FIT & HEALTHY

Pre­par­ing for this gru­el­ing race chal­lenges phys­i­cal, men­tal, and emo­tional strength

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By Vera Tweed

Iron­man Train­ing The gru­el­ing Iron­man triathlon puts phys­i­cal and men­tal lim­its to the test.

The Iron­man triathlon, held an­nu­ally since 1978 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, has be­come the ul­ti­mate feather in the cap of week­end warriors and pro­fes­sional ath­letes alike from all over the world. “These atheltes think, ‘Wow, I’ve re­ally ex­panded my po­ten­tial be­yond what I imag­ined,’” says Dave Scott, the first six-time Hawaii Iron­man World Cham­pion, a pi­o­neer of the sport, and a coach for more than 30 years. Scott also set records as the rst to com­plete that 140mile swim-bike-run race in 10 hours, then in 9 hours, and then in 8.5 hours, and was the first ath­lete in­ducted into the Iron­man Hall of Fame. “That ex­pe­ri­ence of ac­com­plish­ment is the big­gest ben­e­fit of com­pet­ing in an Iron­man event,” Scott con­tin­ues. And, he says, the lessons learned also ap­ply to any other type of fit­ness or life pur­suit.

OVER­COM­ING FEARS

Train­ing for a ma­jor ath­letic event re­quires com­mit­ment, says Scott, which many peo­ple fear. If you’re just go­ing to the gym to feel and look bet­ter, skip­ping a day may not seem crit­i­cal, but the stakes are higher in a train­ing sched­ule for a chal­leng­ing race. ere’s no way to “make up time” be­cause the hu­man body needs con­sis­tent train­ing to with­stand the de­mands of race day.

Not sur­pris­ingly, fear of fail­ure is com­mon—not be­ing able to com­plete a gru­el­ing race course, for ex­am­ple. And there’s a fear of the un­known.

The weather can change, or some­thing may hap­pen dur­ing the race that throws you off your game.

Over­com­ing these fears is life-chang­ing. “The race it­self is very phys­i­cally de­mand­ing,” says Scott. “But the big­gest ben­e­fit is a huge men­tal and emo­tional lift.”

HAR­NESS­ING KNOWL­EDGE

Whether you’re train­ing for an iron­man or just get­ting off the couch and start­ing to walk, here are Scott’s key tips:

Put your work­out or walk on your cal­en­dar, ev­ery day of the week. For un­pre­dictable days, give your­self a back-up plan to in­clude fit­ness time. If the urge to pro­cras­ti­nate strikes, al­ways do what you can at the mo­ment. Lace up your sneak­ers and get out the door, and you’ll feel good. Re­gard­less of the shape you’re in now, train­ing for a race can take tness to a higher level. “A lot of peo­ple are com­pla­cent, don’t en­joy their job, don’t have a sense of ful­fill­ment,” says Scott. “Do­ing that race is a great way to step out of the bound­ary box.”

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