Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015 Triathlon in a Month

I am pleased to announce the third annual Your Fitness Quest Triathlon in a month. This year the event will be even better since we are doing it in March instead of February (yes that gives you 3 more days to get it done and the weather will be warmer.) Before you start thinking about your excuses why you can't do this let me address the 3 biggest excuses I have heard in that past.

1) You are a bad swimmer or you don't have access to a pool.  I can relate to this since I am a horrible swimmer and do much of my swim on my back. Just go to a local pool and knock out the swim portion over several days. It doesn't matter how deep it is or what stroke you use.

2) You don't have a bike or helmet or it's too cold outside. Use a stationary bike at home or the gym if you don't have a good bike or ideal biking conditions.You can even watch a video while you do it.

2) Many people say they can't run due to knee or other injuries. You can walk the running portion and it still counts. Avoid the high impact of running if you need to but still complete the mileage by walking.

This triathlon is unique because it is one you can do at your own pace. Very few people are able to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, then run a full marathon of 26.2 miles in one day. Some of the elite finishers of this event are able to complete the entire 140.6 mile relay in under 9 hours. My hat is off to the hard core athletes who are able to accomplish such amazing feats, but I think that's a little too extreme and daunting for the general population. That is why I like the idea of completing a full blown triathlon but doing it over the course of a month so we don't all end up hospitalized from trying to finish it all in one day.

Some people think that taking a month is too easy for them while others doubt they could ever do it. That is the beauty of doing it at your own pace. If you are already in great shape, then go for it and try to finish it in a couple days or within a week. If you know it will be hard and challenging for you, then just chip away at it day by day and take the entire month to accomplish it. Luckily you won't have the usual 17 hour cut off time to qualify that they do at the Iron Man Triathlon. You technically have 744 hours to complete it.

This is a great opportunity to improve your conditioning if you've gotten out of shape. It's also a great way to actually complete a triathlon without wreaking havoc on your body. I've received a lot of positive feedback in the past by the many people who went way out of their comfort zones to participate in this event.

Because this is a do it on your own event, we are on the honor system and you are also able to do it at your local gym or home. The only rule is that it doesn't start until March.1st. You can do all the swimming at once or combine events each time you work out as long as you eventually complete the mileage totals for each category.

If you'd like to join us, you can register by e-mailing me at I will send you the activity tracker sheet you can use to monitor your progress. Registration and participation is free, but you can also purchase a cool finishers shirt. Your Fitness Quest is not responsible for any accident or injury of the participants. Always consult a physician before starting an exercise program.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ever Changing Nutrition Recommendations

I have always been interested in nutrition and learning what the "experts" recommend when it comes to our food intake. As a kid I remember learning about the basic food groups and wanting to follow the USDA guidelines so I would grow up to be strong and healthy.

When the food pyramid was introduced I tried to follow it's recommendations. I remember when the guidelines were changed to decrease fat intake and to increase grain consumption in order to fight obesity and heart disease. Surprisingly, the increased consumption of breads, cereals, and pasta actually raised obesity rates and soon carbohydrates were labeled by many to be the "evil" food group like fat had previously been.

About ten years ago the food pyramid was revamped again and stairs were added to remind people the importance of physical activity. More recently the guidelines were changed to the "my plate" model. I recently came across the following video which gives a brief summary of the evolution of USDA recommendations over the years.

I know there have been many critics of these guidelines over the years claiming the meat, agriculture, and dairy groups put too much influence on the recommendations. Regardless of if you agree with the current or past recommendations, it is obvious that they are constantly changing.

Many nutritional philosophies disagree with each other such as vegetarians vs. paleo enthusiasts. Determining the best way to eat can be very confusing. Basic guidelines are given for the general population so it is important for people to do their own research and experimentation when it comes to determining optimal nutrition.