Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why Endurance Athletes are Better

Shall we count the ways... 

1.  Physical fitness & longevity

Endurance athletes hit a prime and maintain that prime much longer than non-endurance athletes.  How many professional football, baseball, or basketball players do you see past the age of 40?  Yet triathletes, distance runners, and the like are racing at the top of their game well into their 30s, 40s, and beyond.  1984 Gold medalist Joan Benoit-Samuelson attempted making the Olympic Trials this past year at Boston and missed it by less than two minutes; she was 53.  Craig Alexander, at age 38 won both the 2011 Ironman 70.3 and full distance World Champions. 

And with continued activity comes a healthier body.  Just look at the post HERE that Steve @ Steve in a Speedo?!  Gross! put up today concerning a comparison of a sedentary and triathlon lifestyle.  The same comparison goes for mental faculty as well.  One day, endurance athletes will take over the world because we'll be the only ones left!

2.  Personality and Sportsmanship

When was the last time you saw a football or hockey game?  How many fights did the refs break up?  A friend sent me THIS article about the sportsmanship seen at the recent Olympic Trials in Houston.  On top of that, Chrisse Wellington, the undefeated 2011 Ironman World Champion just announced she will be taking a break in 2012 from the competition (read about it HERE).  In response, all of her major competition - Leanda Cave, Julie Dibens, and now also Mirinda Carfrae - has been tweeting "good luck" and "congrats." 

This was one large reason I got hooked on triathlons.  At my first Olympic tri, a complete stranger helped me project what to expect on my run leg and he did it while pedaling next to me on the bike leg.  Who does that?!  Endurance athletes.

3.  Outlook on life

How many non-endurance athletes do you know that train with people who are not on their team?  Take the recent Olympic trials - the top athletes have all trained together.  Take the top triathletes in the world - they've all trained together.  Yes, they have a competitive edge and they'll exploit that come race day if they can.  But in the end, each athlete is out to do their own best.  Endurance athletes know that you can't rise to the top in a matter of a year or two.  It takes multiple years before they fine tune their "game."  They play off of one another, learning from each other, helping each other better their performance. 

In comparison, how many sprint athletes have been caught taking steroids to boost their performance?  Know of any teams that have illegally spied on opponents teams to attempt getting an edge?  (hint: New England football team)  They all want an instantaneous advantage. 


1.  Any other reasons you think endurance athletes are better?  
Leave a comment and let us know!

2.  Have you donated to Autism Speaks yet?
I'll be spinning for 6 hours - that's right SIX HOURS STRAIGHT - to help raise money for Autism.  Help me out and please consider just a $5 donation HERE

Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 

1 comment:

Coy Martinez said...

I can't think of any other reasons except that we're the most tenacious bunch. We know what it's like to be on the side of the road and off the course so we feel for others when we see it. It's anguish and being able to relate to the disappointment and will to want to go on unites us. Or so I think anyway...