The Perfect Workout For 40+: Triathlon Training
By Jenna Bergen
Research and writing by Lara Rosenbaum
There are plenty of things to love about getting older—you’ve learned to appreciate the little things (a purring cat on your lap, the first strawberry of summer, comfortable heels that go with everything), you’ve made peace with your faults (or at least most of them), and you can eat dessert before dinner and no one is going to say you can’t. But the wisdom of age also brings another inevitability: “Bodies change as we age,” says physiologist Tom Holland, C.S.C.S., author of The 12-Week Triathlete. Hormone levels change, and you naturally lose metabolism-revving muscle mass starting around age 30—about half a pound a year. As a result, metabolism slows, making weight gain easier. (Click Here <—=== For some nutrition products to help maintain healthy living)
One of the best ways to stay fit and injury-free in your 30s, 40s, and beyond is one many women have already discovered: triathlons—a race where you swim, bike, and run, one sport immediately following the other. Nearly 40% of triathletes are now women, and female participation has jumped 10% over the last decade, according to USA Triathlon. What’s more, the largest membership increase is within the 30 to 49 age groups, and the average triathlon participant is 38.
Why the buzz? “It’s essentially forced cross-training,” Holland explains.
Ready to follow Donovan’s lead? Here are a few things you need to know about triathlons before you get started:
* Make your first race a sprint triathlon. This is the shortest distance—usually a half-mile swim, 12-mile bike, and 3-mile run. Most beginners will finish the race in about 2 hours.
The average training plan for a sprint triathlon lasts about 6 to 8 weeks.
* You don’t have to invest in a ton of fancy equipment. You can ride any working bike—yes, even a mountain bike or beach cruiser. Many local bike shops will rent you a bike for a day.
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