When it comes to training and overall health, the common wisdom says that marathon runners and triathletes are some of the healthiest, most in-shape people in the world.
Ah but this is not so!
This Tedx talk by Dr. James O’Keefe gets into the reasons why going “long and hard” can actually lead to heart issues rather than make you more healthy:
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t be a healthy triathlete! Far from it, you can do lots of things to keep yourself as healthy, fit, enthusiastic and positive as possible. Here are a few ideas:
1. Choose sleep over working out. When training for a triathlon, it’s tempting to cut some corners when it comes to rest. However, your sleep will go a long way in actually helping your conditioning. Put sleep in your calendar as a must, not something that can be negotiated. It may seem like “being lazy” or “wasting time” if you sleep a lot, but it’s actually your body repairing itself, and is very much needed with any endurance training.
2. Don’t have a rigid weekly training plan. Former pro triathlete Brad Kearns did a whole podcast on the importance of inconsistency in your training plan. Instead of scheduling long hard workouts most days of the week, consider cutting down on those workouts, doing shorter ones, and having some pure rest time built in (i.e. in swimming, instead of always focusing on technique and going hard, can you mix in some easy backstroke?)
3. Move more when not training. This is kind of a weird thing to say. Move more? “But…I’m a triathlete, Kevin, I move enough!” Yes you are likely training, moving through the pool, on your bike, and in your runs. But are you moving around enough on a regular basis? This is more of a mindset shift. You can likely cut down on the length of your workouts if instead of doing marathon couch sessions with Netflix, you just make sure to move throughout the day- I’m talking about the little stuff like not parking right next to the store, or doing housework, or taking walks with no purpose.
This idea of being inconsistent and doing less is counterintuitive, but it is indeed winning in the long run- improving your health, and even doing better than ever in your races.
Befriend that water!
P.S. TRAIN WITH US
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