Training: From Elie Hirschfeld To Mark Birnbaum, Exercise Helps
Some words of wisdom from Elie Hirschfeld:
SHORT ADVICE: Tri It Or Something Else
Sport is essential to keep me energetic, excited and creative for work during the day and into the eve. Any regular sport is good, but I favor triathlon as it is cross-training, involving 3 sports, thus helpful to most of the body and minimizes boredom. I
This is my 27th year of triathlon, a length of time unusual in this sport for a few reasons. First, the sport is only 35 years old, so there were not many triathletes back at the beginning. Second, the sport demands a lot of effort and many people feel satisfied accomplishing an event just once or twice.
My “insider health tips” include:
1) Pick a sport or an activity that you like. Many people ask which is the best activity to stay fit, to lose weight or to reach other goals. I always suggest finding the activity you like, rather than a so-called “best” one. Only by enjoying the activity can anyone stay committed. I enjoy triathlon, each of the separate triathlon sports individually, skiing, tennis and more.
2) Do “cross training”. This alleviates boredom, keeps interest up and helps work more of the body. Triathlon is by definition a cross training sport and fits this tip.
3) Exercise moderately. By not over-doing it, one keeps interest up and avoids burn out. Of course, you increase effort as you approach an event, but afterwards you can return to moderation. I see lots of people get newly committed and then burn out. My general pattern is to exercise moderately during the winter and then pick things up during the summer as I approach a race.
4) Have a goal event, or just a goal. It helps to have a goal sometime in the future. A running race approaching in the future is an obvious goal. It could be the goal of doing 50 situps oneself. Whatever the goal or the event, these help keep focus and commitment. For me, knowing I need to cross that triathlon line 8 months from now, keeps me going all year.
5) Avoid injury. This tip is related to the tip to exercise moderately. However, there are other things to do to avoid injury. These include: checking in with a doctor from time to time, stretching, avoiding weight gain, eating healthy and being careful. As I get older, I am more careful in my running by avoiding tripping and in my biking by avoiding dangerous roads. It is important for me to continue stretching to stay flexible.
6) Keep at it. This is the key. Just keep going. There are plenty of days I just don’t feel up to exercising or am just too tired. It is important to do something anyway on those days. It’s ok to lighten up, but it’s not good to miss too many days. Training for the Ironman I just completed was hard and the hardest part was exercising on the days I had no desire, no strength and was tired. I struggled some days just to get started, but I always felt great after the initial hurdles were overcome.
7) Have access to a gym or at least a shower near the office. I often run from home to the office or the reverse. I keep several days of clothing at the gym so I can go straight to the office after running in. After that clothing is used up I bring in several days worth again. Others can bike to work and back.
8) Take pride in the effort. I feel good about feeling good. I feel great right now and am proud to have fit sport in my life as I do.
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About the Author: Menachem was previously a feature article writer for the Milwaukee Journal. He currently runs a small publishing business in Michigan focusing on books and magazines for the tourist industry. He is looking forward to writing for Jewocity and connecting with its readers. More about Menachem