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Discussion: How to restart?

Subject: How to restart?

By: Michael P.

Written on: Thursday May 03, 2012

Message: So I spent the last 2 years growing my family, focusing on my career and drinking gallons upon gallons of beer (mostly wheat), eating steak, cheeseburgers, pork, french fries, fried chicken etc etc. I've been doing extra hours at work instead of swimming on my lunch break. I bought a car instead of a road bike and I stopped riding to work in nice weather. I've been watching new releases on Netflix, when I would have typically been out running. To make a long story short, a promotion, 1 more kid and another on the way got me pretty heavy and out of shape.

I want to get back into triathlon but I don't know where to start and I feel lost.

Should I start with just one discepline and focus on it to get my lungs back and then move on to the other two? Should I start them all at once? Should I start with strength training first to prepare my muscles for the movement? Or should all come back to me just like riding a bike(no pun intended)?

I'm so discouraged knowing where I used to be and how much it took to get there even when I had a strong base. Now I'm looking to get back to where I was with no base whatsoever and a lot less time to make this work.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Suzanne C.

Written on: Thursday May 03, 2012

Message: Did someone say cheeseburger??

Sorry, I got distracted....

How about signing up for a charity 5k or something similar just to have a "goal." Then start training very slowly to avoid injury. If you like other stuff besides swim/bike/run then do those as well. You need to have fun and enjoy what you do in order to stick with it in the long term.

Since you used to do tri - I would start with all 3 - it's not like your body won't remember it - it will just take some time. Biking and swimming are low impact so do more of those and ease into running. Running will take the weight off the fastest though (as you probably know) along with diet (yes, I said it). I don't think it's necessary to start strength training prior to cardio although I do think incorporating strength training is very important to a balanced bod!

Finally, don't be discouraged. Don't look backwards - look forwards. It comes back fast, I promise. It will involve some hard work, and it will hurt but it will come back. Nothing in life worth having is easy.

Good luck and stay on the wagon.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Michael P.

Written on: Thursday May 03, 2012

Message: So you say book a race, start small and get moving. Running does help you drop weight fastest which is a big issue for me. I hadn't thought of that. Maybe I should start with a good running base and throw the riding and swimming in for recovery/crosstraining/easy weeks?

5k? hmmm... nah I can't possibly step on the line for a 5k. I used to thrive on my 5k times and i'd surely fall off the wagon obsessing about how slow i was. I know you say look forward but I just can't handle that with the 5k LOL. I'd rather blend in with the slowpokes in a half marathon where I wouldn't judge myself and where I won't take it seriously.

Thanks for the help. I kinda feel motivated to do SOMETHING.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: ontri d.

Written on: Thursday May 03, 2012

Message: I could be wrong here, but I think the issue is not so much where to start, but how to get back to your "Glory Days", so to speak.

Give yourself a break Michael, as in don't expect miracles. Set small goals first. Maybe just losing x amount of lbs. No timelines. Ease into it. Don't be too hard on yourself...and be realistic. Life happens. Your situation as changed. What are realistic goals?

You now have a bigger family, you don't have the time you once had. So accept this reality and make the most of the time you have. And as Suzanne mentioned, cross-train. To avoid injuries and stave off boredom.

Good luck and keep us updated!

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Teri d.

Written on: Thursday May 03, 2012

Message: Pick what's fun for you to do and focus on that for now. If you like to run, start run/walking. If you like to bike, great time to sign up for a short bike event. Just get out there and have some fun. I know from experience that the exercise by itself won't get the weight off so just focus on eating healthy as well. Give yourself some time to get back into a workout routine and a "I'm an athlete" perspective. It'll come.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Suzanne C.

Written on: Friday May 04, 2012

Message: >>>I used to thrive on my 5k times and i'd surely fall off the wagon obsessing about how slow i was.

Sorry - I can't help here. Self loathing and unrealistic expectations are not my speciality <wink/smile>

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Michael P.

Written on: Friday May 04, 2012

Message: Ok so last night I couldn't get around to do anything but pack down a pork chop with a side of rice and green beans while I attempted to feed the baby. My wife worked late for parent-teacher night leaving me alone with our tricycle motor so I didn't feel like doing much else than entertain her. BUT, I put a lot of serious thought in.


