Jacked Triathlete?

Anyone here done Triathlons while maintaining a good level of strength and size?

I’m coming off my 1st summer of doing two Sprint Triathlons (1/4mi swim, ~18mi bike, 3.1mi run), and I was able to get through the season while losing very little (if any) muscle but my strength suffered a bit as I added in swimming/biking/running on a weekly basis. The added variety of training was a lot of fun and it felt like I was at a higher level of overall fitness than ever before (I’m 46 btw).

I’m 6’, 210lbs and I’d like to stay around that weight and get my strength and endurance up over the winter to be more competitive in races.

Any advice, links, whatever from people that have done similar would be appreciated. Looking to train smarter.


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We appear to be the exact same size. I’m also 6’2" and 210. While not a Triathlete I am preparing for a 3k ocean swim followed by a 4k uphill run, no bike. I’m 63 btw. I’ve dropped about 15 pounds preparing for this event. As far as I can tell I’ve lose very little muscle or strength in the lifting area because of the increased training. Advice? It’s easier when your retired and can devote a lot of time to your training.

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Have a look at Hybrid Athlete by Alex Viada.

I used to do triathlons at university before jumping into strength training with 531. I stoppped swimming and cycling so lost a lot of fitness. After 2 years I wanted to get back into some form of aerobic shape so I had a look at this book. Basically using a conjugate system you can maximise your training for both triathlon and strength/size.

The basic template is to have ME days (high intensity) paired with your shorter and faster sessions (intervals) and your dynamic/repetition paired with longer aerobic sessions.

I have to say it’s been working well for me although I don’t compete anymore. Google “so you want to run part 1 and 2” for an example.

I’m a forty-something who weighs around 215 so we’re very similar.

I used to be a competitive judoka/BJJes but now I’m too old for serious rolling with the young guys and now most of my friends are into endurance activities. I guess it’s a forties thing.

I do one sprint triathlon in the summer, occasionally two. It’s partly a social thing with my triathlete friends and partly a way to include my kids into sports - they don’t do the sprint triathlon, but often one of them bikes or runs with me during training. The older I get the more I develop a penchant for outdoor activities.

I’m not taking it seriously, I start training after the skiing season ends, usually in late April, with the sprint triathlon being in July/August. I can train year-round for the triathlon but most of the year it’s very haphazard - I run a mile after my training outdoors, do a 5k run when I feel like it, bike…

And now comes the important part of the post - I did try to prepare for a proper (olympic) triathlon six years ago with my friends and I ended up in the ER with a serious case of overtraining. The doctors couldn’t believe my CTK readings - I tried to do follow a triathlon training template with my friends and still do strength training on the side. Extremely dumb move on my part.

My advice is to be very careful - you’re old enough to know your body and when you see first signs of overtraining scale back, either strength training or endurance training. Endurance training and the accompanying rush is addictive so be careful not to get sucked up too deep.

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I’ve got a few years before I can retire, but good to know. Good Luck with your training and race!

Thanks for the advice! I was actually training for a Tri two years ago with my wife and her friend, and her friend pushed so hard on race day she ended up with rhabdomylosis (breakdown of skeletal muscle to the point of potentially damaging kidneys).

I’ll definitely keep an eye out for signs of overtraining, and I’m working to come up with a training plan that doesn’t put me in the ER or DFL on raceday.

Thank you, that was exactly the sort of articles I was looking for!