oh bugger, another fat newbie.....

Hello all.

After much ribbing and pointing out of the bleedin obvious, I've decided to address my lard to lad ratio by taking up triathlon.  swim-bike-run: how hard can it be ?

first off, ive dug all my old stuff out of the garage : steel slx racer with campagnolo record stuff, a fluid trainer? helmet, shoes and some clothing that wouldnt fit 20yrs ago.  trainers, shorts and tshirts a plenty. bike is circa Greg Lemond racing. ( team Z colours )

ive got all the books and what have you. nice shelf fillers.  even found somethings by peter read?

Even have a tunturi treadmill and a stationary bike gathering dust.  And a polar accurex+ system ( in workign order, all be it serial port connected )

ive a plastic card burning a hole and ive managed to not buy anything pretty/shiney/new as:

a) id have more success bringing home a gilfriend than a giant tt delux thingy racer/wetsuit. ( wife 1.0 will be in situ upon arrival, and they closed my local A&E )

b) Im old enough to know im not good enough for any of that stuff.

c) im sharp enough to know im not going to do a triathlon or anything else because i melted the plastic card on stuff.


SO, a couple of questions :

1) Do I actually need anything - im not doing speedo's for less than 6 figures and shorts are all I have - maybe some new running shoes ?

2) Is their a sprint triathlon I could target in around 90 days within 90 miles of Birmingham ? ( little goal first - do a triathlon , big goal last - do Ironman triathlon )

3) is their a guide to getting up for no:1 

4) should I just skip triathlon and get myself sectioned ?

personal details 46. 21st. havent been fit for 10yrs. not really fit for 15 ( when I actually passed RMR selection-ahead of 40 odd 21yr olds ) . oh and I over analyse everything. so i understand the mechanics of bikes, bodies, HRM training/lactate things and all things related to not actually training. thick skinned, bloody minded.

Currently reading Hoag? book - kinda set me a challenge as running is just boring, and more so on a treadmill. So why not mix it up. So Ironman before Im 50, but first things first: drop 100lbs of lard and finish a sprint tri without seeing the inside of the stJohns ambulance.

many thanks for your kind consideration.



  • Hi Peter!
    1) If you have a bike with a helmet and shoes, you won't need to spend much at all before doing your first triathlon. A tri-suit (lycra all-in-one that you can wear for all 3 events on race day) is nice, but not essential. Swimming goggles are very useful and very cheap. If you do an open-water swim, you'll need a swimming wetsuit, but some triathlons have the swim in a pool.

    2) Having said that, it's a summer sport and events will be very thin on the ground in 3 months' time. 

    3) I don't understand this. Something about running shoes?

    4) No! Triathlon's great fun and it's not like you have to be 10 stone or whatever to be good at it. Just ask Fat Buddha, a very respected forum member and triathlete. Personally, I've lost count of the number of people of "less athletic" build who've shown me a clean pair of heels/wheels when swimming or cycling!

    Best of luck with it all!

  • oh bugger. 15 mins turbo, 15 mins running. I think i killed my legs

    running shoes - trainers - i think nike stopped making mine before tony got to number 10. time for a change ( i think the wife will allow it )


    thanks pethead !

  • D0MD0M ✭✭✭

    As Tri is a summer sport and not many around in 90 days, maybe target some individual events such as a low key 10k fun run as a target to work towards.  Your main priority over the next 6 months is to build your base/engine.  This is achieved by consistency of solid training.  By solid, I mean slightly challenging, not flogging yourself.  Good luck.


  • KK! Are you naughty or what? It put a smile across my face.

    SgtLard, I gather that you are under no illusions that it's going to be a quick journey. You have clearly identified the obvious first hindrance, I don't even mean the lack of trainers at this point. I'm trying to be subtle and polite (not my strong point), but helpful. Pethead has mentioned FBuddha, and a very important word. Respect. Anyone who is carrying 21st has got a bit to shift, even if they are 7 foot tall. (You didn't mention).

    The excess stuff that isn't muscle (are we allowed to call it fat?) will be dispersed around the body: wodgy bits in the middle as well as marbling through all the muscles. Think of braising beef rather than sirloin. Some call it cellulite, but it is what it is. An important consideration is that the most important muscle, the heart, is also going to be a bit lardy too. Your General Practitioner will be your friend in this move forwards, and they will almost certainly want you to make slow progress. Ask the heart to do too much too soon and they will be one patient fewer in no time.

    What I think you need to consider is a balanced change. First, kick the idea of Ironman or marathon into the long grass and set yourself realistic and reasonable targets that can be achieved in 3 months and 6 months. The marathon or even Ironman could be resurrected in a few years time when you are a different shape.
    You will be supported every step of the way, and I do wish you luck. I have great respect for anyone who has decided to do something about their weight or fitness.

    -Diet, including alcohol and chocolate intake. Nasty word that diet, but it should just mean eating less than you actually burn.
    -Daily exercise. This needs to raise the heart rate to a working level, running is great for it, but stiff walking can do the same. Cycling and swimming are less weight bearing and can be useful in a balanced regime, but not as good IMHO for weight loss. This might be useful though, as running when unfit and overweight can mean that the heart is being asked to work too hard too soon.
    -Support. The health professionals have seen success stories as well as failures. They like the good news ones better.

