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6389 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: May 19, 2011 11:03 PM by mallard44
notsodeadly Amateur 15 posts since
Jun 8, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

May 4, 2011 10:58 AM

I've fallen and I cant get back up!...After my first 70.3

I have lost my motivation ever since the 70.3!  I finished my first full marathon in December (started cramping about 18-20 into it...ugh) and placed 3rd out of 12 in my age group in a half marathon in Waco, TX in March (first running medal ever) and finished my first 70.3 in galveston 3 1/2 weeks ago.  I have done yoga twice a week since and have done some mountain biking on the weekend, but cannot seem to get back in my training schedule/regimin.  2010 was a very busy race schedule, I did 4 sprint tris, 5-6 half marathons, a full marathon, countless 5K's, 10K's and mud runs, and a few bike races.  I have enjoyed them all.  Until, I was getting close to the end of my training for my 70.3 in April 2011.  I was unpleasant to be around and started to lose the enjoyment of racing/training.  By the time the 70.3 race came around I was so ready for it to be just done with it that i wanted to scream!  The race could have gone better, I started cramping less than 30 min into the race even with endurolytes tablets.  The worst of the cramping came after the bike finished, i hopped off the bike near crippled by the cramps and i remember thinking to myself "this is gonna be a long half marathon."  It was, but i was able to finish and got the 70.3 sticker on my car.  Speaking of...Any thoughts on cramping?  I even had some hopes for another one after the pain had somewhat subsided, even the possibility of a full (maybe switzerland? or wales?).  But since, I have just not felt like doing anything, besides eat and sleep.  Did I do too much to quickly and burnt myself out? Is it too early to be worried about "falling off the wagon"? 


I have also lost 90lbs from my all time high, 70 of which came during 2009 (just from calorie counting with the LoseIt! app on my iphone and moderate exercise that i started after i had lost the first 30 or so lbs.).  My weight has hit a plateau I am 6'3" and 215 and havent gained or lost anything in about a year besides the typical +/-5lbs.  As you can imagine, one of my biggest fears is to gain all my weight back.  Having something on my calendar has kept me motivated and i have a few things i want to do but nothing very concrete and big like the 70.3.  I would really like to lose another 20 lbs (who wouldnt..i know) but have had a hard time losing weight with the training, so i have told myself that this summer would be about losing some weight and not about training real hard, but doing some smaller races and maybe get into biking more.  I feel like I am talking in circles a little.  Someone help open my eyes and shed some light on the solution to my problem!  Do i need another week off? Month?  Or do i need to get back into everything fast, before it is too late?


Thanks y'all!

  • BT.ROB Legend 270 posts since
    May 12, 2009

    Well that is a lot to cover! Congrats on the 70.3, losing weight and all the training and races you have done. Now step back and reflect on all that you have accomplished in the past two years! Now remember what you love about the sports. It could be open water swims, enjoyable bike rides, trail runs, just getting dirty/sweaty, feeling the wind or water on your face, getting away from other stresses in your life, etc. Now do those. The training and races have taken a psychological toll. Your mind as well as your body need to recover especially after the focus of the 70.3. Ease back in gently. After my first full last year I didn't do much for a month or so, a little swimming first, then some biking, finally some runs.


    During your race you experienced cramping. In your legs or gut? Were you taking the endurolytes frequently through the race? Was it hot (as Galveston can be)? Staying hydrated but not overly so? As you can see there are lots of variables here. I followed the nutrition and supplement recommendations from Hammer and didn't have any problems.


    I hope that helps a little. You have much to be proud of.



  • quadzilla1 Expert 39 posts since
    May 30, 2010

    First and foremost, you should be very proud of yourself for finishing the race, my hat is off to you!


    After that, you deserve a little time off from the training. Give your body the time it needs to heal and have just put it through a great deal of stress.


    As for the cramping, there wasn't enough information provided to give you much guidance. The endurolytes will help but that isn't the only thing you should be consuming for a race of that distance. Please provide some more detail so that we may help you a bit more.


