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Have you taken the pause in life to reflect on the frequency you do something? Do you train every day? Do you train several times a week? How often do you rest, including taking several days off on a regular basis? How often do you participate in some sort of race? When you see and read about ultra endurance athletes performing some super human feat like multiple marathons or triathlons, do you feel compelled to do more than what you currently do? If so, and if you were to give yourself the gift of time to reflect, what would you see? Would you accept it?
Several years ago, I made the commitment to focus on one race yearly – the ITU Cross Tri World Championship. Other than Nationals which are a requirement to qualify for Team USA and the WC, all other races are somewhat meaningless to me. That said, no special preparations are made, including tapering, and no added stress. They are just purely for training and fun. This also means, I do very few. Perhaps 3-4 and these are either Sprint or Olympic distances, not half Ironman, or Ironman. For variety and skills development, along with pure zaniness, I like to throw in cyclocross and mountain bike racing. While my physical, emotional, and bank accounts grow with deposits, other athletes I know are racing as if the food on their tables depends on it.
Many triathletes smitten with Ironman fever, dream of glowing with the punishment Kona will dole out. Most will target a qualifying race which has the slots and course that should favor them. However, I see all too often disappointment. This I attribute to trying to do too much, not getting focused for the Big Show, thus leaving too much to unreliable friends like Hope and Luck. Then there are “new friends” like the Social Media apps, that love to be distractions and suck energy. Remember, QOMs, KOMs, etc., are meaningless in training, and totally meaningless in a triathlon. All that matters is when your chest crosses the finish line.
During the early months of the year, your images and thoughts will be more abstract. However, as you conduct your research of the course and data, looking at videos, Google Maps, images, and as your training plan develops with laser focus, the images and even dreams will become very real. A couple months out, you will be able to perfectly visualize yourself executing your race day plan on the course. Even the events and motions of your travel will seem real. During the months of prep you will have developed an acumen for the weather, food, culture, environment, people, etc. Very little, if anything, will be a surprise.
Perhaps a new resolution you can try for 2017 and forward,
“I will do one thing really, really well this year. It will be my Big Show.”
Then, when the time comes, Hope is cheering you on, eating popcorn, and Luck is riding on your handlebars hooting into the wind.
One of the more popular recent voices on the subject promotes a plant-based diet in a big way: The Game Changers. This Netflix special proposes eliminating meat from your diet and replacing it with plant-based sources of protein and nutrition.
Having spent years as a vegan and understanding the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, I couldn’t help but agree with many of the points brought to light in the film.
As a medical doctor, I saw a fundamental flaw in his information: plant-based proteins do not contain enough of each essential amino acid for most of to provide their bodies the wherewithall to optimize body protein synthesis. This is a fact observed through my own experience, through the experience of my patients, and backed by scientific research.
You know that the cardiovascular system is responsible for pumping blood and oxygen throughout your system, right? And that the endocrine system manages hormones? And that your nervous system relays messages throughout your body?
Well, underlying all these systems is an astoundingly complex electrical system.
This electrical system is busy sending an almost uncountable number of messages to the muscles, bones, brain, and the cells. The human brain is the home to approximately 100 billion neurons, each firing about 200 times every second.
Sometimes it feels like there are more types and brands of water than drops in the ocean. You go to the grocery store and discover a huge shelf packed with different brands of water that all claim to be health-beneficial. Add in the hundreds of in-house water purifiers, and it can seem like a “sea” of confusing options (cue the pun).
Thankfully, your choice doesn’t have to be that complicated.