General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2018-09-23 11:16 PM


8

Subject: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
Hello everyone,
Please don't tell me I can't do it, or to "try" first if I like this sport. My mind is set. I'm going for Ironman.

At the moment I'm overweight, I don't know how to run a mile, I can't run 30 seconds without stopping for air. I also need to learn how to swim and stop being afraid of dark deep water.
I ride my bike at an average of 7 to 8 miles per hour for 20 miles, that's the fastest and longer I can do now.

My idea is to focus first on losing weigth, building a healthy daily routine of an active life and eating healthy, incorporating excercise in my life. I want to start doing low impact high intensity because I'm overweight and don't want to mess up my knees. I don't know how to start building endurance and strength. Maybe I could add some weigth training? I don't know. I search for videos on youtube to help me excercise because I'm clueless. And for now, I'm just going to continue riding my bike and watching swimming videos all winter or until I find an indoor pool and can pay swimming classes.

That's my initial plan bases on what seems common sense for me, but I would very much like your imput and advice if there's a better way to start this journey.
Thank you!
Lizy.


2018-09-24 11:58 AM
in reply to: #5249667


487
100100100100252525
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
Hey Lizy! I think it’s great you are determined to cross the line at a IRONMAN event.

Definitely make being healthy your primary goal right now. Once you get that sorted out the rest will fall into place. Diet is 90% of the challenge for most people early on. Start looking at food as fuel for your activities, this helped me shift my mindset.

As far as building aerobic endurance, I would start swimming and cycling. Each is low impact and the aerobic benefits will carry over to running once you feel you can tolerate the impact. Strength training would be beneficial as well for injury prevention.

If you can find a fitness buddy I would encourage that as well. The training gets lonely at times and having someone to tell your goals and struggles to is essential.

Break your big goals down into smaller, short term goals. Have items you can check off your list each week to keep you motivated.

Most of all remember it’s a journey and one that should be enjoyed. Have fun and keep everything in perspective. I wish you well. The triathlon community is very supportive and will help you out in any way they can!
2018-09-24 1:33 PM
in reply to: #5249682


8

Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
Thank you! I hadn't thought of the weekly goals idea. I'll work on this now for my first week.
2018-09-24 1:39 PM
in reply to: Lizy

User image

Extreme Veteran
693
500100252525
Olathe
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
Hey Lizy!

Great start! Mentality is everything in this sport, and pretty much life.

I work with all kinds of athletes and your plan is pretty solid.

Good diet.
Good recovery.
Gradually incorporate exercise.
Over time if you are consistent, the weight will come off and you will gain endurance.

They key is not to go to hard or too fast right out of the gate. No injuries and no burn out. It's a long road!
2018-09-24 3:22 PM
in reply to: Lizy

User image

Member
617
500100
Franklin, TN
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please

Hi Lizy,

Congratulations on starting the process.  Consistency is one the most important components in building fitness.  There's a sizeable level of fitness that needs to be achieved to complete a 140.6 mile day.  Most long course athletes will be swimming and biking 3-4 times a week and running 4-5 times a week. 

Swimming and biking, being low impact, are the easiest to ramp up.  You're smart to think about swimming lessons.  Start with the lessons to get your technique going in the right direction.  If you're a member of a local YMCA or other fitness club, you can get lessons there.  Heck, you could do the lion's share of your training at a local YMCA...swim, indoor cycling (I go to a couple of spin classes each week) and running (on their treadmills).

Running: this is where you need to be careful.  When you get to the point you want to add in the running component, I would keep it very short and at a conversational pace...if you're out of breath then you ran too hard.  It takes some time for the body to get use to the stress caused by running so I'd err on shorter but frequent runs. 

2018-09-24 4:06 PM
in reply to: Lizy

User image

Champion
7388
50002000100100100252525
Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please

Don't let ANYONE take your goals away from you!  

Yes, you can do it.  I've mentored people here on BT who did Ironman races their first year.  

Start slowly and build slowly.  The challenge with an Ironman race isn't finishing the race, it's STARTING it!  About 95% of the people who start the race finish it (including the pro's who drop out strategically).  There's a higher percentage of people who sign up but never start, often because they've injured themselves training for it.  

You're on the right track to build endurance, lose weight, and develop a healthy lifestyle to support your goal.  

The race has cutoffs.  Set yourself up to come in under the cutoffs even if something goes wrong.  

