Casual Duathlon Training Plan & My Healing Decision

I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago about my plans for training for the Athleta Iron Girl Duathlon in September. To be perfectly honest, I was hesitant to agree to do this event from the get go.

My body has been in such limbo land for so long and I had heard straight from the Naturopath’s (ND) mouth, “you need to chill out on the intensity of your workouts.” And she wasn’t joking. This was what she told me immediately after I had just told her about the Insanity Program.

She told me my body is working so hard to heal, and that I am taking the energy away from healing the disrupted and imbalanced areas in my body by making it heal the muscles and tissues that need repair from the intense workouts. After the Insanity workouts, my body was completely out of whack. Almost every part of my body was out of balanced and stressed. I had agreed to slow it down with the intensity of my workouts.

I asked her about running and she said walking and light jogging would be okay, but nothing more than a mile or two (and she didn’t agree to this right away, it took some persuading from me), and leisure bike rides were okay. But mostly, she recommended I stick to walking and yoga for now. I hadn’t signed up for the duathlon at this point.

I was completely psyched about the opportunity to take part in the duathlon. I began training and was taking a very casual approach to training; biking when I could with longer bike rides on the weekends, and was debating on how I would be incorporating some light running into the mix. The debate was coming from my head telling me I shouldn’t be running at this moment in my life, and my heart telling me I can and that I would be surrounded by thousands of inspiring women including some of my wonderful readers!

The debacle continued and I still hadn’t started running when I went in for my next ND visit last week. In the last month I have made some major changes to my health: I completed the Clean Program and followed the elimination diet for about a month, I switched from Insanity workouts and running, to walking, light biking, and yoga. I continue to eat sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, alcohol-free, and caffeine-free (for the most part) for now until I can be more than 100% sure I am back to health. Besides that I was taking all of my supplements and medications just as I should. My ND also had me on detoxifying drops that are meant to balance out imbalances in the body. For one person, that’s a lot of changes in one month’s time.

When I went back this time around, my body was nearly superb. Compared to my whole body being out of balance last time I went in, nearly my whole body was balanced except for a couple of areas. She was blown away at my progress. She told me that everything I was doing was working, and to keep doing exactly what I had been doing. Knowing that this isn’t a forever diet I will need to be following, I knew I could continue to do it. It’s actually not that difficult if you plan ahead.

I had a brain and heart battle throughout the appointment regarding whether or not I should tell my ND about the duathlon. I have established a trusting relationship with her and felt that she needed to know. So, near the end of the appointment I told her that I was registered for a duathlon in September. I told her about my casual approach to training and how really my goal is only to finish, I wasn’t concerned about my time (except for I knew there was a 2.5 hour time limit on the bike ride, but this didn’t concern me).

She was very glad I told her and just as I suspected, she highly recommended that I shouldn’t participate in the duathlon at this time. She said right now, my #1 priority is getting well and completely healing the body. I am so close to being there and she is afraid that any type of overexertion could set me back again. I really don’t want to be set back again. This has been way too long of a journey already. Basically how she explained it was, even if you are mentally going into it thinking that you will just be taking a casual and fun approach to the whole event, your body doesn’t always take it that way. When it is a timed race event, the body does crazy things. Endorphins run, adrenaline runs, digestive processes increase, and the body gets excited. The body can take it as a fight or flight situation like it is fighting for its life and can become very stressed. For someone who has struggled so long to find wellness, putting my body into any state of stress might be enough to tip me off again.

So, collaboratively, we came to the decision that I will not be participating in this years Athleta Iron Girl Duathlon. The hardest part about telling you I am dropping out from the race is knowing that I have talked some of you into doing it with me, and now here I am telling you I can’t do it anymore.

My health is my #1 priority. I want to be well. I hope to have a family some day. I know that deciding not to take part in this event is absolutely the right choice for me at this point in my life. I am hoping to be able to be a part of this event in the future. Not only that, I hope to run another half-marathon. It will all come in due time. Just not now.

I want this to be a reminder to all of you reading this. If you are sick or if your body is in healing mode, it is okay to take a rest from strenuous workouts. When we workout hard, the body works hard to repair our muscles, meaning it is taking away energy from healing other areas of your body that may need it more (for me, its my GI system and Endocrine system).

Even if you physically know you can accomplish something, take a step back and evaluate if your state of wellness can truly handle it.

