Transitioning from runner to triathlete

My wife and I have been running regularly for years, and have finished a half-marathon and marathon together (after she had cancer surgery, no less!), but now it’s time for a new goal. The half-ironman seems like a reasonable place to aim, since the full ironman is a huge step up in overall athletic effort, where it seems that a half ironman is probably not too much worse than a full marathon once we get used to the swimming and running.

Accordingly, the first steps have been to ease into the other modalities. Winter in PA isn’t the most amenable to outdoor exercise, so we set up an indoor bike training space at home. We already had Trek 1.1’s that have been lightly used, so we bought Blackburn Tech Mag 6 indoor trainers and I bought a TacX trainer tire later because I’ve been burning the rubber off my back tire for whatever reason.

I had some reservations about using a magnetic trainer because I’d gotten the impression that they don’t offer enough resistance. However, this one seemed to work well and has held up solidly for two months of regular use so far. I do recommend the trainer tire to save the wear and tear on your road tire. It seems to cut down on tire slippage, too.

So far the bike training is working well, and I’ve been getting in a swim about once a week of 40-50 laps. Soon, I’m hoping to bring my wife along to get her acquainted, since she doesn’t have much lap swimming experience. Once we get there, I’m hoping we can work our way up to doing 2 runs, 2 bikes, and 2 swims a week. When we’re comfortable with a base level of all three, we can pick a race, register, and ramp up the distances to get ready.


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