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Old 08-12-13, 07:53 PM   #1
bobthib
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Triathlon Training - 1 year later

So at the tender age of 64 I decided to take up Triathlon. I started riding pretty regular at age 61, and found I really enjoyed it. I started riding pretty regular, and got up to 150+ mi a week.

In an effort to get more rides in, I started to ride with a Tri group at 5:30 AM Tues and Thurs mornings. After about a year and a half it finally rubbed off. I decided to give it a TRI!

That was last summer (2012.) I began to swim in the backyard pool, and run around the block. Despite my pretty good bike ability (A- B+ rides) I found swimming and running to be VERY HARD. I couldn't swim for more than a minute or so, and I could barely jog 100 yds. But my TRI friends and my BF family all said that was normal, and to just keep at it.

In Sept of '12 I did my first Sprint Tri. I could only free style for about 25 yds, but my run was up to 1 mi at a 10 min pace. Despite that I took 3rd place in my AG (3rd out of 8) on the strength of my bike.

In October of '12 I started to swim with the TRI group at a local pool. I was doing 2 nights a week for an hour each with the Masters group. I could still only free style for 25 yds, but I kept at it.

I got sick in late December and didn't swim much until Feb. At that point I was 65 and on Medicare, do I joined a local gym with a pool. It was a 25 meter pool, (not yds like the local pool) and that little extra seemed like a mile. I spent all of Feb swimming on my own, trying to get in good enough shape to go back to the Masters class.

I joined the Master's calls again in March swimming 4 days a week to prepare for my first Tri of the Season in early April. I got up to swimming free style for about 75 yds, and did my first sprint of the year feeling pretty good. I didn't heed my coach's advice to get in the water and warm up, and when I got in that cold black water, I panicked! I could not get my breathing under control, and I could not get my face in that black water. I ended up swimming head up breast stroke most of the way. This time I place 2nd despite my poor swim. My bike was strong, and my run was OK. I was 8 min out of 1st. :^(

Back to swim class and concentrating on head down, to prepare for the next sprint in May. This time I felt pretty good, and I was up to several hundred yards on the pool with a little rest. I thought I was ready for a .25 mi swim free style.

This time the swim was in the ocean, and it was a bit rough. Again I failed to heed my coach's advice and pre-swim. The race started and that salt water and waves freaked me out again! I could not keep my head down. Again, head up all the way. But my bike and run brought me into 2nd again.

So, I decided to do an ocean swim every Saturday morning. That has really helped. I also got to do a .5 mi lake swim in upstate NY this summer. And I've done a few 1 mi ocean swims. I did an International distance Tri last month (.5 mi ocean swim, 25 mi bike, 10K run) Another 2nd place.

So I'm feeling pretty ready for my next goal: Ironman Augusta 70.3!
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Old 08-13-13, 09:40 AM   #2
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Experiences such as yours are very inspiring. Training is your friend, just keep it safe and fun. Good Luck

Last July, one week after my 62nd birthday I had my first Sprint. Six weeks later my 2nd. Sprint then IM 70.3 FL. this past May and IMFL. on November 2nd, 11 weeks and 4 days away. Off to the pool right now.
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Old 08-13-13, 09:40 AM   #3
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That's a rockin' story, thanks for sharing!

How does your body feel with its new superpowers? I'm guessing pretty dang good!
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Old 08-13-13, 02:26 PM   #4
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Isn't this sport great!! Like you, I started two years ago, I'm M,65yo now. Did a Sprint race three weeks ago with a 750m swim, 12 mile bike and a 5k. Finished in 1hr,35min. Not to fast, but I had a blast!!!! There were 299 Sprint participants and I finished 125th over all. I'll take it at my age!

Got two more Sprint races coming up in September and than it's planning for next year. My short term goal is to train hard enough so that I can eventually move up to the Olympic distance. For me the run will be the most difficult part. My long term goal is to participate in a 70.3 Ironman! My dilusional fantacy is that I can complete the Ironman Lake Placid before I'm 70.

