If you’ve ever been to an Ironman you know that even athletes at this highest level come in all shapes in sizes. Please don’t read this post and think that only lean athtletes can finish an Ironman. Note that the title is not “Cut Weight” or “Lose Weight”. This past season I worked with a pair of athletes who were concerned that their manorexic looking builds could not support their training regimen. By the time they hired me in late spring it was too late to make a serious impact on their physique. Much like losing weight, the time to put on muscle is actually the off season.
And speaking of losing weight, let’s dispel the myth that everyone who trains for an Ironman will actually lose weight. True, many will lose. Some will not. Your diet can be designed for performance or it can be designed for weight loss. The two goals are mutually exclusive. Every time you take in less calories than you burn calories it impairs your body’s ability to fully recover from your workouts. During Ironman training you will need every calorie you can stomach. If you want/need to lose weight, do it now.
This is the fifth in a series of ten posts dedicated to athletes thinking about their first long course race in 2012. Check back Monday morning for thoughts on Building Endurance and Speed for a 140.6 in 2012.