The Unhealthy Triathlete...


By Jordan Blanco (active.com)

As a triathlete, your training likely keeps you in good physical shape, right? That's what I had always assumed.

For 10 straight years, I passed on the annual medical check-up offered by my doctor, given that I trained hard and I ate a healthy diet. Over the last few years, I brushed off a decline in my bike power and a slowing in my run times as old age. After all, I am in my 40's! I threw in a few other explanations for the slide in my performances: work stress, less quality training, not enough run miles, mistimed taper, not tough enough, etc. I'm good at that sort of thing....

Finally, after feeling "off" for many months, a friend prompted me to get some blood tests. Imagine my relief, but also my frustration, when everything came back normal. I didn't feel "normal" when I biked or ran. At least I didn't feel how I used to feel--was this my new normal?

It turns out that the "normal" range, specified in most blood test results is wide. While it might work for someone leading a relatively sedentary lifestyle, being at the low-end of the normal range is sub-optimal for athletes hoping to go fast in an IRONMAN triathlon. I'm no doctor, but here is what I've learned from doctors about finding optimal health as an amateur triathlete.  READ MORE