PR your next Race
It’s probably safe to say that we all want to be better triathletes. I mean, sure, some of us are a little more willing than others when it comes to putting in the actual work that might make that dream a reality, but even if the only part of the training process you’re truly committed to is carb loading, I’m betting you’d at least like to finish your next race a little faster.
Now, I’m a giver (even if my dog thinks I could be a whole lot more giving when it comes to the cookie I’m currently noshing on). So, I’ve scoured the Internet to find all kinds of ways to help you become the triathlete you know you were always meant to be … if pesky things like work and family and $5 pizza offers didn’t get in the way.
Ask anyone – professional athletes, elite coaches, people who wear glasses that make them look, like, really smart – and they’ll all tell you that one of the top keys to performance is to get more sleep. “Just go to bed an hour earlier,” they say – as if the laundry you fold and the dishes you put away and the texting with your sister that you do during that hour will still magically happen while you’re climbing into bed the moment Wheel of Fortune is over.
Now, we’ve already merged three sports into one. We can certainly fit a few more performance-boosting activities into our daily lives than most, right? So, instead of giving up on ever seeing Jeopardy! again (I’ll take “Ain’t gonna happen” for $400, Alex), just work more sleep into your daily routine by sleeping faster. It’s like speed work!
Start with a couple of naps a day, then try to work super short ones into other activities – cat naps while you stand in line at the bank are a good start. And don’t sell yourself short – you can sleep faster than that! Shorten your snooze sessions until you’re technically sleeping, just a little bit, when you blink during really boring conversations, so that technically you’re sleeping around 40 times a day. Based on my professional* calculations, this will give you more than enough rest – without the risk of missing the one Final Jeopardy clue you can actually get right.
(*I once scored an 84% on a fifth grade math quiz, so you know you can trust me with numbers.)
While the exact figure varies by source, most experts seem to agree that we’re basically all dehydrated, pretty much all the time. And sure, you could go the route of drinking from your water bottle all day long, but, frankly, who has the time to keep getting up and refilling it – not to mention all the energy you’ll waste reaching for and picking it up. Ugh!
Take a cue from the folks who know a lot about making drinking easy (tailgaters!) and get yourself outfitted with a functional (and, might I add stylish) drinking cap. Just pop a couple of big ol’ water bottles in there and you should be good to sip away for hours. No hands needed!
Food is never taken lightly by serious athletes, so follow their lead. This doesn’t have to be hard – you’ll just need to have somewhere from 13 to 29 small, homemade meals consisting of organic superfoods grown by a local farmer who plays jazz at a moderate decibel for 10 hours a day for all her crops. No big deal. But, of course, make sure each meal has a perfect balance of protein and fiber and fat – and pretention, don’t forget that. And don’t eat them too close to a workout. Or to each other. Or too far apart. But it’s not an exact science. Listen to your body. You do you!
Your body might heal up while you nap 86 times a day, but if you want a real boost, you’ve got to make a point to add in some specific sports recovery. Don’t worry about doing them all every day – just getting them all in a couple times every week should be sufficient.
- Assisted stretching
- Hyperbaric oxygen chamber (Just for sleeping at night! You don’t need one at work, too!)
- Rubbing your favorite writer’s feet
- Foam rolling
- Groaning loudly (possibly related to the above)
- Laser therapy
- K tape
- Duct tape
- Hot tub
- Cold plunge pool (aka “a pool” in Canada)
Hey, it’s the fun part! You probably already have a coach and a training plan, but what kind of time and effort are you actually willing to put in? Treating your training like a part-time job might work for some people (people who don’t care about getting faster), but think about all that extra time you could be putting toward improving your performance.
Having trouble finding this “extra time” after adding in your 37 meals (plus snacks! Did I forget to mention snacks?), 94 naps, and 38 recovery activities? TRY HARDER. Trade that 20 minute car commute in for an extra bike workout that gets you to and from work. Sure, it’ll add a couple of hours to your day and you’ll probably be a sweaty mess once you clock in, but sometimes we have to make sacrifices to reach our goals, guys. And, speaking of work – sitting is for suckers, so ditch your office chair and replace it with a stability ball. Or a standing desk. How about a treadmill? Oooh! Or one of those nifty step mill things so you really have to keep up in order to keep your monitor in view! That sounds fun and your co-workers definitely won’t mind. And when you’re stuck in a situation where you’re really, truly supposed to sit –an interview for your dream job, when you land a front row seat for Hamilton, etc. – just hover. You’ll look like you’re sitting, but your thighs will be screaming. It’s a win/win!
About the Author
Our guest writer Kristen Seymour is a busy (and very funny) woman. She's a writer, a certified triathlon coach, a pet lover and she runs Fit Bottomed Girls which is a site dedicated to empowering women to live a healthy lifestyle.
And there you have it! With a bit of dedication, you can become the triathlete you always dreamed of being. Which is good, because it’s really hard to have an actual dream when your naps consist of a blink.