I’ve been thinking about doing a triathlon to help me lose some of the baby weight, but am worried about the stories about people dying in the swimming part. Is it safe?
I’m a big fan of triathlons, especially the women-only events, but you shouldn’t make the decision to do one without a visit to your doctor and some thought.
Working towards the goal of completing a triathlon is a great way to ramp up your workouts and stay motivated. Thinking you can go ahead and do on “off the couch” isn’t such a good idea. Even at the sprint distance (half-mile swim, twelve-mile bike, and ten-kilometer run), a triathlon is an event for which you must train. Find a good training program through a local gym, tri club or on -line. A good program will take you through at least 12 weeks of increasing workouts and get you prepared.
The physical exertion combined with the excitement (and/or anxiety) about the race will cause your heart rate to be quite high – especially during the swim and during the transitions between the swim, bike and run. People with underlying heart and other health issues should talk with a doctor to be sure they are healthy enough to withstand the strain.
Be smart on race day. If it is hot or humid, (or very cold and rainy) your body will be under additional strain. Make wise choices about what you eat and drink. Slow down or take a rest if you need to let your body adjust. If you feel chest pain or shortness of breath stop and tell someone imedately.
If you are losing weight during your training, do it wisely. Losing pounds too rapidly can cause changes in your body chemistry putting your heart under more strain during exhertion.
Go ahead set your goal to finish a triathlon (with your doctor’s blessing, of course). Get motivated and train wisely — and let me know how it goes!
Thanks for your question!
Eliz Greene survived a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggled to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and searched for a way to hold on to the perspective and passion she found in her near-death experience. Drawing on her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.
As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 100 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com.