General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Army.. How do you train? Rss Feed  
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2012-09-13 9:03 AM

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Subject: Army.. How do you train?
That's my big question.  I'm in the Army also and am having a hard time finding time to train for my first tri.  PT is mandatory and does very little to help prep for a tri.  I have a family and small children so training for very long in the evening is out, it's also a half hour drive to get to a pool or place I can bike safely.  Weekend training is great but it's only a couple of days out of a week.  How do the rest of you plan your week to get tri specific training in?


2012-09-13 9:17 AM
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Subject: RE: Army.. How do you train?
I am no longer in the Army, my husband is still in so I can give some insight since we do tris together. Morning PT does nothing for him. 3 days a week he packs his lunch, swims when lunch starts, and eats afterwards. After final formation a few days a week he will run either outside or on the treadmill at the gym. A few evenings during the week he will do a ride on the bike trainer before bed. On Saturday mornings he goes on a group rides, and Sundays are my long training day where he stays home with the kids. We have 2 young kids so we find ourselves playing training tetris during the week. Sometimes he will take the evening off training so I can train and vice versa. Our oldest goes to kindergarten and our youngest isn't in school so I take advantage and put her in one of the CYS centers on post while I am training. Its tough but if you want it, it is doable 
2012-09-13 9:18 AM
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Subject: RE: Army.. How do you train?
2012-09-13 9:22 AM
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Subject: RE: Army.. How do you train?

jillian_o - 2012-09-13 10:17 AM I am no longer in the Army, my husband is still in so I can give some insight since we do tris together. Morning PT does nothing for him. 3 days a week he packs his lunch, swims when lunch starts, and eats afterwards. After final formation a few days a week he will run either outside or on the treadmill at the gym. A few evenings during the week he will do a ride on the bike trainer before bed. On Saturday mornings he goes on a group rides, and Sundays are my long training day where he stays home with the kids. We have 2 young kids so we find ourselves playing training tetris during the week. Sometimes he will take the evening off training so I can train and vice versa. Our oldest goes to kindergarten and our youngest isn't in school so I take advantage and put her in one of the CYS centers on post while I am training. Its tough but if you want it, it is doable 

All good advice!

A bike trainer is your friend! With kids, you're bound for some late nights/early mornings working out, but with a bike trainer - you can get in loads of quality training while being home. Check out Craigslist or the classified here for a good deal on one.

2012-09-13 6:34 PM
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Subject: RE: Army.. How do you train?

I'm in the Air Force and haven't training to be the difficult aspect of triathlons, rather trying to fit in races into the schedule.  There always seems to be an exercise, TDY, etc that pops up.  What helps me with training is two-fold:  a) early morning workouts (I'll bike/run/or swim before unit PT) to get the miles and b) indoor bike trainer--Kinetic by Kurt has been a great addition.  This week I've already put 3 hrs on it while watching football...

2012-09-13 7:28 PM
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Subject: RE: Army.. How do you train?
Morning PT was the single largest factor in why I did not re-up at the end of my 4 year contract.  What a useless and complete waste of time.


2012-09-13 8:45 PM
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Subject: RE: Army.. How do you train?

When I was a 1SG (last job) I would end up training through lunch.   Currrent job is PT on your own but I have a lot of coworkers that get into some of the longer runs.  Runs would start around 0530.  On non duty days people in the section actually get together for some trail runs.  I have gotten several to sign up for marathons and ultras.  There is a state park right across from the base so a lunch time mountain bike ride is not impossible.   I try to commute by bike which would be 18 miles each way. I just have to leave the house by 0400.   

  Can you get a short run in after the unit PT then get another one in prior to heading home? My kids like to ride their bikes so I will run with them on the local MUPs.

2012-09-13 8:59 PM
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Subject: RE: Army.. How do you train?

Thank you to everyone for the input!  I usually eat lunch at my desk while working but I think I'll change that and start working out at lunch then just graze throughout the afternoon.  I think I can get a couple of swims in that way and a run or two per week.

The Stripes video pretty much sums up my opinion on organized PT. 

2012-09-13 10:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Army.. How do you train?

I am active Army and in a helicopter flight company. I am trying to get back to my routine, but this was my routine before my 6 week vacation.

0400 Wake-up
0415-0430 out the door for a morning run (3.5-7 miles)/ride 5-10 miles
0530 back home, change close, wash up, etc.
0600 out the door to morning PT
0630-0730 Morning PT
0730-0830 shower etc at the hanger
0830-1130 work
1130-1300 swim at the pool on post, eat lunch when got back to work in segments
1300-1700/1800 work day
1730/1830 evening ride (10 miles)/run (7-10 miles)
1930 eat
2000-2100 go to bed

I am also single, live 4 miles from where I work on post. Since I started work a few minutes early 0830, if my swim ran a little long it was no big deal. I would schedule my morning run/ride around what we were scheduled to do at PT. If it was a run day I would do a ride or a short run, muscle failure then a longer run. I am also in Alaska so I could run/ride outside at 4am wearing sunglasses. I now "fall back" with any of our slow runners or those who can not stay with the formation on runs. My Plt SGT and Plt Leader both know I do extra on my own and do not push me as much as the others.

Good luck.

2012-09-13 11:12 PM
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Subject: RE: Army.. How do you train?
You've got a super awesome 50M pool that opens before anyone does PT in the morning.  Start there, then PT, and run or ride at lunch--get to the back side of Biggs away from traffic and you can get some miles on your bike.  And/or get some good lights and ride weekend mornings before the family gets up.  El Paso is an awesome place to train!
2012-09-14 11:18 AM
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Subject: RE: Army.. How do you train?

I have a suggestion, but this is very much dependent on the personalities in your unit. When I was in the Army, I had a battalion commander who was a pretty hard core PT guy. He recognized that normal unit PT didn't always benefit everyone, so he put someone in charge of an elite PT group. We offered it up to some folks who could max a PT test (or some other criteria) and then met a few times a week in lieu of normal PT. It was primarily focused on running--more intense / longer runs and some track sessions. I think we did meet for some swimming too, but I think it was more effective when we stuck with running. 

Maybe this isn't feasible for you, but maybe you could put together a proposal and lead the effort. Win-win. Another thing that could help to sell it might be to find a local race that has a military competition, put together a team, and then request to do training sessions with that small group instead of PT. If you can find some angle that benefits the unit and benefits you at the same time, you could probably make it work--it'll just take some initiative.



2012-09-15 7:11 PM
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Subject: RE: Army.. How do you train?
I am in the Marine Corps based out of Camp Pendleton.  I run virtually every morning and my command is pretty supportive of me doing triathlons so I do my own PT.  I get about 8 miles in the morning and then 3 1/2 after the wife an kids go to bed.  I like running at the end of the day since it is a great stress reliever.  I swim during my lunch and since I am a grazer I eat throughout the day so that lunch hour is pretty much open anyways.  I push as many laps as I can do on 30 mins and use the remaining 30 mins to work on form, technique and strength.  Bike is the tricky one.  I have ridden to work before however I do need my vehicle alot to run errands on base so that didnt last long.  Its was 7 miles there and back so 14 miles 3 days a week with a long ride on the weekend that was upwards of 50 miles.  Now i get my bike in mainly on the weekends but I do bring my bike to work and ride it to the pool which is about 7 mile round trip.  Something is better that nothing.  Another good one is what we call a run swim run.  I run that 3 1/2 mile to the pool, swim 1000 meters and then run back.  Its a A** kicker.  You are most likely going to have to sacrifice your time to get that training in there.  Either wake up early or go to bed later.
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General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Army.. How do you train? Rss Feed