    Look forward to hearing from you.



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  • Amigold Legend 185 posts since
    Nov 14, 2007

    IMO, you had an overly busy 2010 and early 2011 and are just needing a break.


    I hear you about needing something "on the calendar" to keep you in shape and mental focus (and to keep weight down). I did the 70.3 in Galveston too. I took 3 weeks totally off afterwards, and just did a little swimming and easy running when I felt like it during that time, no watch or timing device, just ran or swam until I got tired and then stopped.  I started back training this week, but my next event is in DECEMBER (a full marathon) so I have lots and lots of time and easy things to do between now and then.  No rush, no pushing.


    Can you find another sport to do for a bit this summer and mentally 'gear down' from all the exertion you had both mentally and physically?  Golf, tennis, hiking, any of those things will help burn calories but are going to give you some different things to look at and think about.  Then just go out and run or bike or swim when you have time and when you just want to. You will know when it's time to get back into it. You will find yourself looking at your running shoes, or your bike, or your swim gear, and thinking...hmmmmm....but until that happens, don't force it. Go do something else (yoga is a good start, but I think for a type A like you, it's not going to be enough!).  Don't get into a training schedule until you are EAGER to get into that training schedule.  Just throw the watch and cadence meter in the drawer and go walk, run, ride or swim for FUN, and only if you really are jonesing to do it.  In about six weeks I think you'll be starting to get the itch.


    As for was very warm in Galveston, and it was also very very windy, both of which can simply suck the moisture out of you.  Cramping is sometimes overdoing it as well as hydration and electrolytes.  So if you think you were hydrating normally (did you have to use the portapot a few times? There's a good benchmark for you--if not, then you weren't hydrating enough), it may be just that you had a long, hard year of training and races and your body needs some recovery time. If you were cramping from your first race and first few weeks of training, then it's not that.  My next thought is check your shoes and your running form. Have someone look at your form when you bike and run, and look at your shoes and your bike set up.  You  might be surprised.


    I know how hard it is to stop the training routine especially if you have been doing it for a long time. You think OMG! I'm going to (a) get fat (b) get out of shape (c) be worthless.  None of that is true.  Smart athletes takes LOTS of time off to recover, sometimes months.  You can take a month off and still be ready for any game you want this winter.  See how it goes. Treat yourself kindly.  You're all you have. :-)


    PS I don't know about you but I actually have LOST 2 pounds during my slack time as I am not nearly into the GIMME THAT hunger mode that I was when I was training 6 days a week.

    Good luck...keep us posted...and congrats on your finish--that wind made it a tough day!



  • German Kiwi Amateur 14 posts since
    Mar 9, 2008

    Hey there, first of all, Congratulations on finishing your first 70.3.

    I did the same race and I agree, it was warm and windy. The bike was tough and IMO plain boring.

    I can relate to you in more ways than one. For me too, the sticker had to go onto the car as soon as I'd finished. :-)

    I, too, got sick of training leading up to my first 70.3. So taking some time off afterwards is a good idea. I didn't go to the pool for two months afterwards! What got me to the pool in the end, was that I signed up for my next tri.

    What I suggest (and others have before me), is find some cross-training things that you would enjoy. For me, I'd love to try some trail running, without a time focus, just being out there enjoying myself.

    You go and find what suits you. In the end, there will be a race, that will find YOU. Some race, somewhere, that will get you excited. Because of the destination, the goody-bag, or whatever. That's when you will want to go back to structure and a regimented training plan.

    Or maybe you just want to focus on one of the three sports for a few months. Trying to improve in just one sport. Choose a race in that sport, and then go back to doing tris.

    I personally love the diversity of training for a triathlon. But sometimes, the simplicity of doing only one aspect can be appealing too.


    Good luck.

