a simple plan of walking, and biking 5-6 times a week. I started out walking every morning ( 15 min to start ) and and add 5 minutes each week until I could do an hour, then added some run/walk. I started biking on a trainer 30 minutes and added 5 minutes a week. I joined a local fitness center that had a swimming 3- 4 times a week. I later started following one of the beginner training program I found here which I loosely followed.

4) The main thing is to enjoy yourself. It took me almost a year to lose 100 pounds and I have done a few sprint triathlons. I have kept the weight off for the last eight years.

New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Obesity and Triathlon Training Rss Feed