    Good luck on your journey.

  • Hi sgtLard (great name!) welcome to tri. Blisters makes some valid points, steady progress, check with your GP and look at your diet too- you don't have to starve to death, just eat balanced and excercise regular. You may be pushed to do a tri in 90 days as it is coming to the end of the season now. There may be one or two duathlons around but your best bet is to enter a few 5k runs. There are lots of good training plans on this website for running and tri. Also check out the events section for races near you. I think you will probably be best to go for a tri next spring when they start this will give you plenty of time to train. The only thing I would say about kit is prob best to have a gait analysis done- it's free at most decent running/sports shops and will ensure you have a pair of trainers that will suit the way you run.

     Best of luck!  

  • Hi Sgt Lard.

    What they said. Plus my suggestion of Parkrun. A free, weekly 5km timed run. Open and used by all abilities. Get yourself registered online then turn up for one. Walk it, jog it, run/walk. Over time you'll get a lot faster.

    Where are you?

  • Thanks everyone.

    Indeed, 21st. Only 6ft, so yes, omg i'm fat. I know it took a while to add it, and so a while to loose it. A friend once remarked, 'getting fit is easy. Do more, Eat less'. So bread, chocolate, cheese are all restricted along with takeaways. Never been a drinker or a smoker, so thats good. And i was fit once. So i know what fun that is.

    Once upon a time I did do some road racing (not for me) and some time trials - fun at the ti me hence the overly expensive road bike ( back before carbon fibre and 10spd nonsense - steel is steel and at 21st, steel is needed).

    Been to the quack and all is good so long as im gentle and pay attention to anything that doenst feel right. Ran a solid mile at 12min pace this morning. No resting, walking or standing about....just need to add a few more at that pace, then drop e pace to an avg 8min mile. image. Heart rate was too high, but it cant be helped - ive been bone idol for too long. Ive done a bit of treadmill running (more off than on) and managed a 5k in 39mins earlier in the summer - so thats a pb i want to break before christmas.

    20 min turbo session tomorrow. Oh, and chase down swimming options.

    Im thinking 5ks and ive seen a co uple of dualathons? Burntwood has a aquathon in about 7 weeks - 400m pool then 5k run...... Sounds like a challenge to me. image

    Im based in cannock, and the job will take me all over the UK ~ all within 120 miles or so. So early mornings and turbo/treadmill will be a backbone. Swiming is the fly in the ointment..., but lots of places to get a couple of miles running in image

    Ive identified a couple of olympic length events in may - so about 9 months to get down around 15st and get up to 10k paced running, 60k bike and 2k swimming without needing a lie down. Stratford, henley, birmingham, stoke and lichfield over the summer window.

    Looking forward to a session on the turbo - been to long since i abused myself on one of those things.

    First, a bit of family time and maybe a new book on training image

    Thanks again everyone,

    Your support is most welcome while I make a habit of getting sweaty and sporty...
  • Don't focus on the pace. That has to take care of itself, and may take a long long time to come about. The very last thing you need to be doing is working out too hard. The slower you go, the further you go, and the longer you will last. I burn around 100 calories per mile, (you will burn more), and it's 100 calories whether it's a sprint, a jog or a stiff walk. The more ground you cover, the more you'll burn off. So the answer is to go at a slow pace. That's one reason why run/walk schedules are popular.

    I'd suggest that if you like toys, the one piece of kit that you would find useful (other than trainers) would be a simple heart rate monitor. Or did you say that you had one? Most base training is done around 75% to 85% max heart rate, with the lower end being better for endurance, therefore more calorie burn due to more mileage covered. I am guessing that 12 minute miles is going to be 85% plus at the moment, and that's not sustainable. Tortoise and hare....

  • I concur Blisters.  I'm going for a little base building, seing how bad it is before nailing my zones down and setting a 10 week plan in motion @ 80%+/-5 aerobic capacity.

    Indeed, i have a heart monitor gadget, seems im getting a deflection around 183. hr rises nicely as a i work but stalls at this point and if i push the intensity it all gets a bit hairy and i turn a nast grey colour  (eye witness account). 

    Ironman is my BHAG. Ive got a lot of work to do, starting with base and rebuilding my      cardiovasuclar levels then completing a couple of sprints and some standards. Ironman is the twinkle at the end of the tunnel for now. but its out there, calling to me. job#1: basic fitness & lard redux so I can make an olympic . thats what im focused on for now.

    lots of great content on this website. im going surfin and reading image

  • Going by your age of 46 and the "220-age" rule-of-thumb, you're predicted a maximum heart rate of 174 or thereabouts. So if your monitor's sticking on a maximum of 183, this probably really is your maximum and you shouldn't push any harder!

  • Pethead wrote (see)

    Going by your age of 46 and the "220-age" rule-of-thumb, you're predicted a maximum heart rate of 174 or thereabouts. So if your monitor's sticking on a maximum of 183, this probably really is your maximum and you shouldn't push any harder!