Typically
Swim cutoff:  2 hours 20 minutes.  
Bike cutoff:  10 hours 30 minutes.
Run cutoff:  16-17 hours 

If you target a 2 hour swim (2 minutes 50 seconds per 100 yards) and then 7:30 for the bike (15 mph), you'll have about 30-60 minutes "cushion" before the bike cutoff for transition and things going wrong.  You've got ~6:30 for the run (14:50 minutes/mile).  

Don't spend the winter watching swim videos.  Get some instruction and SWIM!!!!.  Remember, this is your GOAL!  Why put it off?  



2018-09-24 9:37 PM
in reply to: #5249695


8

Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
Thank you so much everyone. Your imput is very helpful and reassuring.
2018-09-24 10:09 PM
in reply to: Lizy


1055
10002525
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
Originally posted by Lizy

Hello everyone,
Please don't tell me I can't do it, or to "try" first if I like this sport. My mind is set. I'm going for Ironman.

At the moment I'm overweight, I don't know how to run a mile, I can't run 30 seconds without stopping for air. I also need to learn how to swim and stop being afraid of dark deep water.
I ride my bike at an average of 7 to 8 miles per hour for 20 miles, that's the fastest and longer I can do now.

My idea is to focus first on losing weigth, building a healthy daily routine of an active life and eating healthy, incorporating excercise in my life. I want to start doing low impact high intensity because I'm overweight and don't want to mess up my knees. I don't know how to start building endurance and strength. Maybe I could add some weigth training? I don't know. I search for videos on youtube to help me excercise because I'm clueless. And for now, I'm just going to continue riding my bike and watching swimming videos all winter or until I find an indoor pool and can pay swimming classes.

That's my initial plan bases on what seems common sense for me, but I would very much like your imput and advice if there's a better way to start this journey.
Thank you!
Lizy.


Goals are great, if you're main goal is to do an Ironman, fantastic. I think you're on the right track talking about focusing on your weight and building a routine. My only recommendation would be to set the Ironman as a long-term target and supplement that with some short-term goals like running a 5k, 10k, half marathon and/or completing a 50 mile ride, century ride. Work your way up to it. Make getting to the Ironman and completing it as a journey. Good luck.
2018-09-25 7:35 AM
in reply to: ziggie204

User image

Member
1717
1000500100100
Southern Illinois
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
Hi Lizy!

You sound like me when I started this craziness six years ago. Welcome to the asylum!!

Good on you for setting yourself a major stretch goal! Ironman is a major challenge and I applaud your gumption. I'll echo what others have said and recommend you see that as a long term goal and set smaller, more achievable goals in the interim. Shorter running races (5/10K), swim races (2.5K/5K), and stand alone bike races/events will give you motivation to train AND something to train for. So would a sprint or supersprint tri!!

I started this journey overweight and out of shape. Now I'm just overweight! I saw tri in the Olympics in 2012 and said (naively) I can do that! Well, truth be told, I could and have done that, but it wasn't nearly as easy as I first thought. I spent over a year working out at the gym before I even bought my first bike. Then I spent another year doing workouts that were way too hard/long for me, feeling exhausted (although not getting hurt, thankfully), taking extended breaks, then getting back to workouts that were way too hard/long for my fitness...repeat cycle ad nauseam. BUT...at the end of that second year I actually did my first race (a sprint) with my sister. I ended up loving it and then I really decided if I wanted to do this, I needed to make changes, which included learning about training.

So, my suggestion to you (after that long tangent) is to educate yourself on how to train. Learn as much as you can about training theory, biomechanics, nutrition, bike maintenance, etc. Become a voracious learner of all things tri. Besides giving you a solid theoretical foundation to build your training program on, it will give you somewhere to channel your tri energy until you can use it physically. It will help you avoid starting to fast/hard/long, which is a great way to get yourself hurt!

Good luck with your journey. Stick around and keep us posted on how you are going. When the new year rolls around, keep an eye out for mentor groups that you might be interested in joining, they can be full of valuable information!



2018-09-25 10:16 AM
in reply to: #5249733


8

Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
Thank you. I agree very much with all of you. My short term goal now is first, to fix my circadiam rhythm so I get good rest and sleep at night. I'm finishing a daily schedule that probably adjust as I try it out and see what works for me, but the main idea is to wake up early, nourish my soul, my body and go OUTSIDE for a walk outside to get vitamine D. Then I'll go to the gym in the evenings, and ride my bike 3 times a week which I which I could do more times but I can't. At the gym I'm lost. So I'll just problaby get on a machine and not touch the weigth until I figure out what the heck I'm doing. Then I'll read and read and learn more so I can know what to do next. My first short term goal besides the weigth is to ride my bike longer and faster. I'll focus on that.
Thank you so much everyone!
2018-09-25 10:26 AM
in reply to: 0

User image

Pro
15134
50005000500010025
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please

The best machine you can get on at the gym is a treadmill.......just walk.....then walk a bit faster each week....then longer....then walk and jog.....and eventually jog. 

