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Obese Guy Tackles Triathlon Training
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Obese Guy Tackles Triathlon Training

Several years ago I ran a sprint distance (1/2 mile swim, 10 mile bike ride, 3 mile run) triathlon. The only reason I even did it was because I needed a goal for weight loss and I had never ran an endurance race before. Well here I am again looking for a challenge to help me with my goals of getting lean and fit. Beings I have been there and done that it seems to me a good idea to use the same successful formula and share it with you.

I know we have all seen the disclaimers about consulting your doctor before starting an exercise program and too many people ignore them because we know better don't we? I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV, but I did consult my physician before embarking on my endurance race preparation. He told me to take it slow and drink lots of water, and my favorite piece of advise was to eat FIVE meals a day! Of course we know he means smaller nutritious meals. So with doctor's clearance in hand and my previous knowledge of triathlon training for the obese guy I am ready to begin.

Let's talk about what gear you will need to begin training. I currently weight 315 pounds so running shoes are not really that important if I am not going to run. A comfortable pair of shoes to walk in will do for most anyone to start. I have some decent trail running shoes, they are a hybrid of running shoes and cross trainers. I have a habit of turning my right ankle so a good wide base and the tough mid-sole make this a good choice. So we have the run part of the training covered to start. Let's talk about a bike. I have a hybrid I bought last summer and rode a sum total of 5 times. I love to ride just didn't do it. With winter pressing us here in the Northeast I wouldn't worry about a bike, but if you are in warmer climates any bike is going to do. Face it spending a ton of money on a fancy aluminum framed bike with aerobars and the like is a bit frivolous at this early stage. As for me I will be riding a stationary at the local YMCA for the next several months. I actually rode a mountain bike I bought at the big box discount outlet store for less than $100.00 in my first race. Finally let's talk about the swim. It is rare to see a tri done in an indoor facility although there are some here in Ohio, the swim is done in open water. That means no stripe on the bottom and the water doesn't smell like chlorine. It is a lake with all the algae and the slime in the bottom. If that is a turn off you may want to consider a duathlon which is a run-bike-run event. I will talk about those later on I am sure. As for my swim training I will also use the pool at the YMCA and my swim trunks and Seal Mask (think swim googles that look like ski goggles) will do just fine. If you are thinking this is not your cup of tea, maybe a body building training program would suit you better. Regardless of your fitness desire getting in shape is the overall goal.

So you see that there are no real requirement to get started and the barriers to entry are easily gotten around. Let's recap the start up to an obese guy tackling a triathlon:

1. Talk to the doctor about starting an exercise plan.

2. You already own the equipment you need to get started. Tennis shoes, a bicycle, and a swim suit.

3. Training can be done indoors or out. Keeping in mind the big races are out doors.

Next time I will talk about some nutrition and basic training techniques to get you moving toward your first race as a Clydesdale (It is spelled F-A-T guy for me.) class triathlete. Until then you may want to check out a great book on getting into endurance racing as a "person of size" The Slow Fat Triathlete" by Jayne Williams. (Photo used in this article is from jolisoleil via Flickr.)

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