When marathon training and triathlon training collide

First – thank you so much for all of the support after my big confession last week. I’m sure many of you are secretly thinking “not another one!” (and others not so secretly…) but I hope you’ll join me for the journey as I explore this whole new world of training and racing! I particularly enjoyed all of the “told ya so!” comments. Crazy to think that just a couple weeks ago I would have said “No way. Not me. Ever.” and look at me now. Did it happen this way for anyone else?

I mentioned that I had my eye on two triathlon events for this season: Toronto Island “Give-it-a-Tri” on August 27th and Wasaga Sprint on September 10th. I must have given the impression that I was trying to decide between the two because many of you offered your suggestions – the truth is, I am planning to do both. Surprised?

I’ve also decided to add an earlier duathlon to the mix to get some practice with transitions and test my cycling legs in a race situation.

August 6th
5km Run | 20km Bike | 2.5km Run

I’ve been juggling the schedule around a bit and doing my best to merge my current marathon training plan and this newly added tri training. Running will undoubtedly remain the focus and for the most part I will incorporate swimming and cycling to accommodate that. Running is what I love and I still have some big goals to accomplish, so I am not ready to put it in the backseat just yet.

I do, however, realize that running is my strength and swimming/cycling are my weaknesses [for now] to work on, so it is a matter of deciding how much I am willing and able to devote to each in order to get the most out of this season. And I haven’t quite figured that part out yet.

What I do know is that I am having a lot of fun with it. I look forward to my swims, I love riding my bike and I can’t wait to start incorporating some brick workouts. What I also know is that this sport can get expensive. I’m trying my hardest not to go crazy buying everything out there, at least not before I “test the waters” – but you need a lot more than just a pair of running shoes in triathlon!

What’s your best advice for a noob? And for all the nay-sayers out there: never say never! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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21 thoughts on “When marathon training and triathlon training collide

  1. I am so excited for you to take on this new adventure! And hoooray for the duathalon too! I'm also excited to read all the advice for the newbies as I have never done a duathalon or TRI before.

  2. I'm not surprised you're doing both of them. I pretty much figured that when I saw that the first is a super sprint and the second a full sprint (if I'm remembering correctly).I think it's awesome and can't wait reading more!

  3. way to go Marlen, I LOVE duathalon's, I've done two and now you just fired me up, I just might do a couple more this year.You will do amazing at these newly added sports, go girl!!

  4. Hey I always said I'd never do a Marathon, and well, we know how that turns out for a lot of us ๐Ÿ˜‰ The cycling stuff can definitely add up quickly $$, but I can only imagine what happens when swimming is added to the tab! Smart to just stick to the basics for now!

  5. One thing I can always say about you is you NEVER surprise me. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING…I've seen you!Can't wait to follow this new adventure!

  6. Absolutely never say never! You will love racing tris and the du is a good idea for a warm-up. My advice–learn how to take in nutrition on the bike to be properly fueled for the run.

  7. Multi-sport events are much more technical races, so the more experience that you can get at it the better. Jumping in head first is the best way to do this, as there is no better way to learn than to race often! It takes a lot less work to trim a minute off of your transitions than it does to do the same in the swim/bike/run bits so do as many drills as you can ;)As for advice, if you haven't done so already I'd *strongly* suggest grabbing a clipless pedal system and shoes for your bike. Platform pedals work okay for casual rides, but they only use half of the muscles in your legs as you have no way to pull the cranks back up. A clipless pedal system will allow both legs to work through the entire stroke so you recruit more muscles and get substantially more power (and, in turn, speed) without any extra effort. For longer rides, they also slow down the onset of fatigue as the load is more even (continuous spinning vs. alternating between explosive bursts and rest).They can be intimidating at first, but you get used to them quickly and once you do it's hard to imagine not having them. If you want to start off gradually, Shimano makes a two-sided pedal that can be used both ways (platform on one side, cleat on the other).PS Was great meeting you guys last weekend!

  8. that's my girl. email me with questions and I will help you with everything I have knowledge about it.You will get your Triathlon Pass in the mail soon!

  9. Go for it girl!! My sister has gone from runner to cyclist (no tri's tho), she reckons the running helps the cycling, but cycling doesn't really do much for running. I'm not so sure – I reckon my 2x spin classes a week saved my a** when I could only train limited miles and 3x a week for London. I've insanely decided to do Around Taupo (160km bike) a month after the Auckland marathon so am trying to train for both – fitting both in is going to be interesting, but a fun challenge.Good luck with it all – you'll do great ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. My only advice (because I don't swim or cycle) is don't drown and don't fall off your bike. Either would be detrimental to your triathlon goals – especially the first.

  11. i thought about doing a tri back in 09, when my job was up in the air. my deal was "if i get laid off, i'll train for this half-iron". you know… cause when you have only swam for fun your whole life what else do you do but to jump straight into a half iron? :)obviously, i didn't get laid off. (thankfully?) haha.i'm scared to death of ows'ing. shudder. slimy lake bottoms, fish, snakes, gators. no thank you. i *might* one day be convinced to do a tri where the swim is in a pool, but i am pretty confident i can say that i don't see myself ows'ing ever. i hardly go tubing ON a lake… :)now a duathlon… that i'd do now. well if it wasn't 100 degrees.

  12. I wish I had more advice other than what I learned doing my two indoor triathlons. First, get comfortable taking nutrition on the bike. You don't want to feel completely zonked by the time you get to the run. Second, I think doing a du first is a great idea. Third, have everything laying out in the transition area that you'll need.Good luck with all your training! You are going to rock your first du and tri!

  13. Definitely no advice from me, but a huge Go Marlene! I have to say I'm not surprised you're planning on doing both, plus a duathlon…I have a feeling you don't do anything half-a$$ed ๐Ÿ™‚ Rock on!

  14. Honestly I love swimming too. Its so different from running and a nice change. Biking – its a love hate relationship. I am sure you will do great in those tris! Doing on your anniversary will be fun! Ill be thinking of you as I am getting married!

  15. I think you'll do great. I'll be in Bracebridge on the 6th as well (not sure if it's the same location). My daughter Amelia is doing her first triathlon as well (SunRype Kid's Triathlon)! Knock em dead!

  16. Duh…I should have known you'd jump right in and do both. There is a reason I haven't jumped into the bike part…my hubs takes up all the extra $$ … cycling is expensive!You are going to rock this new journey. Once you are used to the race logistics – rules/transitions – you will be ruling the TRIs.

  17. I'm SO excited for you!!!For the distances you're doing with tri stuff, I think the easiest way to incorporate the training while preserving your marathon training is to substitute your easy run days for biking/swimming. This is what I did when I first got into the sport and it helped me stay strong on the run and improve my biking/swimming AND it kept my healthy and injury free. Again, SO SO SO SO excited you joined the not-dark side!

  18. * find a good spot to rack the bike ~ I like a middle position between the bike out and the run out.* put your helmet on and DO IT UP before you do anything else, you could be DQ'd if you take your bike off the rack without your helmet done up. Like wise if you undo your helmet before it is racked once you are done cycling.* the bike is used as the "fuel up", drink and take your gels while on the bike, that'll get you ready for your run. email me if you want…Good LUCK!

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