IRONMAN

IRONMAN PhotoBy: Mary Marren

“People who think that an IRONMAN is unattainable – I tell them that it is possible. I can take anyone – a person that does not have an athletic bone in their body and make them into a triathlete if they’re willing to put in the time. I’m the perfect example. I am not a great athlete, just a hard worker.” – John Duke, IRONMAN Legend

Starting off in a small city of Hawaii in 1978, the IRONMAN has grown to become one of the most challenging and well-recognized triathlons there is. Founded by John Collin and his wife, the IRONMAN originally started as a challenge to decipher which athletes were the toughest; the swimmers, the bikers, or the runners.  Today, it has grown into an international event that is open to anyone willing to take part.

The IRONMAN consists of three parts. There is the 2.4 mile swim, the 112 mile bike ride, then the 26.2 mile run.  Seeing that written down on paper can be extremely intimidating, but the IRONMAN website not only has training tips to get you ready, as well as nutritional guidelines to keep you on track.  According the IRONMAN official website, 40% of the people who register for the IRONMAN are first time competitors. So if you’re someone who is hesitant to register because of fear of striking out, don’t be! You’re not alone out there.

Another excellent way to get prepared for the IRONMAN is to try an easier version of it. There is an IRONMAN called IRONMAN 70.3 that is the same events as the original IRONMAN but shorter. The swim is 1.2 miles, the bike ride is 56 miles, and the run is 13.1 miles.  This is still a challenging trek, but it may be the starter triathlon that you are looking for.

If both of those options still seem a bit overwhelming, you could also check out the indoor IRONMAN. Currently, there is an indoor IRONMAN being hosted right here at Whitewater in the William’s Center. All you have to do to register is fill out a short survey monkey.

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For the Warhawk Fitness Indoor IRONMAN, each person has from March 31st- April 30th to complete the 2 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and the 26 mile run. The only catch is that the whole event must be completed indoors in the William Center or University Fitness Center, thus being the Indoor IRONMAN. Even though the challenge is limited to inside, the intrinsic and external rewards are reason enough to sign up!

Each individual who completes the Indoor Ironman will receive a FREE long sleeve shirt that has the IRONMAN logo printed on it. If you want to work on a team, you have that option, too! You can sign up for the Indoor IRONMAN as a team of 3 people, and will each receive a Warhawk Fitness water bottle. It’s not too late to sign up! In fact, a lot of our participants finish in well under 30 days.

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Besides the awesome prizes, you get to have the satisfaction of completing an IRONMAN. If at any point while reading this you have thought that maybe it would be fun to give the IRONMAN a try, do it! There’s no harm in trying, but never trying may be selling you short. You can find more info about the official IRONMAN event here or the Warhawk Fitness Indoor Ironman here.

Stay healthy, Stay Strong,
-Mary Marren

The ugly truth: Carbohydrates

Carbs PhotoBy: Abbey Bowen

I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard someone say they cut carbs out of their diet to get healthier, but I’ve also heard people talk about how good they are for you.  So, this got me thinking. Which one is it? Are carbohydrates good or bad?

According to WebMD.com, the answer is both! Similar to the tiny angel and devil we see on cartoons shoulders, carbs are separated by the “good” and the “bad.”

Here are some examples:

  • Good carbs include whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit.
    • Carbs are usually considered good when they are coupled with high fiber content
  • Bad carbs are the product of refinement and processing, which take the majority of the good nutrients out of the grain. This includes foods like white rice and white bread

Another difference to note is between simple and complex carbohydrates:

  • Simple carbohydrates are single, also known as monosaccharides, and double-chained sugars, also known as disaccharides.
    • They are recognizable because they usually end with “-ose.” Fructose, glucose, sucrose and lactose are the primary examples.
    • These sugars are usually added to low-fat foods to give them flavor. (They are also usually void of nutrition)
  • Complex carbohydrates are many chains of simple sugars joined together, known as oligosaccharides and polysaccharides.
    • They include starch and fiber. Foods that contain complex carbs include grains, bread, pasta, beans, potatoes, corn and other vegetables.

To sum all this up, carbohydrates are BOTH good and bad. Good carbs contain complex sugars that can be found in fruits, veggies, grains and legumes. Bad carbs contain a simpler composition of sugars and are found in the words ending in “-ose” that we are usually told to stay away from.

I hope this clears up the whole “good vs. bad carbs” debate that I know has been eating away at your soul for years. I know I feel a WHOLE lot better about the WHOLE thing, and I am going to continue enjoying the good carbohydrates I know and love, like those WHOLE grains 🙂

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]