Triathlon Training Is A Dream Once You Add Pasta

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Heather’s dream is to share with the world her success at becoming healthy after age 40. Heather lost over 88 pounds through changing her diet and incorporating exercise into her busy life. She would like to take what she has learned about becoming fit after 40, and using her Metabolic Training Certification to help others struggling with weight issues mid-life. Heather’s post day is Monday.
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Heather post workout - makeup is gone, and I'm sweaty, but survived!

Post spin class - no makeup and the shirt is soaked, but survived.

Did you know that when you are heavily into triathlon training you might get pretty hungry?

I am not afraid of food. After losing 80 pounds my comfort level with knowing when I’m hungry is still intact. What isn’t is adjusting to this new craving for large amounts of carbohydrate. Piles of pasta may just be my new dream!

After a week spent fighting off a cold/flu/allergies junk, I am still exhausted from getting better. Starting back on full triathlon training schedule was brutal.

I researched three different triathlon training schedules to put together my own workout plan to get ready for this race. In 8 short weeks.

Triathlon = 3 sports in one race

You know when you are focused on your dream and you get that tunnel vision? Everything make sense and falls in place with ease. This training schedule breaks my focus. Regularly.

With any one sport you can realistically and safely plan on working out 3-5 days a week. Three days on your sport – running, cycling, swimming, etc. – and two days cross training on anything but your primary sport. The goal is to give your muscles a rest so they’ll be ready for the next workout.

Training three sports all at once, as with triathlon’s swim, bike, and run, is tricky.

Don’t Get Tired

The title of the first chapter of triathlon coach Rick Niles book “Triathlon Training Made Easy” makes it pretty clear. Don’t get tired.

What the heck do you do when the training is truly knocking you out?

The past week has been a blur of new training. My husband has been nudging me on the couch by 8:30 pm because I nodded off. About Thursday last week the craving for carbs kicked in. And the guilt over adding calories came right along with it.

I know that you can not simultaneously lose weight and build strength. My intense craving for more carbs proved that something had to shift.

Here’s how my week breaks down, working out every 12 hours. Might be why I’m sleepy.

Obviously there’s a ton more detail to my workouts. Intensity and duration variations, strength building and cardio options, but here are the basics.


  • 6 a.m.: Bootcamp workout
  • 5:30 p.m.: Spin class
    This class was an addition this past week and was a bit of a shock to the system. First I had the surprise that it was an hour long class – Whoohoo! The more amusing part was the complete lack of leg strength after the class. Thank god there were handlebars to grab onto while getting off the bike.


  • 6 a.m.: Run
  • 5 p.m.: Performance Swim class
    This is the third week of this class taught by Rick Niles, the triathlon coach I’ve mentioned before. The drills on speed are a killer and I can honestly say I’ve never felt sweaty after swimming until now! That and learning actual swim strokes, like the butterfly, without drowning is totally entertaining.

Wednesday (Repeat Monday)

Thursday (Repeat Tuesday)

Friday (Repeat Monday… again)


  • 7 a.m.: Swim
  • 12 p.m.: Long run


  • 11 a.m.: Bike ride in the real world

I may be doing too much

The triathlon training countdown continues and I keep on trucking. Why push myself so hard? You fellow dreamers may just know the answer to that yourself. You know just as well as I do why we push so hard. These dreams of ours won’t make themselves without our hard work from us.

I have to send a special thank you to fellow dreamer Maria for her heartfelt post and wonderful Spicy Noodle recipe. It was exactly what I needed to get me through.

What are you pushing yourself on this week?

Go get your fit on – Heather

  • I don’t know how you do it – certainly you are in inspiration. Pasta? Did someone say Pasta? Whole wheat is wonderful, except that i am not supposed to have it. You can eat it for me :)

    Your first triathlon – how exciting!

    Look how far you’ve come since we did the Bay to Breakers! – Cath

    • Thanks for the support Cath! I’ll make some risotto so we all can enjoy it :) I was singing up for Bay to Breakers this year and did the math. There’s no way that was 3 years ago!

  • kellyswanson1

    OK. Now I’m tired. Just reading this. I’m pretty sure I burned some calories on this post. While I’m not sweating through your dream – I am sweating through a new dream of my own – to make healthier choices on what I eat, and how much I move. It’s not huge. But it’s a step. And while it may not be a triatholon we face, we all face something in the path from where we are and where we want to be. This post encourages me to keep going on my dream. Thank you for sharing!

    • Hey Kelly – you know it! Every little change is where things happen. And don’t cut yourself short – any change like healthy eating and moving more are huge because they take dedication. Congrats!

  • Roberta

    OH Heather I’m exhausted just reading this!  You are a GREAT inspiration and will reach your goal, can’t wait to hear all about your triathlon.  Wish we could be in the crowd cheering you on but will be thinking about you on that day!! 

    • Thank Roberta! It rocks to know you would be there if you could :) Hugs and you know I’ll be sharing every detail!