A Jim of All Trades

Duathlons, Triathlons, and Working Out

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It’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything about exercise and racing, so I thought I’d get on that.

First off, my days of “heavy” [for me] weight lifting are over. As I focus more and more on multi-sport/endurance activities, lifting heavy became a lot less relevant, and as I age I’m just not able to bounce back or make gains like I used to. I still really enjoy lifting and haven’t stopped, but I’ve tailored it more to supplement my racing goals and am no longer pursuing one rep maxes and personal bests. I’m also not sore all the time like I used to be.

Last year I did two sprint duathlons and two 5k’s.  I finished second overall in the first duathlon (out of only about 20 people) and fourth overall in the second duathlon (out of about 30 people).  Before you get too impressed, the level of competition in these events wasn’t that great and I was BLOWN AWAY by the winners, like a several minute difference. In the 5k’s, I placed 3rd in my age group in the first one (guessing 20 something out of a couple hundred entrants)  and the second one I did for fun with a some family members and wasn’t really competing. The result in the first 5k was really surprising, my time truly wasn’t that good but my whole age group did poorly, so I still placed.

I really like doing these races and am going to continue. As I’ve said before, 5k’s have lost their appeal for me and I don’t plan on them, but I still will if it’s convenient or if I’m doing it with someone else for fun.

My plans for this year are a little different than what I had intended. I didn’t really have much interest in triathlons (did one 6 years ago and thought it would be my one and only), but the duathlon I normally do in April has been cancelled (due to dropping interest) and only the option of a triathlon is available. So, I’m going to try my hand at triathlons again this year. The number of competitors and level of competition is much greater in the tri than in the duathlon, and it will be surprising if I’m able to win anything. Looking at previous years’ results, I’ll probably finish middle of the pack. Oh well. I am training very seriously for it though and am going to take a swimming lesson or two to improve. I’m just going to try to do the best I can and have fun with it.

I found a very short triathlon that’s early in the summer in Virginia, close to where some family lives, and I’m planning on doing that one too. Not that I need a reason to visit them, but it’ll give me an excuse to go down and enjoy myself. It’ll also be neat having some more people along to cheer me on. Well, hopefully they cheer, it would stink if they booed!

Aside from that, there is another local event in the summer where you have the option of doing a triathlon or duathlon, and there’s another duathlon in Maryland I’m somewhat interested in, so I might end up doing one of those. Otherwise I might do a 5k or something if it seems like it’ll be fun.

For training, I actually bought a book and am following a structured plan. I always used to make up my own routines but I want to do better this year, so figured a book would be a good idea. The book is  “Training Plans for Multisport Athletes: Your Essential Guide to Triathlon, Duathlon, Xterra, Ironman & Endurance Racing” by Gale Bernhardt. I decided on it last year since it was one of the few books I found that had plans specifically for duathlons. It has more content about triathlons, which I’m thankful for now that I’m going to do some, but had I known I was going to be training for tris I might have gotten something different. It seems good though and I’m happy with it, though sometimes wonder if I’m training enough. I guess time will tell and the races will show how well it worked, I’m committed to following it until then.

For workouts, I’m running, biking, and swimming two to three times a week each. I lift two to three times a week as well. I’ve been doing plans from the book since mid last year and have noticed improvements in my overall endurance, but not much so far for speed. The plans seem to build up to that though, and last year I changed plans a couple times just trying things out when I wasn’t specifically training for something, so I’ll give it time now that I’m set for the triathlon. I also got a GPS watch with a heart rate monitor and have been training based off of heart rate; it’s pretty cool and I wish I would have gotten one sooner, I get a lot more out of my runs and biking this way.

Well, that about covers it. I don’t think I’ll be posting as much about fitness, but I’ll update on progress and race results at a minimum.

Thanks for reading and happy training!

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Written by Jim

January 16, 2016 at 12:36 pm

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