In my last post I discussed the Life Cycle of the Age Group Ironman® Triathlete. Next, I’d like to share with you now some tips on achieving longevity in Ironman® triathlon.
# 1 – Endurance Fitness as Lifestyle
The single most important factor in maintaining your lifespan at the Ironman® distance in the sport of triathlon is to adopt the ethos that fitness is a critical component of your lifestyle. That is, you’re not training or exercising to participate in an event. You don’t go to the pool or the gym as an act in itself. Rather swimming, biking, running, and endurance training is just what you do, it’s a very important part of who you are.
#2 – Life is Too Short to Not Do Cool $+!%
…and for you, as an endurance fitness lifestyle person, cool stuff means doing cool stuff with your fitness. In fact, your endurance lifestyle builds a vehicle for doing cool stuff with your fitness — to experience the world and life from the unique perspective of your bicycle, running shoes, or Speedo (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Ironman® triathlon then is just one of many things on your Cool Stuff List that you do with your fitness. On this list should be other non-Ironman, cool events — running races, epic bike rides, hiking trips and much more. If it sounds like fun, do it, saddling up your fitness and doing cool stuff.
In fact, one of the unfortunate products of training for an Ironman® are the missed opportunities to do other cool stuff with that fitness. That is, many Ironman® athletes get so geeked out with “my long ride needs to be X and my long run needs to be Y next week, and the next week, and the next…” that they lose sight of the fact that the process of Ironman® training is building an incredible Cool Stuff Fitness Vehicle.
Rather, put cool stuff on the calendar, trick your friends into doing it with you, call it “Ironman® training,” and just move from Cool Event to Cool Event across your training and racing season.
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#3 – Seek Out Others Who Share Your Fitness Lifestyle
Try to add a social component to your training by seeking out like-minded individuals near you who share your commitment to an endurance fitness lifestyle. Thursday night $5.25 pitchers of PBR are replaced with 3 hours on your bike on Saturday morning with your friends — with all of the fun smack talk and hammering that comes with it! Seek out triathlon, cycling, running clubs and / or masters swim workouts, expanding your Rolodex of people you can plug into, adding a valuable social component and accountability to your training. Finally, training with or like a single sport athlete for large chunks of the year is a great way to get faster through the process of getting your ass handed to you, frequently. You’ll also expand your skill set, such as learning the all-important Official Rules of the Euro Cyclist!
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Next: #4 — Schedule Your Triathlon Training and Racing Year Like a Grizzled Vet of the Endurance Fitness Lifestyle Ethos