Average Weight For 2 And A Half Year Old Girl Ironman Refugees

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Ironman Refugees

For most triathletes, their journey to Ironman distance racing is an evolutionary process that begins with a sprint triathlon. There are exceptions, and probably quite a few who simply start their triathlon age group career with an Ironman distance race. However, these individuals are usually in the minority. The evolution of your typical triathlete goes something like this.

Stage 1: Sprint Triathlete:

I wanted to get in shape so I decided to do a sprint triathlon to lose weight and help motivate me to train and be healthier. These individuals usually need some physical activity and benefit greatly from their training, coaching, and time spent on the bike, at the pool, and trail/road running. They usually feel very vulnerable and like a fish out of water during several triathlons, but soon within a couple of years after the race they become adept at transitions, pacing strategies and the whole culture of triathlon.

Stage 2: Olympic/70.3 or Half-Ironman Triathlete:

If a little is good, a little more is better. Is it confidence. This may be true, especially for Olympic distance runners, depending on their goals. Now that’s the operative word “goals”. A triathlete’s goals tend to change from wanting to be healthy and in good shape to wanting to see where they stand compared to peers. This may not always happen as there are quite a few ultra-competitive sprint triathletes. However, the trend in the triathlon/endurance community is “longer is better” when it comes to training and racing.

At this point you will see individuals spending more and more money on training, racing wheels, bikes, wetsuits and so on. Now the goal has definitely changed from just being healthy to being competitive in your age group. The original goal of being healthy has suddenly taken a backseat to fitting into one’s age group. As a result, weight training is more often neglected as more time is spent on the bike/pool/road, etc. NSAIDs are being used more frequently to speed up recovery from an overuse injury.

Training groups are becoming more demanding. Dieting becomes more focused on weight loss than healthy eating. As a result, the triathlete begins to trade health for speed. Fitness increases in a particular sport, but overall health deteriorates due to overtraining, poor diet, muscle loss, excessive fatigue, less time for family/loved ones, and so on. Of course, this is a continuum and may or may not happen depending on a person’s physical characteristics, age, living situation (children) and so on. However, for your typical 30-40 year old, this is usually the case.

Stage 3: Ironman Triathlete:

An Ironman triathlete has done the distance and probably done it several times. It’s usually 3-5 years of evolution to become an Ironman. However, there are those who just go out and complete an Ironman in their first year. However, I emphasize the word complete. I doubt they ride the Ironman as much as they try to survive it. Ironman completion is the optimal word here. They just want to get through it, even if it means walking most of the run. For those who are competitive age groupers, they have now invested a huge amount of time and sacrifice in this event. Objectives have now shifted entirely to deployment, and health has obviously taken a backseat to speed.

If weight training is not regularly scheduled, osteoporosis becomes a real problem for men and women in their 30s and 40s, who also lose significant muscle mass due to aging, weight loss and lack of weight bearing. Overuse injuries and NSAID use are common, along with a highly regulated and spontaneous lifestyle as life now revolves around training rather than training around life. The burnout rate is high right now. There are those who are able to forcefully complete Ironman race after Ironman race year after year. However, I am speaking in general terms and conditions. For most, this feeling becomes one of “Been there done that.”

It’s a real shame because the athlete has done so much to prove to himself and others that he can “go the distance”. However, their original health goal has been lost along the way. These athletes often face chronic injuries, poor bone health, loss of muscle mass, strained relationships at home and work, and potential negative side effects from excessive NSAID use. Most don’t even know the state of their bodies, but they know they feel burned out and need a break.

Stage 4: Triathlon Refugee:

It is the point where one reaches a fork in the road. There are two paths one will take at this point, both of which can significantly affect that person’s future health. One direction is to take a break and get back into Ironman distance racing. Most often, these athletes are pure endurance machines. They are designed for endurance sports and have the psychological makeup and support system to tolerate their lifestyle. Glad for you if you are one of these people.

Then we have the Triathlon Refugee. It is an individual who has done things to the best of their ability. They have taxed their health, their personal lives and their abilities to the limit and have decided enough is enough and are quitting all together. They give up on the Ironman distance triathlon, but they also throw out the baby with the bathwater and give up on their original goal of being healthy. This has been lost in becoming a competitive age group in the Ironman distance. They are refugees, so to speak. Feeling unable to return to shorter sprint triathlons and no longer wanting to compete in Ironman distances.

It seems to me that these athletes need to be saved the most. I believe that in many ways they are at risk of being isolated and excluded from the sport, and that is very unfortunate. There has to be a place for them to go. There must be a goal as honorable as Ironman, but without the pain and sacrifice. The answer lies in individuals realizing that they have lost sight of their original purpose that brought them to triathlon. To be healthy, look good and feel good. If you can check your ego at the door, sit down and understand what motivated you to change your health, you will have taken one major step towards finding your desire to stay healthy and fit again.

This doesn’t mean you have to go back and do an Ironman race. You have the right to be proud of your achievement. However, you also have the right to train and be healthy without competition. There is absolutely nothing wrong with training for a triathlon but never racing it. Think about the distance that best suits your needs and that you feel most comfortable with in terms of training, time commitment and health. Be sure to strength train 2-3 times a week, even if it slows you down. This will make you healthier and happier in the long run.

If you want to take it a step further, just pick the three sports that you enjoy the most and train in those areas. For me that would be 100 meter sprints, long distance cycling and weight training. For others, it might mean downhill skiing, swimming and soccer or mountain biking. Create your own set of sports that motivate you the most and train for them. Not everyone is made to swim/bike/run long distances. However, everyone can be healthier and more motivated by challenging themselves to the limits of their abilities.

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