Wellness as a Triathlon Goal

August 24, 2016

 

 Dreamfar Triathlon is fundamentally a Wellness organization with focus on the overall health and well being of its athletes and the community.  Our Head Coach, Jean Gillis, runs an organization focused on every aspect of Wellness and she uses this approach to train first time triathletes to 140.6 athletes.  In this section we'll be discussing how to integrate the best Wellness practices into your training and life as well as the latest developments in what is the largest and most exciting movement in overall healthcare.

Let's clarify what we mean by "Wellness".  Wellness is not a new age concept and the implications of the Wellness movement is fundamentally changing our halt care system and how we look at medical procedure, ethics, and long term management.  It is upending major industries ranging from food to hospital management to insurance and pharmaceutical companies.  What it has not done yet is become part of the national dialogue in either managed care or athletics.  When it does watch out as everything from your gear to what you wear to how you're trained will change.  Even the races will change.

What is Wellness?  As defined by the National Wellness Institute, "Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence."

Frankly when I read this the first time I pictured new age crystals and a guy in a white robe humming while bluebirds whistled about. Not sure Triathlete Magazine will be starting a Wellness section based on this.  But first impressions demonstrate the challenges fundamental scientific and philosophical approaches face.  And as experienced athletes we are conditioned to look for the parametric valuation: how is Wellness measured?  We are not conditioned to look for the ephemeral or the intangible.  We know we're healthy because on Saturday we'll crank out a 1 mile swim, 24 mile bike, and 5 mile run but we'll avoid the intangible aspects of that health: joy, confidence, contribution to a stronger community.

So let's turn to the Center for Disease Control. (Immediately your mind said, "OK, shits getting real.")  If you go to the CDC's site and search for Wellness you'll find a large assortment of Wellness approaches with measurable and practical impact.  But if you read as many articles as your caffeine is capable of supporting you'll find yourself floating back to the definition above and also the insight that Wellness has as much to do with Dreamfar Triathlon investing in the Breast Cancer Coalition as it does with your Power Profile for the 24 mile hill ride on Saturday.

Here is how the CDC defines Wellness' aspects that deal with the individual:

Well-being is a positive outcome that is meaningful for people and for many sectors of society, because it tells us that people perceive that their lives are going well. Good living conditions (e.g., housing, employment) are fundamental to well-being. Tracking these conditions is important for public policy. However, many indicators that measure living conditions fail to measure what people think and feel about their lives, such as the quality of their relationships, their positive emotions and resilience, the realization of their potential, or their overall satisfaction with life—i.e., their “well-being.” Well-being generally includes global judgments of life satisfaction and feelings ranging from depression to joy.

Let's bring all of this down to what we do and perhaps create a thread through all the articles in this newsletter.  In the Sprints section we discussed RPE, HRM zones, and Power.  In the Olympics Tempo delivery and pushing the comfort zone.  In the 70.3 the essentials of strategy as planning, and the 140.6 the fine line between stupidity and glory.  In the beginners section we called out the Myth of the quality workout in exchange for the concept of fun and doing.  All of these represent the environment in which you express yourself athletically but they also touch on joy, comfort, relationships, and the ability to lead a life that allows for year long plans.  That is how Wellness is beginning to influence something as hardcore parametric as athletic training.

We'll leave it this week with an example of setting a Wellness Goal as part of your training.

Ralph wants to do his first Olympic Triathlon in 2017.  His goals are:

  • Do a preparatory Sprint in May.

  • Do NYC Olympic in July.

  • Train with a team and coaches.

  • Prevent injury from diverting his plans.

  • Focus on a distance that will not impede his love of Golf and time with his children.

  • Reduce his dependency on blood pressure medication.

  • Be able to return something to the community his sport participates in.

  • Share swimming, cycling, and/or running with his spouse and children.

  • Satisfy his competitive nature.

  • Help his teammates achieve their goals.

  • Learn new life skills.

  • Understand his own strengths and weaknesses.

  • Explore his limits and perhaps push them.

These are measurable objectives which not only seriously impact Raph's life but everyone around hi.  All of these are Wellness Goals.

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