10 Lessons Dogs Teach You About Triathlon

Our two babies...Basil on the left and Mya on the right
Our two babies…Basil on the left and Mya on the right

The Iron Hippie and I have two black labs…Mya is 4 years old and Basil is 15 months old.  I have strep throat and have been home sick, hoping to get better before winter break.  Being sick, I am unable to workout, clean house, etc.  So what does one do when they are sick??? Well…write a blog post. 🙂  I’ve spent some time studying the girls these last two days and it got me thinking about how their actions translate to triathlon.  These are the 10 lessons that I have learned from Mya and Basil and what these lessons can teach you about triathlon:

  1. Have fun…Basil LOVES to play ball, go for a run, swim, tug on Mya and just have fun.  It is important for triathletes to ALWAYS remember to have fun.  If it ever becomes unenjoyable, it may be time to reevaluate why you are doing what you do.  Fun should be a #1 priority for triathletes!!
  2. Get lots of rest…Both Basil and Mya get lots of sleep.  They typically nap multiple hours a day.  Sleep is an integral component for proper recovery both for dogs and triathletes!!
  3. Stay hydrated…The girls drink plenty of water throughout the day.  Water enhances athlete performance by increasing blood volume and lowering body temperature during exercise.  As triathletes, we need to remember to stay properly hydrated, not just during a workout, but leading up to the workout and post workout to improve training and racing performance.
  4. Proper nutrition is key…Mya and Basil LOVE to eat!!  We feed our girls a highly recommended dog food.  Nutrition is what I refer to as the 5th discipline of triathlon and it is very important for us to remember to eat clean and healthy foods.  Proper nutrition will help us achieve our goals and dreams!!
  5. Salt is a necessity…After the girls exercise (often times with us), they always lick us for salt replacement.  As triathletes, we need to remember to not only stay properly hydrated, but also make sure we have proper amounts of electrolytes in our systems.  After having experienced hyponatremia first hand during my first IRONMAN race, I can definitely speak to the importance of electrolytes during training and racing.
  6. Massages are AWESOME…what dog doesn’t love a good massage???  Most professional triathletes know the benefits of massages and frequently incorporate them into their training for proper recovery.  If massages are good enough for professional triathletes and dogs, why shouldn’t we get them too???
  7. Learn from your mistakes…When Basil is scolded for something she shouldn’t do (such as chewing up a puzzle piece, moving a slipper, etc.), she often learns not to do it again.  As triathletes, we need to learn from our mistakes and not make them again.  Failure is success if we learn from it and make changes so the same mistakes don’t happen over and over again.
  8. Don’t Quit…Mya and Basil would swim and/or play ball ALL DAY LONG if we let them.  They don’t know when to quit!!  As triathletes, it is important for us to focus on our goals and dreams and work hard to achieve them.  We can’t get the results we want by making excuses for the work we don’t do 🙂
  9. Determination goes a long way…When Basil wants something, she is VERY DETERMINED to get it.  For example, she will continuously ring the decorative bell on the door knob when she wants outside (something we trained her to do as a young puppy).  Mental training is what I refer to as the 4th discipline of triathlon.  According to Veronica Roth (Divergent), “What good is a prepared body if you have a scattered mind?”  There is so much truth in that question.  Remember…Just Believe 🙂
  10. Listen to your body…When dogs need a nap, they sleep…When dogs are thirsty, they drink…When they have a full bladder, they relieve themselves.  If we listen to our bodies, we can help prevent injuries, help prevent overtraining, remain properly hydrated and stay happy and healthy.

Moral of this story…as triathletes, we can learn a lot from a dog!! dog

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “10 Lessons Dogs Teach You About Triathlon

  1. Ahhh, I love this post! Dogs are so wise and intuitive… we can learn a lot from them 🙂 Your pups are adorable! Hope you’re feeling better, Kecia!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s