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I'm afraid I don't have a lot of advice for you, but I just wanted to say that I'm looking for similar advice/motivation. As my handle says, I'm new to triathlon. I'm almost 40 and haven't been terribly sporty as an adult. Part of the reason for that is that I keep getting niggling injuries (patellofemoral issues, shoulder impingement, hip flexor problems, etc...) I was a really enthusiastic endurance swimmer as a kid, but I quit early in high school and I've been biking and running occasionally, but I just haven't figured it out since then.
For a year, I've been going to an orthopedic doctor, PT, and a trainer to get my body together before I get much older, and now I really want to do a sport and I really want it to be triathlon. It combines all three of the sports I love and I think the cross training will be good for my body. But I keep navigating niggling knee, should, and hip issues. My local tri club seems great, but they're a little bro-centric, and they hang out in bars. That's just not my scene. Online stuff, even like looking on bike company websites for my bikes and the slowtwitch forum are also really male centric and off putting.
So, I suppose, being a beginner with aches and pains and then feeling a bit like a fish out of water (literally... because my best sport is swimming even if my should hurts sometimes...) is making me feel a little overwhelmed. I'm really glad I found a forum for the ladies on slowtwitch. Would appreciate some encouragement, hearing about other people's experiences of getting into the sport, how you all found your support system, how you deal with an older body, etc.
For getting into shape, I recommend taking the long view and work on incremental gains. Consistency is huge. That sums up everything I know. : )
I'm glad you're here. If you want to ask specific questions or want to share what your workouts are like, please do!
As for my plans and going slow, I'm not good at that, but trying. I've signed up for a sprint tri in February and an Olympic in early June. I've also got my eyes on a 70.3 in September. It's a reach, I know, and I tell my husband that I'm only about 50% likely to do it. But I'm an academic on research leave from teaching responsibilities, so it's a good time to commit to the training. I'm sure I can handle the swimming--my current swim workouts are around 3500 yards in a little more than an hour, and my shoulder is under control. I can probably handle the biking. The running is a stretch for me, and I'm probably just going to plan to walk the half marathon if I do the 70.3, or run-walk. What do The Womens think about that?
I'm currently using the cheap, $10 a month tridot app for training. That's partly because I'm attached to my personal trainer at the gym and I don't have the resources to pay for both a personal weight trainer and a triathlon coach. If I remain interested in the 70.3 this season, I will probably take time off from the trainer to get a running coach.
I've endured a bit of the style of humor you mention with every mixed group I've trained with (cyclists, triathletes, runners). I've always just ignored it. In the last few years, I've not bothered to train in person with guys. I just always look for lady training partners and don't really consider training regularly with men. I'm slow so I've been able to find women who are the right level of competitive and friendly. When I was a decent cyclist in college, training with guys was necessary because there were no faster women to train with me. At the time, I remember I thought that putting up with the jokes made me tougher mentally. I still look back and think that some of those guys were such dumbasses! The ohers were fine.
Just this past week I had a conversation with my 11 year old daughter about training with guys. She plays basketball and practices several times each week with some 13 year old boys. I know it will make her tougher in many ways. But it can be a pain sometimes.
So you have a 70.3 in September. I think planning to run-walk it should be do-able. You have a fair amount of time to get ready, right? Do you need a coach? I've never had one. I'm very mediocre. So, maybe? I don't know. : )
Assuming you've been cleared to get back into activity, my only advice is do what is fun for you and do it consistently.
Let us know how you get on.
Littlenorm--sorry I don't have any advice, but I will say that I started about a year and a half ago with PT. My exercises at first were really very light and low impact. Like, the kinds of exercises they give to octogenarians. That's how out of shape I'd gotten. I did everything they told me, and nothing else. In my real life, I was also really vigilant about activities that might be detrimental. I stopped sitting so damn much, and I read up on various muscles, joints, tendons, etc. that can be problematic. I iced if anything was sore. I did that and only that for around 6 months, before I moved to a personal trainer. I live in an area with a very low cost of living and she only works with me for a half hour at a time, so it's relatively affordable. I realize that not everyone has that. But again, she was helpful because as soon as anything felt off, I could go to her. And she told me exactly what to do and watched my form like a hawk. I worked with her for about four months before I started to do the kind of cardio involved in tri training. The whole progression, over a year and a half was: gentle stretching to stretching+gentle weights to weights with stretching to weights with cardio and stretching. But it's been a lot of trial and error, vigilance, and eating my pride. I hope you work it out!
SO - my advice is to be consistent. Don't plan to do a lot. In fact, under planning and over achieving for the first while will keep potential injuries in check AND you'll feel successful, which will make you want to stick with it.
Also, I'd go by time, not distance. That way you aren't trying to go faster than your body is ready for, because there's no reward.
I'm in my thirties but took nearly a decade off of sports before getting into triathlon 3 years ago.
Best practices are just another name for cliches but it's been helpful for me to remember to/that:
1) Stay Positive - It's tough getting back into shape and it can be frustrating-- try to focus on what you're doing well now versus comparing yourself to a younger/faster self. Keep your chin up when the days are hard.
2) Start Small - Establish micro-goals to celebrate along your journey -- maybe it's signing up for a Masters Class or doing a Sprint tri -- but find events/metrics that are achievable and connected to your larger goals.
3) Consistency is Key - Find a sustainable training plan that you can do regularly. Then do it. Eventually progress it over time.
4) Progress is Nonlinear- Don't get discouraged if it doesn't always been like you're getting faster or stronger. We plateau, we experienced peaks and valleys, but we're doing it.
5) Focus - Most people can't improve at all 3 sports at once, so figure out where you need the most work (or that you enjoy the most).
6) Be Accountable - join our weekly report posts or find a friend to share the journey.
Hope that helps, feel free to PM me if you want.
Good luck and happy training.
There is a nice beginner's (or getting back into it) weekly training plan in the NY Times. https://www.nytimes.com/...l/triathlon-training
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