Priority “A” race, your Health.
We enter the triathlon season with enthusiasm, vigor and an over-achieving attitude, this is the conclusion for the majority of triathletes out there. Raising the bar high, selecting events, planning, pushing the workouts day In and day out, you know the story, this is what the action plan looks like. In a fast paced demanding environment that we live in, maybe it does not hurt to stop and remind ourselves that every once in a while we need a reminder to safeguard our health. Easier said than done, and the daily grind gets us procrastinating quite often in this crucial department.
One can remember the examples of top level athletes ( one been Chrissie Wellington ) preparing themselves for their big event, and as the day drew closer an important finding was manifested. Health was not at the top level as a key performance indicator. Why, how, not for me, I am fit and strong…, that is the initial response for many. It is no secret that we fall victims to our hectic overachieving weekly routines, allow time to pass by and “push under the carpet” a few crucial to health elements. To name a few, the hours and quality of our sleep, the general blood work yearly or bi-annually, the daily sanitation with antibacterial solutions, and the real food intake replaced by engineered ready-made easily accessible foods. Add to that for many triathletes a hectic work schedule with travel, switching time zones often, deadlines, demand to perform in a stressful competitive environment, the hard to measure social and environmental stress, it is very easy to get derailed and thrown off.
Take a moment and try to put yourself in the big picture of your existence. Take care of the basics and foundations of your healthy living and make a point to follow it every week. Repeatedly said, balance is the key to a healthy lifestyle, and if in doubt start with the close environment you belong and live. Family and close relatives come first, and if you are mentally and physically well you are able to give back to them as well, and vice versa. The principles of sensible, quality, well balanced real food nutrition is paramount, and it is providing ammunition for a realistic and meaningful up to your capabilities training plan. The foundations are laid then, and repeatability with frequent checks ‘re health will never allow you to sidetrack again.
by Kypros Nicolaou, MA, B.Sc. Exercise Physiologist, Level II ITU Triathlon Coach