I thought about your responses and I decided I'm taking it super slow and making many little goals as I go along and I won't think about races just yet. I'm taking it so slow that working out this weekend isn't even within my goals and would just be a bonus if it happens.

What my goal this weekend is to reprioritize and organize my life. I'm organizing my gear, changing that flat tire from my last ride in summer 2010, replacing the batteries on the computer and prop the bike up on a trainer next to my bed with my shorts haning on the bars. I'll set up a playpen downstairs near the treadmill and plug my old-school forerunner in to charge. I'm going to look at baby joggers. I'm going to re-up my YMCA membership to be able to swim again.

Once I get everything all set up, I'll think about what next.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Michael P.

Written on: Friday May 04, 2012

Message: And I want to thank you guys. It was a big help reading what you had to say about starting over.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: charlotte d.

Written on: Friday May 04, 2012

Message: Starting over!!! Haha, how old are you?? Sign up for a race and train!-) That's how I would get back on track!! And thanks for volunteering at IM NYC, hope to see you there!

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Michael P.

Written on: Friday May 04, 2012

Message: Charlotte,

Back on track is loooooong gone! LOL. I ran a mile last month for the first time in IDK and struggled to finish it in 10 minutes. I used to do 4 x 1 mile repeats 3 years ago and would get upset when one was a few seconds over 5:20.

What this all came from was basically that it's tough emotionally to love something and at the same time it's tough to enjoy it when you're no longer good at it. I know I can be good at it again, it's just tough to stay on the wagon as Suzanne says.

Thanks for putting it into perspective. You're right, it boils down to how i just need to do it and quit worrying about the what was and what will be and let things take its course putting one foot in front of the other. .

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Clyde W.

Written on: Friday May 04, 2012

Message:
Don't beat yourself up too much. This is an important time in your life and being fully supportive for your family's needs is the priority. But of course if you can get back into a healthier lifestyle with some exercise that's great too. Just know that it will gradually get easier as the kids get older. This is my theory why the 40-44AG is generally more competitive than 30-34AG at local races - all the 30 somethings are struggling with starting families while the 40+ers are through that stage and can find more time to train. Not to disuade you of course, and I agree with Charlotte that signing up for something is helpful - I would never do anything if I wasn't signed up for a race!

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Brad H.

Written on: Friday May 04, 2012

Message: Perhaps buy some equipment to take a kid or two with you...

I spent quite a few years towing kids in a trailer behind my bike and pushing them in a baby jogger while running. You can get some exercise and get partway back to racing shape in a way that you won't feel as compelled to notice how much slower you are. Running 12 minute miles or biking at 13 or 14 mph doesn't seem so bad if you're giving another person a free ride at the same time!

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Lyn D.

Written on: Saturday May 05, 2012

Message: I think starting over is harder than starting out for the first time. Be kind to yourself, but be accountable. I second all the great advice, and add the reminder that it's usually easier to establish new habits if you add them one at a time.

Sign up for a sprint triathlon or put together a relay team.

It took all those years to pack on the pounds; give yourself time to take them off.

Good luck!

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: joy t.

Written on: Saturday May 05, 2012

Message: You guys are all great support! It's not even my message/scenario and I'm encouraged! I repeat "Change the mind and the body will follow". Go Michael!!

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Michael S.

Written on: Sunday May 06, 2012

Message: here is my take....I used to be a lot faster and in better shape. I have taken a year or two off for whatever also, and as far as beer and pizza and all that other bad stuff...thats why I train. Your youth is gone, but your future is near, be the person you are now and morph into what you want to be. it is a long hard road to get your youth back and i dont know of many people who have.

dont set your stuff up and look at it, use it. put it to work and use it. not to be rude, but quit crying about it and do it! you could have been 2 days further into your retransformation instead of zero days. i wish you the best and hope to here about your progress, or better yet get whooped by ya in an event. get outside and have some fun, take your kids too :)

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Michael P.

