Training for a Triathlon

Hi Dr. Ruth,
My wife and I read your book and were inspired to start a new Vegan lifestyle.  We ordered one of Dr McDougalls books and have been enjoying the recipes.  I am 55 and my wife is 52.  I have lost 50 lbs and my wife has lost 15 lbs on our new diet and 6 day a week exercise program.


My dream is to eventually complete an Olympic triathlon. I swam in school so that is coming back easily and have biked over the years but my running skills are weak.  Am currently able to run 45 minutes with 3 x 1 minute walk breaks. Is it better to continue the walk breaks or move towards more running and less walk breaks?


We live in Washington DC and would love to see you compete or speak to a group. Will you be within a couple of hundred miles of our area any time soon?


Thanks for the inspiration,
Alex and Hallie

Dear Alex,

I’m so happy to hear all the good news!  As far as your running is concerned, as you gain strength in your bones, muscles, tendons, etc., you can gradually drop the walk breaks.  You’ll know you’re there when you feel your “engine revving up” while walking, maybe wanting to cut them shorter and then skip them altogether.  I think you’ll have an absolute ball when you start competing. Look for a sprint distance first, so you get the feel of competition and your transitions.  By referring to “my book,”  I’m not sure which one you mean since I’ve written three.  A Race For Life and Senior Fitness discuss fitness, but there is more about training in the first one.
Since my daughter and son-in-law just got transferred to the Pentagon, I’ll be planning a visit to them sometime maybe this summer, so maybe a talk or race might be a possibility!  Keep in touch!
Dr. Ruth