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Sprint Triathlon (Olympic Distance) catabolic?

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  • Sprint Triathlon (Olympic Distance) catabolic?

    A little about me first...

    I'm a recovering triathlete. I'm also a guy who has worked hard to look like a bodybuilder for a big part of his life. These are rather incompatible goals but I managed to do OK for an old man. Now as I approach 42 years of age, I'm merely interested in fitness and good health and take what physique improvements happen as they come without worrying about them so much.

    I've actually been eating a primal type diet for over 8 years, long before I ever heard of primal, paleo, etc... I was simply eating how I knew I could control my hormones to keep my blood sugar under control and keep muscle gains (such as they were) lean without accompanying fat gains. I follow a more anabolic diet type plan much of the year (carb loading on weekends and strict low carb meats and green veggies through the week)...primal carbs these days instead of baked beans and white potatoes along with my burgers on buns.

    Part of being fit to me is not getting too fat and also not losing too much muscle. Tri training tends to eat the muscle away rather quickly.

    My current training is a Bill Starr inspired 5x5 routine done like a CrossFit workout with sprinting done on off days. I also walk between 2 and 5 miles every day.

    5 unbroken rounds of:

    Squat x5, Bench x5, Row x5

    Sprint 8 OR Tabata 8 on the recumbent bike

    5 unbroken rounds of:

    Squat x5, Bench x5, Dead x5, Clean & Jerk

    Sprint 8 OR Tabata 8 on recumbent bike

    5 unbroken rounds of:

    Squat x5, Bench x5, Chin x5, Dip x5

    Throughout my time in Triathlon, I spent the first leg trying not to drown (I'm a horrible swimmer and only compete when the water is cold enough to allow a wetsuit.) Plus I have MS and cold water gives me muscle spasms.

    Now for my question... I'm starting to get the triathlon bug again. Not an Ironman or even a half IM, just a of the little ones.

    My training would be bricks of:
    Swim 1/2 mile
    Cycle 20 miles

    Cycle 20 miles
    Run 4 or 5 miles

    These would be in the evening, about 8 or 10 hours after my morning sprints.

    I'm just looking for opinions of others in this lifestyle about how catabolic, how harmful to my health would this be? I'm much more fit and better conditioned than I ever was when I was competing in tris...I don't want to give this up... I'm thinking a yearly sprint would be enough to keep the tri bug contained...without doing too much harm... or am I mistaken in my thinking? Mistaken about the not doing harm part...not keeping the bug under control...I really wouldn't want to do more than one a year anymore.
    Last edited by .V.; 04-24-2011, 09:54 AM.

  • #2
    No one?


    • #3
      I'm waiting to hear some opinions on this too but suspect you will be fine. I have the tri bug again myself but only for a sprint here or there. I am a swimmer though and not a runner. Just got a TT bike and can't believe how fun they are.


      • #4
        No, not a little sprinter. You'll be done with the whole thing in less than 90 minutes. Hell, I'm a cripple and even I am doing one, with a goal of finishing in 2:15 as a walker.

        But why are you only swimming 1x a week (yet biking 2x) if swimming is your weak link? You know that's a trap.

        Also, think about giving yourself more than just a one-day recovery, esp. with your MS. Lots of rest, lots of space.
        "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


        • #5
          My first was an olympic sprint. Took me 2 hours. But then...I've got MS working against me. Former cripple here. But I went into it expecting to crawl across the finish line...made it on my feet though.

          Why limited swimming? Muscle spasms in the water. IF it's not bathwater causes problems. The wetsuit with warm water in it helps. But since I won't do one where I can't wear a wetsuit..and it gives floatation...swimming isn't my concern.

          So quite a few of you feel this wouldn't be chronic cardio? Thanks...I think I'll do it, I can always cut back if I start feeling overtrained and that I'm doing too much cardio.

          Oh, rest days...I don't get any. Tue and Thursday are just my cardio days. M, W, F are my 5x5 days. Lifting is the priority to me, it comes first.


          • #6
            personally, I think triathlons are fun and I like sprint distances. so, I wouldn't worry about it, because life is about living.