Training for and participating in endurance events like Ironman® and 70.3® triathlons is becoming insanely popular — registration is moving faster and becoming more expensive by the year as demand continues to grow. But even a seemingly healthy change can have unintended consequences. A recent Wall Street Journal article captured the notion of what it means to be an “exercise widow” and the other side affects of an obsession with exercise.
“The exercise widow often wakes to an empty bed—a sure sign of a morning workout—and may find dinner plans spoiled by a sudden avoidance of anything heavy before a night run. Hoping for an hour of television or catching-up before bedtime? Forget it: All that early-morning exercise takes its toll. Mr. Waxman arrives home from the office after his children, ages 11, 10 and 8, have eaten dinner, and he hits the sack before they do. “I’m out of gas by nine o’clock,” Mr. Waxman says.“
Everyone is free to live their own life, and make their own choices. But regardless of whether you think Mr. Waxman is a selfish jerk or a role model of dedication, it’s in your best interest to make the most informed decisions possible.
In this case, Mr. Waxman is not unlike thousands of other endurance athletes who equate total training time and/or mileage with fitness, who benchmark progress by hours trained and who are prepared to make massive personal and or social sacrifices to pursue a personal goal.
But it doesn’t have to be that way…
Back in 2007, we published our “Long Course Training Manual“, a free online book explaining the methodology behind the Endurance Nation training approach. We explain the “Fast before Far” approach and help the reader define fitness as framed by two simple equations:
Fitness = The Body’s Ability to Perform WORK
WORK = Frequency x Duration x Intensity
While traditional training approaches leverage Duration to create training stress and develop your fitness, we realized early on that most age-group athletes have a fixed schedule: work, family, and other forces combine to limit their time available to train. So we changed the game by fixing your workout duration and manipulating the Intensity. We then measure your increased fitness by your ability to swim, bike, and run faster — to perform more WORK.
Long hours are important but they don’t — they shouldn’t, for the sake of your head and family — have to happen year round. We keep the training volume as low as we can for as long as we can, saving the race-specific volume until 8-12 weeks out from your race. Not only will you have more time on your hands for the rest of your life, but you’ll be fitter and stronger than you ever thought possible. Imagine that.
Does this approach work?
Founded in 2007, Endurance Nation has grown from 80 to nearly 600 half and full Ironman® athletes. Our ranks include IM age group winners, course record holders, podium finishers and Kona qualifiers. Please review their testimonials on our homepage, our Facebook page, and listen to their race report podcast interviews.
Better still, you can create a FREE 5-day trial membership here. Come inside, test the coaches, ask our athletes about their experiences with us, and see for yourself if TeamEN is a good fit for you! Note that the Team closes for the 2011 season on February 28th so don’t delay. At that time you’ll need to join our waiting list for the next available opening.