Fat triathletes

Hi, my name is Adam, (loud echo Hi Adam), I am a fat triathlete.  I am athletic and my weight has fluctuated depending on where life takes me but when I can eat healthy and control calories in and out via working out, I can maintain a healthy weight.  I am 5'11" bulky and weigh 225 lbs(currently 210).  I played hockey my whole life so I have very large legs and BMI would state that I am obese. But I am a fit, fat guy. I am one of the fittest people in my Unit.  Came 4th in a 8km running race on Friday and I am Gold exempt in the new fitness test with not much to get to platinum.  However, because I wanted to change my body type and minimize some of my lingering crossfit injuries, triathlon seemed like the best option. I saw the athletes on tv and said hmm this should slim me down to where I want to be.

I will be always be honest on in my blog but I have something to tell you. I was that guy on Facebook talking about how fast I did Fran or my new PR on my One Rep Max. I was caught up in the crossfit fad. Don't get me wrong, I think cross fit is a great thing with the right coaches. I was Level 1 certified through the military in Afghanistan by a few Marines.  It was great except I worked really hard at the stuff that came easy and shy'd away from the exercises I had trouble with.  The lack of coaching also introduced a problem as I developed bad habits and I did not guidance required to do the hard work for the right reasons and it would all work out in the end(triathlon coaches are important for success). If you are not careful the same thing can happen to you in triathlon.

Am I really fat no, I have an extra 10 lbs that I need to loose before race season.  I cannot justify $1000 to save 500 grams of carbon fibre wheels and have love handles.  It is really hard to loose that last 10 lbs especially if it is older fat.  But as an endurance athlete, if you choose to eat the right carbs, you will burn those carbs first and then fat once the carbs are depleted. More on this in the next point.

I have signed up for a few blogs and websites that I frequent. One of my favourites is from Nutri tri and the lean triathlete. I downloaded "the lean triathlete blueprint"(for free) all for signing up for a weekly email.  The blueprint is a great short read to confirm your nutrition knowledge and what it can do to your training and performance in triathlon.  Now some of the weekly emails are more like blog entries about the frustration of writing a triathlon book but for the most part, the emails are bang-on.  This weeks was very interesting and inspired this post. It compared two different gym attendees. One bodybuilder who spends most of his time organizing nutrition and other supplements for his performance which obviously showed in the mirror and 5% body fat.  The other was a seasoned triathlete who was 15-20% body fat and was running on a treadmill wearing a Ironman t-shirt(what else do you do with the t-shirts?).  I believe triathletes have to spend a majority of their time splitting aerobic activity over 3 disciplines and there is little time to complete strength or resistance training which works the other functional system of our bodies.  Especially when rest is so important.  Most of us still have a life to balance, family, and of course work.  I find most military triathletes have a job that we must still put in 40-60 hours, train for 5-12 hours, eat for 21 hours and ideally sleep for 56 hours over 168 total hours in a week.  Most of us find really interesting ways to incorporate their workouts.  In my Unit, the minimum physical training hours we have to complete is 3 hours.  I asked if one of the those hours could be transformed into swimming with my triathlon team the Navy Tridents Triathlon Club. This allowed me to concurrently train for both military fitness and personal goals. Over the winter I wanted to go from tolerating the swim portion of the race to completing it with confidence.  I went from 22 to 16 minutes in my 750m swim.  I also used Trainerroad this winter to get some inexpensive coaching on the bike. I ran when I could. This was 5-7 hours per week plus one strength/yoga training if term permitted.  Now here is the kicker, as a fat triathlete, I thought I could out train a bad diet.  Now I would say that I am about 80% eating healthy and 20% not great. Between beer, gummy candy and treating myself, I thought I could outrain the 20% of a bad diet.  With the last 10 lbs, I am starting to clue in that I need to minimize that 20% if I want to reach my race wight goals.  I think I am going to complete a 'clean eating May' strategy to do it.  I also have 11 close birthdays in May including my own May 4th. Now you may be a fat triathlete as well and I truly mean today's society are very hard on themselves and we are surrounded with processed, sugary foods.  Do yourself a favour and accept your body for what it is and try to make little but healthy changes in your overall diet to make a lifestyle change versus a fad-diet that will never last.  Educate yourself, and track your food Calories in and Calories out will totally change your body.  Go hit up http://www.nutri-tri.com/ and check out the lean triathlete.  Also, it is okay to be a fat triathlete.  There is a lot of technique required and thinking about improving everything at once is absurd.  However, if loosing some L Bs is important to you, think about your training and the fuel you are injecting.  I would never put old diesel in my Jetta TDI as my car would not work that well.  Do you expect your body to do something different?  Of course not.  If you like my blog, follow me on this blogging journey.  If you have any comments, please leave them.

Comments

  1. But carbon wheels are so cool looking :-)

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