Weight loss first.....slowly and properly with exercise and healthy diet.  You don't need a single bit of "weight training" right now.



Edited by Left Brain 2018-09-25 10:28 AM


2018-09-27 9:23 PM
in reply to: Lizy

User image

Champion
7595
50002000500252525
Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please

I was athletic (soccer player) when young, then got overweight, and then, like you, I went from that state to an Ironman.  You can definitely do it.

I would skip the weight lifting.  It does not serve your immediate interests.  I'm not 100% against weights, but the kind of benefit that lifting can potentially confer is not what you need right now.

Stay low impact until the weight comes off.  Instead of running, walk or power-walk.  (If you can run without hurting yourself, then run.  Slowly.  But don't press the issue.  Walking is totally fine.)  It is important to get some walking in as part of your routine now, even if you cannot run without too much risk, because you are acclimating yourself to being on your feet for a long time.  This is important as foot injuries are very common in running, especially in inexperienced runners.  (I have my own sad story to tell here, but I'll spare you.)  By walking a lot, you will also begin to build resistance to lower leg and knee problems, albeit to a lesser extent.

In my experience, biking is by far the best way to lose weight (out of swim/bike/run).  With some 'working up to it' (increasing time in the saddle per week moderately over a period of months) you can get a LOT of time in the saddle and the weight comes off.  But I'll admit I'm biased against swimming, as spending 3-4 hours on a bike is very attractive to me, but doing the same in a pool makes me want to vomit.  If you find that swimming is your thing, then use it to lose weight.

Of course, none of the above works if you do not stay disciplined.  There is almost no amount of swimming/biking/running that you can do right now or for the foreseeable future that could not be counteracted by poor eating.

2018-09-28 8:31 AM
in reply to: Lizy


699
500100252525
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
Lizy, YOU GOT THIS!!!!!

I didn't set out to complete an Ironman. I completed one because I finally could. I've told my story a few times. I was a kid watching ABC Wide World of Sports when they featured those nuts in Hawaii doing what seemed impossible. I figured I'd do it when I got older. But by the time I was old enough, I was fat. And lazy.

I didn't start my weightloss and fitness journey until I was 40.

I can't reiterate enough what Parkland said about weekly goals. If I didn't (as Ron Popeil says) "set it, and forget it", the goal of my 100 lbs. weightloss, I never would have made it. 100 was a long way off and not immediately attainable. 4 lbs, in a week, or 1. Or meeting my nutrition or fitness goals for a week was easily attainable. And cause for celebration each and every week. You may find it triathlonning the same. There's plenty of shorter races, and I find each and every one of them rewarding as I'm always racing against myself.

First time I tried to "run"...I was down 60 lbs. and could use the elliptical or Arc Trainer for 40 minutes and run on a treadmill for 15 or 20. First run, I made it 700 meters before I was walking. Next time out went a little better. Third time out, I ran 3 miles. Swimming? Grab some lessons if you're starting from scratch. Even if it's at the Y or something. This is the way I think of open water swimming. Think about how much money we spend to go on vacations near water. Beaches, lakes and rivers. Nobody skips work to swim laps, but I've been known to cut out early for a chance to swim in a lake. You'll make more and faster improvement in swimming starting from scratch than the other parts of it.

Enjoy every moment of it. That's the real goal. The journey. Weightloss, health, peace of mind, fitness....all part of that journey. Triathlonning is my reward. This journey begins with one small step, and continues with a whole lot of them.

Stay at it. Keep us posted. I will always cheer on those who are on the journey. Seriously. Come here and brag about your PRs and successes. I'll high five ya. You're at the stage when you'll record PRs on a daily basis.

As they say, everything is possible.
2018-09-28 1:18 PM
in reply to: 0

User image

Master
7796
50002000500100100252525
Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
I'm not going to tell you you "can't" do anything--have been told that many times in my life, and, as a teacher, seen perfectly capable kids told that (or made to believe that somehow) far too often. Doing a full IM is certainly a worthy long-range goal, and probably one that's attainable by most people, including you, who are willing to commit to the training and other preparation. But I would urge you to break up the IM quest into some manageable stages so you're not setting yourself up for mental burnout and injury. I have been on this site for several years (8, I think?) and have seen loads of people come and go in "one and done" quests to do a full IM. Many did meet their goal, then burned out, left the sport for other reasons, or got injured or burned out along the way and perhaps never got to fully partake of all the other benefits triathlon, or even just a healthy lifestyle that includes competitive or recreational endurance sports, has to offer.

