It seems like yesterday that I found the flier that said, "Triathlon Training Class" and joined up. That was 4 months ago. There were people in my class that could barely swim that can now bang out 3k meters in an evening. I was pretty tired after 100meters when I started. Of course I had a serious deficiency of technique and my nice baggy swim trunks didn’t help either.
For what it’s worth here are some lessons I’ve learned:
- While triathlon training is very cardio intensive…most of us haven’t really lost "weight". We’ve probably all lost some amount of body fat…but no "Biggest Loser" here. Funny, you’d think that 6 hours of pretty intense cardio activity per week would do more. This factoid sparked my deeper exploration of nutrition timing/ratios to support intense activity and fat loss. I’m dialing in nutrition now. Weight training seems to have a far greater effect on losing fat
than does cardio for me. Consistent weight training made consistent
losses. When I began triathlon and reduced weights to once per
week…fat % stayed consistent.
- Triathlon training (or substitute any other intensive activity) certainly allows one more flexibility in diet. When you’ve just completed a 2600 meter swim, you are looking to eat anything not tied down. Swimming seems to spark that response more than anything else. I’ve added up my post swim meals recently and they’ve been clocking in at between 900-1200 calories.
- I’m now eating 6 times per day. I’m hungry just about every 2 hours with each meal clocking in between 300-400 calories. Dinner time seems to be the largest meal of the day every single day. I’ve tried to adjust that but even with healthy foods I seem to be ready to ingest at least 800 cals at that point.
- Now that I’m up to running 4 miles on the treadmill, my hips/quads and generally everything from the waist to the knee has tightened up and is sore. I visited my personal trainer Steve, owner of Fitness Together, and he spent about 20 minutes performing his athletic performance/rehab on my legs and I must tell you….I went from feeling very bad to being more flexible and loose than I have in 15 years with his techniques.
- I’ve ratcheted up my training to 5-6 days per week now doing at least an hour of activity on the days when we’re not having class. My wife is starting to believe I’m crazy and I’m certain that after June 22, she’ll ask me to stop creating so much laundry and dirtying so many dishes. She’s very supportive but this training pace is a bit too much to handle when you have a family and are launching a business. Training daily from 5-7AM might work but 2 nights and 1 weekend morning per week does add up to a family time deficit. This is something I just have to do…at least once and I’m doing the best I can to balance things.
If you’re considering triathlons as a way to stay fit or get fit…please join us. The next 12 week session is beginning sometime in March. Questions? Please ask.