Last week I shared some of my experience participating in my first Ironman triathlon in November of last year. The experience was memorable to say the least and it has taken me a bit of time to process all of my thoughts but I want to pass along some take aways that may encourage you on your fitness journey.
The Ironman consists of a swim (2.4 miles), a bike (112 miles) and a run (26.2 miles). In total it is 140.6 miles of distance covered. If you pay any attention to the distribution of mileage to each event you will see that the bulk of the race consists of biking. This is 79.6% of the distance covered. We may as well call it 80%.
The bike took me six hours and twenty minutes which is roughly half of the time it took me for my entire race. Compared to the swim and the run the bike requires the most training. If you do not train for the bike you will struggle through your race. In other words you must train for the bike.
Nutrition is like the bike.
In your fitness journey nutrition plays a major role. I have been asked several times what percentage is nutrition compared to exercise in terms of importance for success. I actually feel that they are both very important so I will usually say that nutrition is 100% and exercise is 100%. But moving forward I am going to change my answer. I will respond by saying that nutrition is to your fitness journey what the bike is to the Ironman triathlon.
Just like you can’t expect great results if you completely ignore training for the bike you cannot expect great results if you ignore watching what you eat. The bike is 80% of the distance covered and roughly 50% of the time it takes to complete the race much like nutrition is 80% of weight loss and 50% of body composition transformation.
The big takeaway that I hope you realize today is that nutrition matters a lot. You must pay attention to what you eat if you strive to be healthy and fit. I know that this can be a big struggle for most. If you are reading this and need some guidance please contact me. I want to help. You don’t have to do this alone.
Lastly if you are trying really hard to eat healthy and follow a plan I want to encourage you to keep going. I promise you that your body can tell even if you can’t. Just like the Ironman everyone will finish in different times based on several factors. Two people can train the exact amount of time on the bike and end with different results just like two people can eat a certain way and end with different results. Do not be discouraged by a plateau. Keep going and you will make progress. I’m proud of you.