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Saturday, April 03, 2010

So You Want to Tri?

I am really excited to hear that a few people close to me want to do their first triathlon.  As I love this sport, I encourage them wholeheartedly!!!

This is me finishing my first triathlon nearly five years ago, the Finger Lakes Triathlon, in September 2005.

I had a blast and after that race, I got hooked by the sport.

Why I still "Tri":  To stay healthy, feel good, stay in shape, handle the stress of life, and to set a good example for my patients.

Triathlon is a great sport to get into.  If you can swim, bike, and run, you can do a triathlon!  Pick a sprint (short) distance race, and start training!  Of course, see your doctor first to make sure that you are healthy enough to train.

If you are in Los Angeles, look into joining the LA Tri Club.  They have lots of great workouts for beginners all the way to seasoned athletes.  And, find a race to set as your goal -- I love the Hansen Dam Triathlon, which is a friendly sprint-distance triathlon in August, and you can read my race report from the 2008 race.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know this isn't really a topic you blog about, but what do you say to women who fear working out because it makes them heavier? (And working out DOES make some of us heavier, really, it does.)

I'm 5'7". Last year, at 162 lbs, I started working out with a personal trainer and quit when 3 months later, despite strenuous efforts to lose weight, I weighed 167 and my size 12 skirts were getting tighter and tighter in the waist.

Believe, me, I really, really tried not to eat more than absolutely necessary while I was training last year. But I found that if I restricted my caloric intake at all, I couldn't even make it through half a weight lighting session.

As soon as I said good bye to my trainer and quit exercising strenuously, I was able to control my caloric intake and got my weight down to 137 -- a thirty pound loss! -- in just another 3 months.

Today, almost exactly a year later, I weigh 142. I know I can continue manage my weight by embracing hunger.

So I'm afraid to start training vigorously again. While I do run and scull a little, I certainly don't push myself or do anything that would make it impossible to avoid eating when necessary.

I'm also afraid to start taking an SSRI for my depression, since this class of drugs has caused me to gain weight in the past.

I'm 44, by the way -- old enough to be worried about my family legacy of Type 2 diabetes, stroke, hypertension, & multi-infarc dementia.

So, how do you make the tradeoff? How much abdominal fat is an acceptable price to pay for the increased physical and mental well being that comes with exercise? Are the benefits of SSRIs worth going above one's normal weight range?

The reason I pose the question is this: health & fitness propaganda (much of it true, and beneficial) tends to suggest that the behaviors that contribute to health will also, in the long term, deliver cosmetic benefits. But that's not true, in my experience. Over the course of my adult life, I've discovered that the behaviors that deliver the biggest payoff cosmetically speaking are not healthy, while those activities that are healthy can reduce my superficial attractiveness.