My First Event
I just read your article, "Triathlon Wisdom from Ironman Champion Dave Scott." This coming Sunday will be my first triathlon (sprint distances). I am 44 years old, 50 pounds overweight and have been training myself. At this stage of the game, finishing in any position other than last is what I'm looking towards. And even if I do finish last, the fact that I finish at all will be wonderful for me. I'm riding a borrowed bike that makes more noise than a hungry baby and am not able to run the entire distance (2.7 miles). I'm starting to get nervous about looking like a fool out there with so many people on bikes that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
What advice would you be able to give me at this point? Also, what should I eat or not eat these last few days before the race?
My hope is to continue with this for as long as I am able to move on my own power. Both of my parents are in poor health now because they didn't start taking care of their bodies earlier. I don't want that for me.
Peace and blessings,
The bike does not have tenacity, perseverance and the will to finish--you do! Do not worry about the fancy bikes or glittering clothes. Once the gun goes off, the fashion show is over.
Eating requirements consist of your normal food and normal intake. However, there are a few guidelines. First, eat dinner early on the two nights before your race. Ideally, the night before race day you will need a 10-hour transit time before your early morning meal. For instance, if you are eating race breakfast at 5 a.m. (ideally two to two-and-a-half hours prior to the start), then finish dinner by 7 p.m.
Lastly, exercise lightly the day before the race. This helps to alleviate jitters and keep your muscles and mind activated.
Give me an update on your races.
How do you feel about competitive runners running everyday? At the time, I try to mix up training with biking, stair stepper and weights because I am afraid of causing an injury. My husband and I race every weekend and on Wednesday nights. These distances are anywhere from 5K to a marathon; marathons being one per month at most. On average I put in about 25 to 30 miles per week, unless I do a marathon on the weekend. If I do, I cover less miles during the week before the marathon.
I am confused about all the training programs out there, so if you could give me an idea of what in a good, simple gauge to follow for a 46-year-old female, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks for your help,
You mentioned four points that are a potential recipe for an injury:
1) Racing two times per week
2) One marathon per month
3) Running every day
4) You are a competitive runner
I don't know how long you have been following this routine, but fortunately, your weekly mileage is relatively low and you do not have a current injury. However, your frequency of racing, plus adding a marathon once per month, is not advisable and certainly will not enhance your competitive goals.
If you are racing 100 percent on two sessions per week, this overload on your joints and muscular system is too demanding. Professional runners would combine variable training loads during the week, but never two races. If you wish to continue your twice weekly racing, my recommendation is to vary your tempo on your Wednesday run and to negative split your weekend race.