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Sopped boozing and got my shorts and trainers back on

Hi All

The is my first post on this board/website, and I am probably about to ask the one question you guys get asked all the time,sorry, it's swimming related. 

Quick run down about me, I am 55 and recently quit drinking, it was inching towards becoming a problem for me and did effect my health from what it was. But hey ho, I only really started problem boozing in my 40's and there is still time to reverse some of the mess, and stop acting the "Has been" when sport/fitness related conversations come up

As a young man I was running a marathon in 2 Hour 47 and with little training for it, but I was ex forces and doing lots of sport back then. I have a binge personality so I tended to binge train, when I did train I hit it hard. But In recent years I have been a little reckless with my heath for various reasons.

So I am now a little fat guy, not massive  fat but bad enough, and have already lost 9 LB of the 22 LB I would like to shed. My first run out was a non stopping 5 mile at 50 minutes, OK not anything like you guys can do, but for me it was a  lift and gave me a little hope that just maybe I  am not beyond repair. So I am still jogging and banging out 30 miles on the cycle, not fast but loving that as a non experienced cyclist, hate running I would like to add.

So Over the next year I am quite certain I can do something with my running and cycling, but the swimming .. Yuk.

I have toyed with the idea  of doing a triathlon for years/decades. I tried swimming on my own, so exhausting, I got my Padi Scuba a decade ago and that put a few thoughts is my head about breathing, I started taking lessons and just when I was getting somewhere I had to move and lessons were put on hold.

OK, an Ironman is not going to happen, but I feel like there is a sprint at least in me and probably an Olympic Tri?

I did try my local Triathlon club, sent a nice email(twice now) for a little advice, any did not get anything  back to so I am working on the adage of if you have nothing nice to say.... Just not who I am personally when a "loser" comes to me for advice and even inspiration

Anyway, any advice would be a big help




  • BoydmackBoydmack Posts: 1

    Hi John.   

    I would sign up for a sprint distance first that is in a pool.  I have been doing these for a number of years and they are a good fun way to get fit.  

    I taught myself to swim front crawl by training videos on you tube and then swimming on the feet of better swimmers at the local pool. I am doing my first standard distance in July and now I am panic training on the bike.   

    I am also ex forces (RAF) and on leaving pretty much stopped sport as well to concentrate on jobs and home.  I started running again when I hit 50 as I thought I would like to do a marathon again.  I am now aged 61 and still going reasonably strong and also now in a running club.  

    With the club thing you are better just going along on a training night and taking part to see if that is for you or not.  Whatever you do I am sure you will enjoy the journey.  I am happy if I don't drown in the swim. fall off my bike and stay on my feet in the run!  

    The good thing is you set your own goals.

    Good Luck! 

  • AngiemacAngiemac Posts: 40

    Do it, Do it!

    I took swimming lessons to learn front crawl at 45. I'm never going to contest for a place, but triathlon challenges me on a personal level. Try a super sprint or novice tri (in the pool as boydmack suggests) and relax and enjoy it - once you've go the bug you'll find ways to improve your swimming. Take the time to enjoy your races and training and it will be a labour of love. Personally I hate the running but I do it because I enjoy the other 2 parts. I endure the running training so that it doesn't let me down, and slowly I'm getting there. 

    You don't say which part of the country you're in so I can't advise you about the tri club, but in my experience ignoring you is unusual. They are usually really keen to get new members and help them in all disciplines. Have you tried others clubs in your area? If you're in Essex, try my club (Born2Tri) - we're always open to new members. Hopefully the club you have tried to email is just a little busy as the season kicks off.

    Best of luck.

  • grumpygitgrumpygit Posts: 4

    Thanks Angiemack and Bodymack, I thought nobody was going to get back to me. I was straight on You Tube, you are right, there is a good deal I can put in place myself, after all I used the internet to be a great cook and well on my way to playing a decent guitar  and so much more,

    I am in Kimbolton Angie, tried a few clubs within a decent distance, cannot say I have had much help yet, but will wait and see, after all we are all busy, I have really fallen in love with cycling, I can really knock the miles out and I am wanting to do it. Unlike running where at the end of my best days as a runner I was hating it, the urge to compete stayed lost. 

    I was out again yesterday on the bike and covered 75 miles in the afternoon, I am not challenging myself, I just want to do it. Was knackered when I got home though, but there was still more left. Like with anything if you are enjoying what you are doing you have one 90% of the battle, I am starting to suspect that cycling could be a way of getting my base fitness back up there and my running will improve because of it?

  • Hi John, as someone who was previously very fit, you may be surprised how quickly you can build speed back. I suspect that deep down you are very competitive, once you get the Triathlon bug, you will be putting a lot of attention to getting faster.

    I was a cyclist when younger, I have lost around 45lb over the past 18 months and can now cycle an Olympic distance Triathlon leg (40km - 25miles) in 1 hour, then run 10k in 44 mins. My swim is not the strongest, but this is getting better with coaching and practice

    You are correct that cycling will help build you base fitness, and running will follow - you do use different muscle groups for running and cycling, but since you were a good runner, it come back easily

    Be careful about over training too fast, especially running, knees, ankles and hips need care when building speed and distance - Currently I have got tendinitis around my knee due to overdoing it in May

    The local tri club may just be bad at answering mails, find out when they run training sessions and turn up, they normally cater for a range of abilities. Best sessions would probably be a swim or a run

  • grumpygitgrumpygit Posts: 4

    Thanks Matthew

    The pounds are now slowly coming off, my logic is that while the weight is there cycling is the best option to reach "a level", no idea what that level is yet, without doing my joints in getting there. And Wow, you are going at some pace to do 25 miles in 1 hour, big well done.

    I was about to mention the 75 miles I did in 5hr 45 with a decent fish and chip dinner break, they went down without touching the side of my throat, But I see I have already mentioned it. Though I am not fast I am loving it, off cycling again in a few hours, off road this time.

    That 75 mile ride though not spectacular in speed has given me a massive lift, there was a lot in the tank when I finished and you might laugh, but even the fish and chip dinner had taught me a lot, rather than being a bad thing the energy I had after that meal was fantastic rather than feeling sluggish. 

    Not that an old unfit guy like me could ever dream of doing an Ironman(Mmm, Hey! who knows), but with attention to detail and nutrition while doing it with not going flat out and after good training, why could it not be possible? who could probably do a sub 8 hour for the cycle part in the state I am in now...I can dream

  • grumpygitgrumpygit Posts: 4

    P.S  Joined local Tri club in Huntingdon near me.

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