I would sit down, maybe with a coach if you can afford one, if not just yourself and whoever (if anyone) can join or support you on this journey, and write down some long-range, intermediate, and short-range goals. (Since your long-range goals are ambitious, you might, if you can afford one, consider involving a coach at some point. He/she could help you structure your training to avoid injury and make steady progress toward each goal. Make sure to find someone who has experience working with beginners--some are better and more experienced with that than others.)

Make each goal one that can easily be quantified so you know if you have achieved it, are making progress toward it, or haven't done so yet. Examples of short-range ones for a beginner might be things like, "Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day." (Later, you can slowly increase the time, or make it specific to swim, bike, and run/walk activity.) "Eat at least one fruit or vegetable at every meal." or "Go to the pool at least twice a week."

Intermediate goals (for the next 3-12 months) might be something like, "Swim for 20 minutes without stopping in the pool." or "Complete a sprint (later Olympic, and/or half ironman) tri within the time cutoffs."

And, of course, your long-range goal can be, "Complete an Ironman within the time cutoffs." You don't have to specify a time when that needs to be done right now. You will know when the time is right as you progress through the intermediate goals. Somewhere in that process, hopefully you will find the distance and the level of commitment to the sport that works for you, your body and mind, and your other life commitments, that you would like to sustain over the long term. If that means you end up doing an Ironman every year, great. If that means "one and done" with IM and then a healthy lifestyle with the occasional tri and recreational swimming, biking, and running, great as well. Even if it "only" means a healthier, more active you, it's still a huge step beyond where you started.

Edited by Hot Runner 2018-09-28 1:23 PM
2018-09-28 1:44 PM
in reply to: Lizy

User image

New user
29
25
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
Hi Lizy,
I don't know that I can add any more wisdom than the other folks up here but here are my $0.02.
1st - running. Like others (and yourself) have said, just get outside and walk. When you feel ready to start incorporating running then I would recommend the Couch to 5k program as a template. It's a great program WITH the caveat of: it's ok to go at your own pace. Do not take each week's goal as gospel. If you aren't ready to progress to the next level of the plan, don't! When I first started running I was "stuck" at week 3 for over a month. BUT, I didn't get injured and I didn't give up. Take it slow and heed your body's signals.
2nd - fear of swimming in dark water. I hear you sister! I'm not sure if you feel frightened by it because you don't feel comfortable swimming period or if it's a fear of water you can't see through. For me it was definitely the latter. First, like others have said, sign up for swimming lessons in an indoor pool and get comfortable. Once you are comfortable swimming (take as MUCH time here as you need), then check for Open Water swims in your area. Even if the first time you go to that lake or reservoir all you do is watch and see how you feel if you imagine yourself swimming in that water, that may tell you something. Then you can try getting in the water and stay close to shore. My fear was visceral and involuntary. Even as a strong, confident swimmer, dark water terrified me. I actually went through acupuncture therapy (such a Boulder thing to do ) which somehow made my fear disappear. Not saying it will work for you but even a behavior therapist may be able to help if your fear of dark water doesn't lessen after you get comfortable swimming. I also took an Open Water swimming class where the instructor would do things like swim over you and bump into you to simulate what all could happen during a swim. That helped me feel prepared for race day.
3rd - you can do this!!
2018-09-29 7:10 PM
in reply to: Lizy

User image

Veteran
720
500100100
Aurora, Illinois
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please
You can do it Lizy! As others have said; consistency is key. Don't worry about how fast you are going, or how far, just that you did something. Eventually it will build up, and come all together.

Good luck. Let us know when you cross that finish line!


2018-10-08 1:27 PM
in reply to: 0

Iron Donkey
38641
50005000500050005000500050002000100050010025
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please

Hello, Lizy:
  Congratulations on taking the first step and finding beginnertriathlete.com and setting a (huge) goal!
  I see several BT'ers providing some feedback about getting started, coming up with a plan with the 3 disciplines, etc., but am curious to hear if you know a friend or someone local who has been doing triathlons and would be willing to help you and provide guidance?



Edited by 1stTimeTri 2018-10-08 1:28 PM
New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Starting from Zero. Your opinion, please Rss Feed