If you are sitting in a South Beach cafe this weekend, you just might see Lucy Danziger, editor-in-chief of Self Magazine, whiz by on a bicycle, or run past you at top speed. Danziger is participating in the Nautica South Beach Triathlon this Sunday in Miami.
What's holding you back from entering a triathlon? Did you know it could help you in your career?
Danziger, a mother of two teens and in her late 40s, just might be in the best physical shape of her life. I spoke to her as she was darting to the airport to fly south from New York. She told me that training for races has been good for both her personal health and her work life. "Part of the reason I like to do endurance activities is it allows you to think. I have found that training is stimulating for writing."
True, being behind a desk all day doesn't leave much time for brainstorming. However, we all know that squeezing exercise into your busy work day is tough. Wondering where Danziger finds time for training? The wee hours of the morning. Danziger wakes up, between 5 and 6 a.m. to train. She'll run one day, swim another and bike another, usually for about 45 minutes. "For me, if it doesn't happen first thing in the morning, it won't happen," she told me.
You are thinking that waking up that early sounds pretty brutal. I'm thinking that too. But I can hear the passion and energy in Danziger's voice as she talks about racing. She makes it clear, it's not the competition she craves, she's doing this for the fun. She also thinks being healthy and fit is a good example to set for your kids. (Who can argue with that logic?)
I asked Danziger for some tips for how crazed working professionals can get started on the path to becoming a triathlete. Here are her tips:
- Have a work out buddy. It makes you accountable to someone and it makes exercising fun. After Danziger and her buddy trained for a short while, they got a coach and eventually joined a team.
- Find your strength and resign that you may be better at one form of exercise than another -- swimming vs. running.
- Find the time of day to train that works best for you. I enjoy running at night. Danziger prefers morning.
- Set a training schedule and stick to your schedule. Sign up three months in advance for the race. (You can find one online)
Get a decent bicycle. Danziger says it should feel natural and pain free.
Work around your injuries. Run when you feel you can't bike, swim when your knees hurt and you can't run.
Enjoy getting fit. You are only in competition with yourself.