Follow Lance Armstrong Off-Road for Extra Competitive Oomph
It’s extremely difficult to retire a champion. Forty-year-old Lance Armstrong recently climbed back on a bike and more to compete in the grueling XTERRA Nationals off-road triathlon held in Ogden, Utah September 23-25. The XTERRA is one of the nation’s most challenging triathlon events, which entails an almost one mile swim, 17+ mile mountain bike trail and a run of six miles. Armstrong captured 5th place in the well publicized event… not bad for an old man!
Lance has actually returned to his first love as a triathlete which began his career before switching to cycling. With an astounding seven first place wins at the Tour de France, something has to be said for his triathlon training roots.
Rise of Off-Road Triathlons
Although relatively new to the summer sports scene, off-road triathlons are rapidly gaining in popularity. Every U.S. state now has at least one yearly triathlon with California holding 117, Florida holding 92 and Connecticut holding 39.
Not only do off-road triathlons offer more hair-raising, spine-tingling excitement for the fans, but they provide athletes with an opportunity to sharpen skills that can’t be gained from any other sport. The rugged terrain, steep trails and long swim all in the same race means triathletes have to push the envelope during cycling training, swimming workouts and running programs. However, the benefits of training for and participating in off-road triathlons provide the athlete with a competitive edge, regardless of which sport he or she calls favorite.
Benefits of Off-Road Triathlon Training
Off-road training is an excellent source of motivation for breaking through crippling comfort zones. It is considered by trainers and athletes alike to be one of the best conditioning methods available. Not only does such training peak physical abilities and improve agility, balance and coordination, but it also sharpens the mind by requiring split second decisions and precise concentration. And, many athletes know that mental toughness often provides that extra shove to victory when physical limits have seemingly been reached.
The rugged training required for off-road triathlon competition benefits the athlete of any sport. Whether your focus is on marathon running or cross country running, or you are a competitive swimmer, cycler, baseball, basketball, or football player, the extra disciplines you acquire will surely improve your game.
Methods for Off-Road Training
Of course, training for actual off-road competitions will spur you on towards a sharper physical and mental state. Participating in such swimming, running and cycling events will help to provide additional drive needed for competition.
However, it’s not necessary to actually compete in off-road triathlons in order to reap the rewards. You can still obtain similar results by scouting out a route around a nearby lake. The trail you use for cycling can also then be used for trail running and the lake for swimming. The idea is to push yourself in the same way as you would if you were training for a real race in order to achieve the same heightened skills.
As you’re pushing and panting for that last amount of reserved energy, think about the incredible achievements of Lance Armstrong (and don't just look at his admitted drug use)… a champion whose training roots began in off-road triathlon competition. Then you too can gain that extra oomph for becoming a champion in your chosen competition.
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