Are you interested in trying a triathlon? How about Tough Mudder? Or a half-marathon? Maybe you want to watch 65 episodes in a row of a show on Netflix. In any case, you’re on the way to becoming an endurance athlete. We understand your needs. And we’re going to get you ready.
Take it slow. You’ll want to get into training gradually because it’s the best way to avoid injury. It’s also very important to have fun and enjoy your sport. Find people to train with and make it a social event. Or if, like many endurance athletes, you don’t enjoy the company of people, try listening to music or a podcast.
First, set goals. Pick some “A” events for the year, preferably ones that will fit into your schedule and are in cool cities. Then, it’s time for daily workouts. Choose a regimen that focuses on specific skills required for your event, like hill workouts, long endurance sessions, strength training or, for competitive eating challenges, hot-dog consumption. This will give your muscles a solid base and will help you avoid injury.
It’s important to be in the proper state of mind. Go through mental rehearsals and visualization drills. Meditate. Get enough sleep so you are not grumpy when you’re hanging out with your family. In general, the only way your body becomes stronger is if you allow it adequate rest. This is when your muscles adapt.
Make sure it fits right; no snuggies! Choose performance fabrics that are designed to regulate body temperature and protect you from the elements. Don’t underestimate, as your Uncle Lou once told you, the power of the perfect pair of socks. And don’t count out superstitions. If you have a favorite color or a top that makes you feel sexy and gives you a “power advantage,” then wear it! Crowds will gaze at you in awe as you cruise by.
You won’t be a champ unless you maintain exceptional nutrition. Most athletes eat pasta, bread and pizza before races, and that’s wrong. Down with carbo-loading! It teaches your metabolism to rely on converting carbs into energy via insulin spike. Instead, eat a well-balanced, whole-food meal that focuses on leafy organic greens, grass-fed animal protein and healthful fats such as coconut oil and avocado. This allows your body to burn fat during your event. You’ll never feel tired, you’ll never get old, and you’ll never die.
During your event, avoid high-sugar and carbohydrate-dense foods. Salty and fatty foods like bacon help your body convert fat into energy. Other in-game winners are sweet potatoes, dehydrated cantaloupe and pineapples, almond butter and sprouted seeds. Also drink chia seed concoctions, coconut waters and electrolyte mixes, the fave choices of mixologists from Seattle to Brooklyn.
And Still More Food
After a hard race, your body needs protein. Gulp down a big grass-fed steak or ground lamb like a starving dog. Also a side salad, if you’re feeling guilty. Dessert is a big party, too, assuming you like desserts that don’t contain grain, sugar and gluten.
Sleep for a week, you nutty type A endurance athlete. You’ve earned it!