Actress Megyn Price Races Triathlons at Age 40

When 'Rules of Engagement' star Megyn Price gave birth to her first child, her goal wasn’t just to be a good mom. She also wanted to challenge herself and do something just for her: compete in triathlons. Below, in the edited version of our interview, learn how she did it and what motivates her to keep going.

by Nicole Papantoniou
megyn price image
Megyn Price

More: Are you normally a morning person?
MP: I am, thank God. I’m definitely not a night person anymore, but it’s still rough to hear your alarm at five in the morning and have to get up and run 10 miles.

More: What was the hardest part of training this time around?
MP: The hardest thing for me in general is riding my bike outside. I have a Spin bike in my house, and I’m perfectly comfortable on that. I’m really a chicken. I learned to ride a bike when I was at Stanford, in college. I didn’t ride when I was little. So for me, that’s the hardest part. It’s actually scary to me, which sounds crazy. It’s equipment; I don’t really like equipment. I will run and swim until the end of time, but I don’t like having equipment.

More: What else did you struggle with when you were training?
MP: The hardest part of all this is finding the time. It sounds like a cliché because everyone says that, but it’s the truth. It’s really hard. The truth is, I didn’t always get in two hours of perfect workouts every day; sometimes my daughter would wake up early, and I would only get in half an hour.

Another lesson I learned was to go easy on myself because I’m such a little overachiever. If I make a plan, I’m going to keep the plan, and I’m going to do what I said I’m going to do. But I learned that when you don’t, that’s OK, too. I think there was some moment during the past six months that I said, “Oh, I stopped beating myself up! How did that happen?” I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s age, wisdom or having a child.

More: Did you train by yourself?
MP: I mostly trained by myself. For me, it’s kind of a meditation. It’s a good way to kind of turn off my brain, because you can’t really think when you’re swimming, biking or running.

More: Did you work with a trainer?
MP: I worked with a guy who did an online training. There are tons of online training programs. I also used a book called "The Woman Triathlete" by Christina Gandolfo.

What’s surprising about training is that it’s a lot more about recovery than it is necessarily about pushing yourself. A lot of people train too hard. It’s important to let your body recover.

More: Would you recommend these training sources for new triathlon racers?
MP: Yes, especially for women, because it’s difficult. I had a fear that I would bulk up or lose my boobs.

I would say a sprint distance triathlon doable for anyone with six months worth of training. It’s such a fun thing to do. It’s built-in cross-training. You’re not doing the same thing or hammering your body every day. As a woman, I don’t want to give the message to my little girl that I’m exercising to be skinny. I love that she says that mama’s training to be fast and do her race. To me, it’s such a better message to give her. It’s also very fun to have this arbitrary little goal. It makes exercise not exercise.

More: Is training something you look forward to?
MP: Once I get into it, yes. I will also tell you that I TiVo Top Chef and whatever else on my treadmill. That’s the only place I watch TV—when I’m running.

More: Did your eating habits change when you started training?
MP: They didn’t. When I first started doing triathlons, I thought you could eat whatever you wanted to, and I wondered, “Why am I gaining weight when I’m training so much?” I don’t eat meat; I’m a vegetarian. I always eat tons of vegetables, fruits and grains, and I’m pretty conscious about what I eat, but I didn’t really eat more of anything. They call it train-gain, by the way. It’s like, you’re working out, but you’re not really burning an extra 20,000 calories. You can’t really go to Baskin-Robbins.

First Published August 26, 2011

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