I think what attracts me to this sport is that I get bored easily. Having to train for three disciplines keeps each training day fresh. If all I did was run, I'd be bored out of my skull! Also, I think working on technique, equipment nutrition and listening to what your body is telling you somehow fills the inner geekness in me.
Also, It helps being retired so I have time to play and still get in my afternoon nape.
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Old 09-23-13, 08:46 AM   #5
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Well, 6 days and counting to IM Augusta 70.3! I'm sitting here in the cardiologist office getting a final check out. Shooting to finish under 7 hrs. Looking at the results of the last year (5:20), I'm not going to have a podium finish. That will break my 5 tri streak, but my goal is to finish. And secondary goal is to do my best.
Congratulations to you guys for your great work. Old, I am from Albany so I know Lake placid. I would love to do that as my first full im.
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Old 09-23-13, 09:25 AM   #6
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Well, 6 days and counting to IM Augusta 70.3! I'm sitting here in the cardiologist office getting a final check out. Shooting to finish under 7 hrs. Looking at the results of the last year (5:20), I'm not going to have a podium finish. That will break my 5 tri streak, but my goal is to finish. And secondary goal is to do my best.
Congratulations to you guys for your great work. Old, I am from Albany so I know Lake placid. I would love to do that as my first full im.
IMFL on Nov.2nd, Panama City Beach, Fl. is my first and considered to be one of the best for first timers. Hoping we don't have a Gulf storm decide to show up. Things have been pretty quiet this year.
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Old 09-23-13, 12:54 PM   #7
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Old, I have a bunch of friends going up there for 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc IMs. I may go up to watch but I have Miami Man in November. Getting registered for IMFL is tough. Good luck!
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Old 09-23-13, 01:02 PM   #8
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CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH FROM THE CARDIOLOGIST! CLEARED TO GO. IM AUGUSTA 70.3 HERE I COME.
EKG was great. LDL was a little high at 113, but HDL was 99! Dr was amazed. :-)
This week is a taper week. Swim tonight easy, bike and swim tomorrow easy. Easy run and swim Thursday am. Then it's off to Augusta!
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Old 09-24-13, 06:49 AM   #9
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Go get 'em Bob.

I'll be in the stands this year, but plan to be out on the course next year.
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Old 09-30-13, 05:32 PM   #10
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Just to wrap up this post, I did the race and it was incredible! IM sure knows how to run an event. I cannot think of a thing that I would do different, for them, at least. Everything was so well organized, the routes were the best marked and monitored I've ever seen, and it all seemed to go on without a hitch that I saw. I'm sure with events like this something goes awry, bit you never knew. Augusta opened their arms to us, and people all along the run route cheered us on.

The only minor issue is that some of the bike route is a bit washboard, much of which belongs to the US Govt. But the route is scenic, and very quiet. I'm not sure if remember more than one car passing me along the way on a 2 lane highway. There were some 4 lane highways, but they had cones and police. Even little side streets and entrances were manned by volunteers to ensure your safety and right of way. I was very impressed.

As for me, I accomplished my goal of under 7 hours. I am very happy with that, but fact is I could have done much better, even possibly a podium finish, keeping my 5 tri streak alive. But at mile 8 a sharp pain in my left hip prevented me from continuing to run, so I walked the last 5 miles. I also began to cramp, so even without the hip pain I would not have finished running. It's my fault as while I have worked on my swim and bike, I have neglected the run. I finished, albeit 10th. Not podium, no IM 70.3 Championship invites, but I AM AN IRONMAN. Well, a Half Ironman. And dam proud to say it.



Thanks to my swim coach, Eddie Bernal (who just returned from the London ITU World Championships) I was 2nd in the swim for my AG. I held that positions through the bike and up to mile 3 of the run, but then I got passed. I might have held 3rd but then my hip acted up and I had to walk. Limping and gritting my teeth I finished the last 5 miles, and mustered enough to jog the final 400 yds to the finish.

It was an incredible event, and other than the hip problem, I stayed with my plan exactly. I did not allow enough time in the transition area in the AM to get all my water bottles filled as I planned. I think that may have contributed to my cramping. But most was just a lack of focus on running and bricks. After a 2 week rest, I'll start training for Miami Man Olympic. I'm quite confident with that distance, and look to resume my podium finishes.
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Old 09-30-13, 06:40 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing. Thinking about my first IM at 52 (soon to be 53). Been biking 4 years & can Handle 100+ on a bike, my run is up to 5 miles at 10+ min pace, now gotta get to swimming. Thanks for inspiring me.
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Old 10-07-13, 02:56 PM   #12
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Thanks for sharing. Thinking about my first IM at 52 (soon to be 53). Been biking 4 years & can Handle 100+ on a bike, my run is up to 5 miles at 10+ min pace, now gotta get to swimming. Thanks for inspiring me.
Ridin'
See if there is a Master's swim group that welcomes NOOBS and go. Pay money and COMMIT to regular 2, 3 or 4 hrs x per week swimming with a group under a coach. Next best is go get a good swim training video course and follow it. Problem is, what you think you are doing in the water and what you are REALLY doing can often be far apart.

Never the less, be it swim or run, "just do it" and do it often. Shorter and more often is better and once in a while and longer.
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Old 10-26-13, 10:05 AM   #13
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I found this thread, your story, all of your posts, extremely motivating and informative. Thank you so much for sharing all of this.
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