Triathlon Training

My friend Madeleine and I have signed up for a mini-triathlon in May, and she’s encouraging me to blog about my training efforts. Just general details today, but I’ll do a few follow-ups with specifics as I go along.


I had a lazy winter so I’m trying to ramp up my exercise plan slowly. I’ve been running (jogging, really) on the treadmill downstairs while watching Netflix movies, alternating between 2k uphill and 5k flat runs every 3 or 4 days. I know some hardcore runners who run outside in the winter, but my neighbourhood doesn’t have sidewalks and I don’t want to risk a wipeout on the ice, so until spring I’ll be favouring endurance over speed in my training program.

I’ve been skipping the bike training for now – we have a stationary bike but I don’t like it much, and I figure it’s mostly the same muscle group as the running, so there will be time to train for that closer to May.

Swimming has been fun – I only agreed to do the triathlon because I’d already been doing some swimming over the winter with Natasha, and I really love it. I’m working hard on improving my sloppy technique. I’ve got my face down and I’m reaching better – less plowing and more gliding. Big improvements. (Natasha’s a great swimmer and a great teacher!)

I’m not really anxious about running out of steam during the race, but I’d like to put in a really good time, so that’s my biggest motivator. My biggest obstacle so far isn’t the training – it’s eating. As usual, I’m rapidly losing weight despite carb loading – that’s just my metabolism doing what it does. Trying to find a balance that maintains my body weight while sweating up a workout is slowing down my progress.

4 thoughts on “Triathlon Training

  1. It would probably be worthwhile to put in some resistance stuff specifically to boost your muscle mass and offset your losses. Have you ever seen a dietitian with regards to training needs? Might be helpful, and a lot of insurance companies will cover it.

  2. “I’m rapidly losing weight despite carb loading – that’s just my metabolism doing what it does.”

    Maybe, but I’d bet my right bicep it’s more that you think you’re eating more than you are. Thyroid (which plays a big role in regulating metabolic-rate) takes many weeks to adapt to a changing energy balance, even at your relatively low body-fat.

    You want to gain weight, try GOMAD. A Gallon Of Milk A Day. Full fat. You *will* gain weight, drinking calories is easier, and milk is the perfect food for making baby mammals bigger.

  3. Oh and I also agree with Sara J. If you want to gain mass, LIFT WEIGHTS. Compare marathon runner’s bodies to sprinter’s. Endurance activity is the best way to LOSE mass. A progressive-overload program of even just squat, deadlift and bench press is incredibly effective for making you bigger. Starting Strength or StrongLifts are both excellent novice programs. Don’t stop the other activity completely, but 100% endurance cardio is the opposite of what is required to stimulate mass gains.

  4. If it makes you feel better Jay – I tried to donate blood on Friday and flunked my iron test, so I’ll have to watch my diet too.

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