Our poor bodies try hard to send us messages all of the time, and sometimes it takes an outsider telling you to “slow down” for us to actually listen to what are bodies are really telling us. This isn’t meant to discourage athletes from performing at their best, or marathoners to stop training, because more than likely, these athletes are in a better state of health than I am, I am just saying that it is OKAY to “chill out” sometimes if that is what your body needs. Sometimes it’s what our bodies do need and I know mine is thanking me.

Even though I am no longer participating in this event, I do still plan to continue and promote this amazing event. The discount offer still stands so if you are interested or know anyone who might be interested in participating in this years duathlon, please sign up and encourage them to sign up. I will be your cheerleader! Email me if you have any questions at


With all of that being said, since I did start to write a Casual Duathlon Training Plan post, I thought I would still share with you what all what I had written so far.


As many of you know, I have registered to take part in the Athleta Iron Girl Duathlon in September. Ladies who are local, it’s not too late to register! Check out this post on how to register. I even included a coupon code so that you can get a discount!

As a reminder, the duathlon consists of:

  • 2 mile run
  • 22 mile bike ride
  • 2 mile run

As another reminder, I am supposed to be staying cool and calm with my physical activity level. Given that tidbit of info, I have really need to take a step back and think about my approach towards training for this event.

I want to train enough so that my body feels comfortable covering the appropriate distances, but not train so hard as to put any extra strain on my body or to stress me out.

I have come up with my super casual Duathlon Training Plan. There are no calendars to print off telling you which day to train and at what distance, this is all about listening to my body, getting the training in when I can, and staying relaxed.

My goal for this duathlon is simply to finish.


The time cap for the 22 mile bike ride portion is 2.5 hours which if I calculated correctly (or if google calculated correctly I should say), would be about a 8.8 mph bike ride. As long as I can maintain a 8.8 mph speed throughout the ride, I can finish in 2.5 hours. My average speed is usually in the 12-15 mph range so I should be just fine.

Over the last couple of weeks I have gotten out during the week for a couple of shorter rides, 6 miles or so, and then on the weekend am slowly beginning to cover longer rides. This past weekend was 10 miles over in St. Paul where the route was fairly level. When I go for rides in my neighborhood, I am always subjected to extreme hills which is good training, but on longer rides, I need to take it slow and gradually work up to longer hilly rides.

biking duathlon training biking duathlon training

My plan is to increase my mileage each week until I feel comfortable with about 20 miles.


I’m still working on my plan for the running training. In my head I keep hearing my ND say “cool it” especially on the running and Insanity program! I feel that if I can comfortably run two miles, that I should be just fine running in the event since the two 2-mile runs are split up by the bike ride in the middle.

I will begin casually walking/jogging until I cover 2 miles at a reasonable pace that I feel comfortable with, and will probably leave the running train at that.


That is as far as I got on my Casual Training Plan. Again, I hope you all understand why I am doing this. I appreciate all of your ongoing support! I promise I AM doing very well! I am healing!

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. kristen

    Hi, I think this is amazing! I am currently seeking a ND but cannot afford. I am desperate though …I have a lot of digestive and other issues that are rendering me quite …unable. Would love to hear more about “clean” …I think I would be overwhelmed with the recipes and complications. I need some very extremely simple plan with little cooking skills or money required. I am quite desperate 🙁 Could you please please email me? Would be most certainly grateful!
    One concern I have with “clean” is that I do not eat beans and grains and would rather not so I’m perplexed on how I could follow the regime.
    A couple of very kind bloggers mentioned your blog and “carrots n cake” and “geek turned athlete”, so I’m currently seeking advice from many in order to sit down and assess some kind of plan of action.
    Of course I hope to see a ND, but I must do something for myself in meantime whilst I cannot pay for one. I can’t continue to sit by and see my body decline (walking is a chore) and my ..ahem..bowel functions and more. Please do email. THanks!

  2. Katie

    Bummer! Well thank you for sharing your training plan anyways!! Out of curiosity, what is a ND? Do you have a post that describes it?
    Katie recently posted…#IGBloomington: 9 weeks Left.My Profile

  3. I am so glad you made this decision even though it was super hard and not the easiest choice, your body is number one! Thanks for sharing and good luck with the continued health journey. Love to you!!

    1. Melanie

      Thank you! It definitely wasn’t an easy decision but I can’t believe how right it felt after I decided. Thanks for all of the support! xoxo

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