Over 50's triathletes

How do you fit it all in?

early morning swimming, Trainer road, Barry P running, errands for elderly parents, stuff that teenagers need taking to.

Post your best time saving hacks please

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Lunch runs…seriously. Great way to add mileage / training without feeling like you need to take away from other areas of your life.

Do early AM workout in the pool or on the bike. Run at lunch to compliment the AM workout. If you ride in the AM, lunch run is easy, endurance pace. If you swim, lunch run is higher intensity.

And run everyday…or at least 6 days / week. Follow BarryP for week structure.

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Well from your list, and I am under 50;

Run to the pool in tri shorts, carrying a packable towel and goggles, no bag. Dive straight in, run straight home. No faff.

TrainerRoad is its own time saving. Bike commute also.

Dont do barry p or any other high volume running.

Care home.

Buy them a bike.

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why do you say no Barry P?

Someone said how do you get up for morning swimming?

I said thats easy, get a pay monthly pass and get a wife who will cancel it if it isn’t used…

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Your question is on time saving, so running six times per week isnt the most efficient use of time. Thats all.

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It is if you can’t fit a swim or bike into your lunch. You only need to find time outside work for swim/bike then.

Yeah I’d second that. I like BarryP, but generally speaking if you’re time-crunched you’re better off focusing on structure and specificity over volume. Though, if you’re set on BarryP, you could make some of the shorter runs brick runs so you only get stinky once :stuck_out_tongue:

Bike commuting is a big one for me. I also like to setup all my stuff ahead of time (bike on trainer, bottles in fridge, swim crap in bag etc) so I don’t waste time messing around before/after workouts- that was a really big time sucker for me. If you cook, batch cook a bunch and freeze it.

Also if you live with a family I think it’s worth setting aside a couple of, say, hour long sessions where everybody knows you’re going to be training and you won’t be available unless something big comes up. (if possible with your situation, of course) Schedule your most important workouts then, so even if the rest of your week is a mess you at least hit the key sessions. Often we try to get our training out the way at 5am or something so we can still be around for everyone, but sometimes it can be helpful to set aside some time for yourself to avoid those little things that always come up.

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When I decided to train for 2018 IM Choo, I resigned as clinic manager and cut my hours from 44/week to 36/week. One of the few good decisions I’ve ever made

Learn to love getting up early. Either go for a run in the dark or bang out an hour on the trainer before your family comes down for breakfast. Don’t worry about Barry P high mileage. You can still do an IM on 20-25 miles per week if it’s focussed training.

Go for a short run or take a nap in the car at lunch times. In fact my lunchtime car nap is the only thing i’m missing about no longer going to the office.

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BarryP is not about high volume (unless you want it to be)…it is about high consistency.

If you follow BarryP and are running 30 miles a week, 3 of those 6 runs are only 3 miles. Easy to tackle at lunch or after a ride.

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I think people are mistaking my response to the OP for a criticism of the “barryp” method.

Which is funny, for a couple of reasons, not least because I thought sticking your parents in a care home so you can train was far more objectionable! :sweat_smile:

That is correct, but if you’re relying on easy base mileage alone to improve your run splits you are going to have to do a pretty high amount of volume- and that requirement will only increase over time as your body adapts to the stimulus. No idea what OP’s goal is, but if for example you were looking to finish an IM without fading just by running a lot, your mileage is going to be a lot more than 30mpw- and even with a relatively average long run of 2-2.5 hours during a build phase, you’re still looking at a minimum of ~45 minutes 6 times a week, in addition to swimming and cycling.

Don’t get me wrong, I think BarryP is great for a lot of things- re-establishing consistent mileage after an off-season, building to a higher weekly mileage, or if you’re just injury prone- but it’s not so great in terms of event specificity.

Fair points, but it also depends on where you are with the BarryP plan…as noted, if you are just beginning or injury prone, it is a lot of endurance pace running. And yes, if you are planning a full IM, 30 miles / week at that pace won’t cut it. I just picked 30 for my example. But go ahead and move that out to 50 miles and you still have 3 runs / week at 5 miles, a distance most can accomplish easily within an hour.

But the later stages of BarryP allow for plenty of opportunities to add intensity or even mileage. Your two days of 6 miles (based on 30 miles) should be your run-focus days and you can add in threshold work to them. Similarly, you can add distance to your single long run of the week if your goal is a full IM.

I’ll also add that as an 50+ athlete, who seems to be relatively new to the sport, mostly focusing on endurance pace at this point is probably the best option to avoid injury (unless he is coming from a running background, which is entirely possible and he is just new to multi sport)

Looked at things like BarryP - but for me, just too many days running - to much stress for a big lad like me.

Even do Joe Friel - i think i peaked at 4runs (plus an occasional 15min brick run once per week)

How many miles / week do you currently run, WW?

for me, the optimum seems to be …
3 swim, 3 bike, 3 run, 2 weights early
I quite often drop a swim and swap for a weaker disciplined. (normally cycling)
then I drop down to 1 weights and add in a short brick run
i also some times add in 4th run & bike

It varies, as i’ve done ultra races too

at the moment low - but normally 1 long run and 2 structured runs (long run as 10-21k) most of the time (if only IM training

But have done long runs >30miles

and last week I did a 24runs in 24hours challenge, which was just over 28miles in the day

I’m also on the heavier side for a runner/triathlete and have had a lot of running injuries and niggles over the years. I actually find that the “little and often” approach of BarryP is easier on the joints and tendons than doing fewer runs which are longer or harder. I have to build up gradually to be able to handle the longer/harder runs without hurting myself, and lots of shorter easy runs is a good way to do that. Does take a while though, it’s definitely a plan you need to stick with for months or even years to see the results. But I’ve been through the cycle of “run hard → make quick gains → injure myself → recover and repeat” enough times to know that it doesn’t work for me! It works for me in cycling which is non-impact and where I’ve got more training volume over the years than in running. And it seems to work for some people, but my observation is that those people are typically blessed with good running form/resilience and/or have a strong running background. E.g. people who have run in college and then pick it up again years later.

I’m probably about the worst case candidate for taking shortcuts in run training - fairly heavy, not very good running form, and a big engine built through years of rowing and cycling which allows me to run much harder than my poor joints and tendons are capable of dealing with!


Most of my running is slow :laughing:

But on a serious side - I follow things closer to that found in 8020 Triathlon for my running. Which for IM is only 3-4 runs per week.
Upping the frequency for me just means I have to compromise else where and/or i get injured - I came from a running background (all be it sprinting) .

As people say though - everyone is different and I am always glad when people find what works for them. So, i would say dont rush into something - take your time and try out a few approaches