  • tripolson Pro 75 posts since
    Oct 15, 2007

    If your training plan is anything like mine, you've just put some major time, miles and effort into preparing for your race.  There were probably any number of days that you forced yourself to go out and do a scheduled workout when you wanted nothing more than to doze on the couch or read a book in a quiet corner.  That's the kind of dedication that gets you to the starting line, but it also wears on you after a while.


    On the other hand, your fitness level right now is probably as high as it ever has  been.  I set my personal best times for a twenty k bike time trial and a five k run on subsequent days a week after my last half iron race.  It would be a waste to let that fitness fade rather than building on it.


    I think the trick is to train without laboring.  Rather than forcing yourself to slog through a series of prescribed workouts with no purpose (assuming you haven't signed up for another race), find something fun that will satisfy your need to train.  Sign up for a bike race and join your local bike group for a weekly (or more frequent) group ride.  Any track clubs in your area?  See if they have a community workout you can join.  You talked about mountain biking and my limited experience is that it's a great way to improve your bike handling skills.  The point is, for now you should train by having fun and exploring your fitness level rather than returning to the routine of Monday swim, Tuesday tempo run, Wednesday brick etc.  When you start wondering how fast you could do the next olympic triathlon you'll know you're ready to start training for that goal again.


    I did see one thing in your post that caught my attention.  You stated that you drank 30-50 ounces per hour during your race.  Most research I've read indicates that 28-32 ounces per hour is the upper end of what your body can process during extended exercise.  That's a general rule, of course, and might not apply to you, but if you had any stomach cramping or discomfort, especially on the run, that might be a factor to consider.


    Rest your brain for a while.  I'm confident you'll be back to obsessive/compulsive endurance training in no time.

  • quadzilla1 Expert 39 posts since
    May 30, 2010



    Sorry about the delay in the response, that darn work thing gets in the way sometimes .


    Anyhow, the one thing that stands out is that I don't see any mention of stretching in the posts, whether it is yoga or otherwise. Everyday, I take 10-20 minute to stretch or roll my legs. This is typically done in the morning to get the blood flowing and remove any stiffness from the night before. I also do yoga during the week, at least once, either at home or at the Y. Once I got the my nutrition dialed in conjunction with the stretching, my cramping for the most part is non-existent.


    Stretch my friend, stretch...



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  • DDChies1 Expert 42 posts since
    May 19, 2010

    Congrats on the Half, and the weight loss.


    Aside from injury, sounds like you are just in the dark patch of low motivation, just like that moment during training/races where you are thinking 'this is so stupid, I want to quit, why am I doing this?'


    My tip....  take your time.  Take lots of time.  You will be fine weight-wise (since you are eating better, right?!), and fitness-wise (let your body and mind recover, you'll be stronger and more mentally ready when you restart).


    Ease into training, maybe 1-2 swims, bikes, runs, per week, just to keep your body moving.


    Sign up for a tri a few months out, and either start making your plan, or wait til you are closer to make a more definitive plan.  Since you've done a few races, you aren't too alien to the race environment.


    Or, sign up for some kind of different race, like a du, or XC 5k/10k, obstacle course 5k, a century ride, something strange.


    You'll get back in it.


    Good luck.



  • mallard44 Rookie 7 posts since
    Jan 31, 2011

    "I did 4 sprint tris, 5-6 half marathons, a full marathon, countless 5K's, 10K's, and mud runs, and a few bike races"......all in one year???  No wonder you're notsodeadly. HA!!!  If you did all that for real, good for you, your body hates you. It has now told your mind that you are nuts and both are conspiring to make you stop.  That's too much, period.  You say you enjoyed them all and I can see the possibility in that from your brain's perspective....but your body didn't.  I'm 50, and I've been doing this for a very long time compared to most.  I've seen you don't last.  You can't. Slow down, train more, race less, and if you are truly doing as much as you say and not losing weight then you need to look at your diet. I applaud your effort, your weight loss, and your lifestyle change, it's truly a great thing.  Your body and brain are sending you a better listen.

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