We run and cycle because running and cycling are what we do. We run because more miles in legs makes us faster and we can run for longer.

We run even more because more is always better (or no?)

More running means more specialisation; your body shapes changes, making it easier for you to run longer and faster with less effort.

Push it too far, and your body will start losing its core functions. And it’s not right.

You will not be able to lift your kids or play the ball with them.

You will not be able to bend down to put the socks on.

You will not be able to stand up from the floor without using the chair.

And this is when you are in your prime.

Imagine yourself in 10, 20, 30 years from now. A double hip replacement and mobility scooter are in the line.

Is it really worth it?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying stop running altogether. Not at all.

Triathlon is amazing. It gets you outdoors, it makes you happy and fit, it’s social, it’s fun. And there is nothing wrong about chasing those PBs! That’s what’s motivating us, makes us go out when it cold when it rains when we cannot be bothered.

What I suggest is very simple: make 20% of your training week load not triathlon specific. Cross-train. Do the right strength training. Play team sport. Allow your body to express it’s all different abilities, angels and positions. Break the pattern of constant forward movement. Give your joints, muscles and tendons a break.

It may take you 1 year longer to break magic 10h Ironman or sub 3h marathon.

So what?

 


Lez Stelmachowski

Triathlon Strength Coach. I help triathletes to get stronger, improve their movement quality and eat better so they can feel physically and mentally strong and achieve their goals.

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