Home Chat General Chat

Unfit Newbie

Hi All,
At the age of 43 Ive decided I really ought to start to look after myself a bit more and get some exercise, and as Id been doing a little bit of cycling I decided to up the bike training a bit...Im still slow and hate hills, but have also just started running ( still at the run 5 mins / walk 90 secs and repeat stage ) and can just about manage 10 lengths of the pool ( breaststroke ) before needing a rest! Despite being knackered im really enjoying it all and would love to think that one day I might manage a sprint. Would love any advice from others who have started from such humble beginnings.




  • Hi, my advice is to get on a book a sprint event - This way you have something to aim for and if you give yourself plenty of time you'll be able to build your level of fitness and be able to complete the tri. i would also say unless you are already a great swimmer, its well worth getting some lessons to improve technique and efficiency.
    Good luck
  • Thanks, yes at the moment the swimming is on a back burner....Im cycling a couple of times per week and currently running 3 times a week (using an NHS podcast designed to get you running from nothing to 5K over 9 weeks...Im only on week 4!)... The running has made me realise just how unfit i am, so I wrongly or rightly thought that this would be the bit to focus on and get my general fitness levels up. There is a triathlon group near me who will soon be holding weekly swim sessions / tuition so i'll definately go along. I am doing a very short duathlon next month ( run 2K cycle 7K run 1K ) - short but i need to start somewhere! Thanks again!
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Good luck fletch
  • The other thing you may want to do is join your local Tri club. Mine is a great source of support, advice and guidance, and training as part of a group does seem to help me push it a bit harder at times.

    Good luck and welcome to Tri.
  • Thanks for writing, i'll keep you updated!

    Thanks again

  • Good luck Fletch! 

  • Set goals, little and often - a great way of fulfilling elements all combining towards an ultimate ambition. This way, you will be motivated towards them, they are achievable and cultivate a strong mental attitude.

    You can manage 10 lengths of the pool this month, aim for 12 next month and so on.

    The biggest single improvement l have found in my training regime is to be surrounded by others who enjoy it for what it is - a local club offers coaching, camaraderie, companionship and advice. Bike rides (can be) long and boring on your own and its difficult to stay self motivated, if you are in a group you are all in it together.

    Park run 5km events are everywhere, free and available to everyone. The concept behind this is an absolute gem, l use them today as it keeps you honest on progress.

    Finally - enjoy everything you do. Dont try to build Rome in a day (If Triathlon was easy everyone would do it!), approach it with respect and tune your body and mind accordingly.  Eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired focus on the positive if you have a tough day (we all do!) learn from it and go on.

    Never give up - l have entered my first Ironman (Bolton 2014) and got back in from a long bike ride just the other day, and the thought of running a marathon after that 'thrilled me'.  But l know that to keep chipping away at it, l will get there and l will do it.

    Best of luck Fletch

  • Not sure what happened try again.

    A year ago i couldn't swim out my depth, didn't own proper running shoes and didn't own a road bike. 1 year on I've completed my 1st season, 1 sprint and 2 Olympic distance races. Enter a race (or3) and train you'll find come race day if you're like me (I'm 37) then you'll be terrified but find you're mentally and physically stronger than you think. One word of warning though, its addictive I'm weighing up my 1st middle distance for next year. Best of luck
  • FletchFletch Posts: 4

    Thanks all for your encouraging words...  THings are going OK, the running is improving and Im getting in a few bike rides each week, so looking forward to seeing more improvement. Looking at a super sprint next spring, so Ive got a goal to work towards. Thanks again!

  • Hi Fletch,  i am also new to Tri and have completed two Super Sprint events.  Like you I could not swim, i came last out of the water both times but my bike and run is strong(er).  My first super sprint i came 41 and my second i came 9th.  A massive improvment.  This summer I found a open water swim session at Salford Water Centre and spent my whole summer learning strength and technique in my swim.  I can now swim 1500m comfortably where as last year i could not even swim front crawl. 

    My aim for my first Tri was to just complete it and not worry about anyone else.

    Good luck it will all come together.  

  • SkettySketty Posts: 24

    Fletch, I'm 47 now and was where you are two years ago, started slowly doing my own thing for the first 12 months then once the bug had got hold started structuring the training. I've been doing that for the last 12 months and the changes in my fitness is noticeble, but still a long way to go. Jamesly is exactly right, I read an Ironman story online where it was said that 'nothing lights a fire under your a*!% more than entering' Don't just limit event entry to tri's either.....I enter everything in site, costs permitting. I'm doing 5k's, 10k's, 10 milers, half marathons, cross country, sportives.....if its cheap enough and close enough then I'm doing it. I'm going to do my first ever Marathon in Llanelli in April 2014 and the Wiggle Dragon Ride again in June. The local summer sprints and olympics will be a bit of fun along the way. I'm still crap at swimming and used to hate the sea swim part of the local tri's.....but the more you do it the more the pool becomes a boring place. I'm setting myself a challenge of swimming around the Gower Peninsula albeit in small stages from one beach to another until i've done the whole thing.....why, I dunno, maybe it will make me a better swimmer? 

    Two years ago i'd done nothing for 10 years....the only excercise I got was walking the dog! Go for it and I promise you will find cycling on the flat boring and you'll yearn for the challenge of the climbs and the adrenalin of fast descents - I changed my entire sprocket set so I could go downhill faster on my old road bike! We men never ever grow up.

  • I am with Sketty - get involved and enter things! I have learnt front crawl this year, completed a couple of sprint tris this year on my touring bike. Also lots of local running races to try to improve my running. It's great because you meet lots of people at events; fellow first and second timers, fellow slow people and even the fast folk on carbon bikes are lovely and have lots of good advice! Enjoy!

  • I agree with all the other comments - I am 47 and had not done any fitness since I left school so was a big lad- I could not swim a length ,run more than 200 meters 18 months ago but have since done 6 sprint triathlons. I am not fast but the good thing about triathlons you can compete against yourself trying to beat you PB every time even if by a few seconds. I have now entered a few Olympic distances for 2014. The advice re joining a club is great advice and I would recommend it. 

  • Book an event for next year then aim for that. That is what I did and it worked!! Came 3rd from last but I completed it. Good luck 

  • FionaFiona Posts: 2

    agree withb everyone!  give yourself a target.  I used to be relatively active and then had children!  I've started swimming again at lunchtime fitting it in with flexi time.  I too have had to learn to properly do front crawl properly (ish).  I completed a half mile in 28 minutes.  Not exceptional but good for me!!!! 

    I'm going to get some proper lessons for crawl as I reckon I could do the ole mile if I could improve my technique.

    I'm 48 and am glad I've started again doing "stuff".  Keep plugging away!

Sign In or Register to comment.