Written on: Sunday May 06, 2012

Message: Thanks again guys. So I'm over the discouragement hump and I put in a moderate 2 mile run today at a smoking 11:30 pace but it still felt great. I decided to focus on just running to stay motivated. I figured sticking to one sport will show more noticeable improvement quicker until I plateau a bit and then I'll start riding or swimming or something.

Mike S, I totally get what you're saying and it makes complete sense but I needed a few days to cry about it, face the music and get over it. I'm also the personality type where I need to develop a plan and wrap my mind around something before starting. If you're not organized, you may end up swimming with a partly disintegrated swimsuit showing all your stuff and not realize until it's far too late. Don't ask me where I got that example. (are you paying attention swimming newbies?)

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Heather N.

Written on: Sunday May 06, 2012

Message: there's worse things you could be than slow. how about doing it for fun and for your health? fast will come or it won't, but you can still have fun and be healthy, regardless! and you are setting a good example for your children, which has to count for something...

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Suzanne C.

Written on: Monday May 07, 2012

Message: >>>>you may end up swimming with a partially disintegrated swimsuit

Yes, I remember Dan W doing this once....are you there Dan???

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Roberta M.

Written on: Tuesday May 08, 2012

Message: I am SOOO glad this post is here! I too am 'restarting'. I haven't raced in 4 years and have added a 'healthy' 40 lbs in that time. I'm slowly starting back (at 44 years young) and am being as realistic as I can. Everyone's advice here is AWESOME and I, like Michael, say THANKS!

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Amanda D.

Written on: Tuesday May 08, 2012

Message: Mmmm cheeseburgers....

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Ron H.

Written on: Wednesday May 09, 2012

Message: Michael,
I gave up triathlons when I was 28 years old. From the age of 19 I was a runner and began my triathlon endeavors at USTS San Diego in 1986. The tri bug hit me hard. Until I gave it up all I and my friendship base did was train and race. I moved from NC to FL just to get into a more tri related atmosphere, and even did some bike racing. Well in 1990, I met the most beautiful and attractive woman and my whole priority base changed. We were finacially strapped and I was not training much so I sold my bikes and just did some casual running (Casual enough to complete 2 marathons but nothing what I used to do). I married that lady in 1991 and now 20 years later we are still together and have a 17 year old daughter. I got back into tris three years ago so all together about 18 years away from the sport. Take it easy, work your training around your family committments. That means training at odd times and not getting upset if the schedule changes. Find some mentors and/or training partners who have similiar lifestyles as yours. I have a good friend (past pro) in AR who helps alot. I had Aleck A. (posts on this board at times) to coach me for about eight months which really helped. Sorry about the length of this post, but just wanted to relate my story with yours. By the way, hug the kids alot because they grow up fast; always respect your wife, and even though you need to watch your diet, never ever give up the chance to enjoy a good beer. Just my two cents. Enjoy

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Michael S.

Written on: Wednesday May 09, 2012

Message: Hey Ron, that even helps me out!! kinda makes me realize how selfish I have been. Oh well only a couple more weeks of me me me and then back to the family, right??? ;0

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Ron H.

Written on: Wednesday May 09, 2012

Message: Taking care of yourself is not being selfish...it is the route and the things that you may neglect that may be selfish. As Clyde stated in his post, I am in the 45-49 age group and my daughter will soon be a senior in high school. I am much more financially sound now and I do not have a small child that I have to take care of everyday. I am a professional firefighter, own a business on the side and I can pretty much tailor my training at will. My wife and daughter still come first but their demands are not as great as they once were. I am not as fast as I once was and the recovery time my body needs is longer but now I train and race smarter instead of harder.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Kris D.

Written on: Wednesday May 09, 2012

Message: Ron - Thank you!!! I needed that. I have a 5 year old, a 2 year old and my wife is due at the end of this month. Oh and I'm training for IMLP (which is my first). All I keep thinking about is "Am I doing enough". But damnit as long as my family is there and my kids and wife are happy-HELL YEAH I'm doing enough...Thanks Ron needed that.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Ron H.