    Rule of ar$e (I have the MHR of a 16year old, and I know it can go higher) image

    Though good advice, especially as you go grey at higher intensities.

  • Sgt ... if remember correctly amongst the free plans on beginnertriathlete.com there are a couple of base building ones
    You could do worse than have a crack at one of those as it will help you structure the sessions and it will keep youhonest with regards pace and intensity (neither of which should be high!!)

  • Ludlow - a nice, beginner friendly tri. End of September.

    Worth a look if you wanted the experience - may still be open!

    There are a lot of cross country running races around too.

  • "4) No! Triathlon's great fun and it's not like you have to be 10 stone or whatever to be good at it. Just ask Fat Buddha, a very respected forum member and triathlete. Personally, I've lost count of the number of people of "less athletic" build who've shown me a clean pair of heels/wheels when swimming or cycling!"

    I thought my ears were burning...

    welcome to the madness Sgt Lard

    21 stone makes me look like a lightweight at around 16.5 stone - so, hooray, someone I can at last say is heavier than me around these parts!  but then I've been around that weight+/- a stone for the last n years - if I stopped exercising I'd be larger than you probably.  my base weight comes from too many years in the front row.

    as others have said, work at it slowly, eat sensibly and the weight will drop off you to a level that will make you more comfy to exercise more.  be careful not to overdo it and get injured and just get the base sorted for now and don't get too carried away with goals yet.

    good luck 

  • Checkout here for a few sptint training plans ... they may give you a few ideas




    PS ... i was 19st 8lb when i started

  • Good afternoon all.

    Many thanks again and i appreciate your taking note of the thread fat budha image

    Little and often on the exercise, just little in the nutrition it is then.

    Managed 20 mins on the turbo this morningspinning 90rpm +/- 5 on 53x19. Didnt get much o a rythm going - and the tri bars are just silly for now so their comming off . Hrt didnt get above 130, so i need to up the effort a little next time. Mind first time i tried the turbo, the left leg was having a glitch but that seems to be ok now.

    I need to confirm a max hrt and get my running down around 65% of that - 183 is not sustainable, is not my max, and is making my wife calm when im doing it.

    Shared the goal with the wife and shes onboard.....but i must kill myself in the process. Ive agreed not to kill myself in the process. And to eat salad.

    Now to naildown some pool time...

    Oh, and faced the boots bmi weight machine for some specific numbers - 6ft, 21st4, bmi 40.9 and fat ratio 36.3. These are going in my diary with some before photos and a couple of tape measurements I wont be sharing.

    Same process aIgain next month, to track process.
  • Can anyone tellme why the pro triathletes are wearing what looks like a pulse monitor on their ankle? (skimming 220 and finishing holgstes book while sombody cooks me dinner)

    Ps dinner was my turn yestrday and again tomorrow

    Off for a swim in the morning 400m goal with regular rests

    Thanks in advance
  • It's probably a timing chip on a neoprene strap
  • yep - it will be a timing chip.  most tri races use them these days as it gives a more accurate record of time splits - it records your time as you cross a timing mat at certain points.  

  • Thanks guys(?) 


  • Think the ? Mark means he's concerned about someones sexuality. Teehee.

    Me & FB are both guys
  • At the risk of splitting hairs, surely that's gender rather than sexuality? image

  • I stand corrected. I will crawl back under my stone
  • you'll need a big stone...image

  • Small boulder ?
  • you fellows are much too funny to be taken seriouslly.  If I had paid more attention to holgs book, Id have spotted his talented fanbase earlier.

    I trust you are having a splendid summers? day in your part of the empire ?




  • And any grown man in Lycra makes me question sanity, rather than sexuality. I diont think its a fabric designed to make a man look good.

  • Work hard & laugh loud is the way I like it! As for lycra, I guess it's a necessary evil on race day and not something men really need to be training in.
    Summer? What's that? Club training's at 6pm and I'm just hoping the clouds don't have enough water in for the current downpour to continue until then!

  • image 

    reminds me of an old coach's mantra - 'its only water, unless your made of sugar shut up and get on with it'.

    Just bought a book on swimming ( swim smooth ) - shorts will need to be replaced with 'jammers?-a sort of short based speedo'. Looking for a book on triathlon ( Friel's Bible maybe - anyone have an opinion ?).  

    Have two clubs locally, Stafford and Burntwood. Burntwood are organising an Aquathon in November so 10wks+ to get ready for 400m pool + 5k run - the run is around a flat field so the treadmill work should transfer well. Must I join a club ?

    Swimming is rather pricey locally - 4.50 a session compared to 3.00 further afield, so further afield it may be. ( good news is their is a 25m pool 3miles from my new office ). Im not cheap, but im not that easily parted from cash. ( Mind you, whats this Garmin gadget I keep reading about......I think I need one of those, whatever it does.

    getting ready for a 30 minute run later today. I want to cover 2miles in that time, but maybe with the hrt around 160 rather than 180.  Still need to get some swimming in, so a club might be best as they both offer coaches - who can put me right once theyve done with the harpoons.

    hope your all having a wonderfull day.




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