Tri’d and True: Making Training for a Triathlon Sustainable – Fitness – RI Fit Mag

by Michael Mollis

Let’s face it, life just gets busier the older we get. Not until we are fortunate enough to retire on that million dollar yacht and cruise the world, do we get to really slow things down. So, how do we fit in what we enjoy to do into our hectic schedules? A major problem we make is placing our health too far down that to-do list. Our health needs to take a balanced precedent over everything else. Keyword: Balance.

I am a 29 year old husband, father, EMT, and entrepreneur. Busy doesn’t even begin to describe my life, so you can imagine how important a healthy and balanced lifestyle is to the quality of my life. Which is why a few years back, I slowly began developing sustainable workout routines revolving around my passion for triathlons. Triathlons are very fascinating, unique sports. It’s one where you’re ultimately up against yourself, pushing yourself each mile when the going gets tough and you want to toss in the towel. It also involves three different sports: swimming, cycling, and running, with each of them separated by the tricky transitions.

First and foremost, let’s just say less is more! Don’t get wrapped up in over-training due to a fear that you won’t be prepared for the big race. Listen to your body and nurture it just as much as you are exercising it.

Unless you’re going to be a competitive triathlete, there is no need to make training your top priority. The purpose of getting into the triathlon sport should be for fun and setting personal goals. It should also be an achievement you set ahead for yourself and continually, gradually, and sustainably work towards, while simultaneously enjoying the journey and taking care of your mind, body, and spirit the best way you know how. Most of us have a family, a career, and a life to enjoy to the fullest, so don’t neglect any of these areas by getting caught up in the wrong meaning of triathlons — or any sport for that matter.

A simple, sustainable training plan for all beginner triathletes and fitness enthusiasts is extremely important. Obviously, based on your current schedule with family, work, travel, and whatever else life throws at you, a custom plan is a must and you will have to come up with that on your own. However, a good, solid foundation is key to being able to withstand training over a long period of time; preferably well into your old-age: gray-haired and wrinkly but still swimming, biking, and running! Whoo hoo!

  • Run (at a comfortable pace) 5-10 miles per week.
  • Bike (road or mountain) 10-20 miles per week.
  • Swim (pool and open-water) 1-2 miles per week.
  • Resistance training (free-weight, cables, and/or body-weight exercises) 3 times for 30 minute sessions per week.

Try getting in most of your mileage and workouts early in the morning; a time of day that typically doesn’t take away from anything else in your life. Otherwise, get creative and get your workouts in on the weekends with the family. For instance, a family outing on the bike path, tread some water in the pool with your kids, or do an obstacle course of pull-ups, push-ups and dips at the playground with your kids. Not only will you get your workout in, but you’ll be spending quality time with the ones you love and being a great role model for those around you.

In addition to exercise, eat healthy and keep hydrated!

Keep it simple, make it fun, and go hard with whatever you are doing, but take care of yourself. This is what works for me and has been proven to boost all areas of my life. It is my TRI’d-and-True formula… what’s yours?

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