Written on: Wednesday May 09, 2012

Message: Sure Kris. Cliches abound but very often fit into our perception of where we are in the present. "Life is a journey...not about when we are born or when we die, but what we do in between" Okay, that is about as deep as I can get. Just do your best...I would not want to be a KONA Champion if I lost my family to do it.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Amanda D.

Written on: Wednesday May 09, 2012

Message: KD - You aren't doing enough. You better start training harder.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Kris D.

Written on: Wednesday May 09, 2012

Message: Amanda- go swim...

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: John G.

Written on: Thursday May 10, 2012

Message: I know there have been a lot of posts already, but I had to chime in. I was exactly in your spot about a year ago- new job, move, 2kids 1infant just plain busy, and frustrated with where I'd let my fitness go. I started small and focused on simply enjoying the sport of swim bike run. I too had to try hard to not think so much about what I used to be. I knew that if I were to stick with it, that enjoying the activity was paramount. I focused on enjoying each activity individually and not comparing it to anything in the past. I began to route my runs and bikes over scenic paths rather than the physically challenging ones I had made in the past, While I was exercising my body, I was also exercising my mind simply enjoying creation. I now enjoy this sport much more than I ever did before because I started with a healthy mental base and let the physical aspect fall into place with time. I'm now 50lbs lighter than this time last year, and can look back with a great ammount of appreciation for the road ive traveled. I hope you can be encouraged from the perspective of someone whose walked in your shoes. Just love the sport man, it will pay off in the end.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Kris D.

Written on: Friday May 11, 2012

Message: AD- go ride your tandem bike!

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Michael P.

Written on: Monday May 14, 2012

Message: So I ran a whopping 12 miles in the last 8 days. I did a tempo run on one of the days(or my current version of one) and my heart was ready to explode (190bpm max when I checked)

I still felt good about it. Got a good sweat in for the days I did run. Lost 2 lbs, been eating a little better, pants a TINY bit looser.

Still no plans on swim or bike.

For anyone else restarting out there, I'd like to hear what you're doing as you get back into it.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Teri d.

Written on: Monday May 14, 2012

Message: 190 BPM? Way too high. Train smart and slow up a little as your body adjusts. Patience!

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Suzanne C.

Written on: Wednesday May 16, 2012

Message: For some, 190 bpm is fine. It's all individual. I have one friend whose max is in the 220's so his Z3 is in the 190's. Unless you know yours for sure by having an LT test, you should go by PRE which in this case you said you were about to explode so that probably isn't good, haha :)

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Michael P.

Written on: Wednesday May 16, 2012

Message: 190 was way too high but it had to be done. Ran that same exact workout yesterday as I did last week(it was on a treadmill), BPM dropped by 10 beats for average and 9 for max. Max HR ended up 181 and it took slightly longer to bring the rate up but it was still not a steady rate like the good old days.

So now I'm realizing the good part of starting where I am is the rapid progress.

I'll throw in a good update again on Monday or maybe sooner.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Michael P.

Written on: Tuesday May 22, 2012

Message: Ok so last week my mileage went down. Tuesday I found out we're having a boy which we were told 2 months ago was another girl (Surprise, it's a c***!) So I was so happy and went out drinking with the peeps but didn't go too nuts. I had a wedding this Sat and a lot of family over the next day so the weekend was shot. 9 miles total but it's all about quality right?

So the accomplishments:

-Lost 5lbs in total since I started back up(yes, at my weight you can run less, drink and go to weddings and still lose weight)
-pants fitting a little better. my "fat suit" was a tiny bit big at the wedding.
-I have more energy and the urge to keep "training"
-No injuries nor am I feeling the onset of any injuries
-Heart rate is much more stable during workouts
-Saved the best for last - been looking at timing a HIM and an IM but of course I need to ride this out longer to better gauge when I think i can be ready.

My plans for this week? Guess who worked out parking with a church and is riding halfway to work on Thursday and Friday?

I'm sitting here ready to get moving on some hills as soon as I get home.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Heather N.

Written on: Tuesday May 22, 2012

Message: Keep up the great work, Michael! You won't regret it.

Subject: RE: How to restart?

By: Suzanne C.

Written on: Tuesday May 22, 2012

Message: Awesome work. Keep it up.

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