Did My First Tri 3 Years Ago, Need Help Getting Back

author : acbadger
comments : 0

I am totally out of shape. I haven't worked out in over 2 years. I want to get back into it. I am facing several challenges including time constraints and being over weight.

Question:
Hello. I am Rebekah from Ohio. I am a married mother of 1. I did my first (and only) tri in 2003 in Cleveland Ohio. I finished! I am totally out of shape. I haven't worked out in over 2 years. I want to get back into it. I am facing several challenges including time constraints and being over weight. I have committed myself to working out 3 days a week. That puts me getting up at 5:30am. Any suggestions on how to diet/exercise would be welcome and appreciated.

Answer:
Hello Rebekah!!! Welcome to Beginner Triathlete.com!! It is GREAT to have you as a reader, and an active participant in our Beginner Q & A section.

I want to start by congratulating you on finishing your first ever triathlon!! The fact that you do have a triathlon under your belt tells me that this is something that you enjoyed doing and want to commit to again!! I understand that it is going to feel as though you are ‘starting all over’ since it has been a while since you last worked out, but you know the dedication it requires to do a triathlon, and I think you will have NO problem with the advice I am going to give you.

I too am a Mother of one and I realize that time in a Mother’s schedule is limited…however, the fact that you have opted to work out in the early mornings is WONDERFUL. Here is why…#1 There are FAR less excuses to come up with in the morning to postpone a workout. Can’t do your grocery shopping at 5:30 AM!! Your child will be fast asleep (as will your husband), so you are not missing quality family time! That is exactly the same time I work out during the week. It works for everyone, and keeps the whole family happy while keeping you in shape! Statistics show that those who are morning exercisers are more committed to their workouts and stick with them longer then their afternoon exercising counterparts.

You also made reference to being ‘totally out of shape.’ For this reason, I recommend that you start exercising 2 to 3 days a week doing low impact cardiovascular exercises. This will save your joints from over-use and over-impact issues. Start with using the elliptical trainer to simulate running/walking and get on a stationary bike or attend an indoor cycling class to simulate your rides. Swimming would be OUTSTANDING for you, and there are your three disciplines. Start easy 20 to 30 minutes per session, and as you start to feel more fit, work your way up in duration and frequency of your workouts. Gradually you can increase your intensity as well (maybe not for a good 2 to 3 months or so), but my recommendation there is to listen to your body and make those increases when you feel its time.

Another GREAT way to monitor your fitness level is to purchase a heart rate monitor. These little gadgets are phenomenal and you can get a good quality base model for about $50 at any sporting good store! You can monitor your fitness level by finding your max heart rate (226-age for women, 220-age for men as a rough estimate) and then finding 65% to 85% of that max number. That is the range that you should be exercising in during your cardiovascular workout. Some people when they purchase a heart rate monitor find that they have not been working NEARLY as hard as they thought they were and some people find that they have been working WAY too hard. This will help you determine your fitness ‘level’ and will make each and every one of your workouts affective! It will also keep your heart safe and working at a level it SHOULD be working at.

Now, nutrition. I am not a Nutritionist, but being a Personal Trainer, I have some basic knowledge of nutrition. If you need something a little more detailed, I recommend finding a licensed Nutritionist in your area.


My advice to you would be start with baby steps. Don’t go cold turkey and DON’T go on a “diet!” I HATE the “d” word. Instead of going on a diet, you should change your meal planning. That way, it is more permanent a lifestyle change as opposed to a quick fix! Start by cleaning out every bit of junk you have in your house. Sugar cereals, candy, full sugar yogurts, etc. Go grocery shopping and buy fruits, veggies, whole wheat, bread and pastas. Be sure the fruits and veggies you buy are bright in color. The colorful foods have the best sources of vitamins and minerals in them!!

 

Instead of Idaho potatoes, buy sweet potatoes (yams) or red potatoes for example! Next, watch portion sizes. Eat on smaller dishes, plop a piece of chicken on your plate that is only as large as a deck of cards, and make sure that your plate is taken up mostly, with vegetables and protein. Finally, try to eat 5 SMALL meals a day…breakfast (as soon as you get up to start that metabolism burning), morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. Oh, and I cannot forget water!!! You should be drinking half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water!! It’s hard, but it will make a HUGE difference in how you feel and perform when at the gym!!

Good luck with these few tips I have given you!! Please be sure to check back with us if you need further assistance…or if you just want to tell us how you are doing!! We would LOVE to hear back from you!

Take care and be well!!

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date: January 30, 2006

acbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

avataracbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

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