Training too much?

It has been a while since I posted an athletic specific post. I was told the other day that I have a problem, that I am orthoexic. Orthoexia nervosa is a proposed eating disorder characterized by an excessive preoccupation with healthy living and food. I won’t go into the diagnositic criteria, but I can assure you, this is not me.

Most research places an individuals physiological peak capacity in the mid thirties. I have been a long distant athlete since 2010, completing runs from the 5k – 100k distance, bike rides from 12 miles to 330 miles, fast packs from 12 miles to 50 miles and Rucks from 8 hours to 23 hours.

In 2014, I would run my fist sub 8 hour 50k in 7:50. I ran my best 50k in 2016, the Buzzard Day 50k in 6 hours and 50 minutes, my first (and only)sub seven hour 50k. For the next 4 years, 38- 42, I would PR several races in the 50k distance. Again, the research shows that decline begins to show in the mid thirties, a linear decline of 1% – 1.5% per year until the mid 60’s. In 2020, the world would experience the Covid pandemic and my academic career tanked for a year. I would complete a couple of events that year. My 2020 nine month season turned out to be 7 weeks with four races from 25 miles – 50k and 1 GORUCK event (23 hours). Covid knocked out some of my endurance.

Following 2020, the burn out was real and my mind began to shift away from the long stuff, finding that as I enjoy middle age and children who began to enjoy outdoor pursuits as much as I did, time needed to be shifted to these pursuits.

So why all the time spent training and eating healthy? Simply, because I enjoy doing hard things. A key component of my training is listening to my body. What most people don’t see when they criticize my exercise routine and eating habits are all the times I eat like shit and enjoy myself and all the workouts I miss and don’t care.

The reality of my volume is that I am doing different things these days. 10 years ago, I was just a runner. Now, I am a cyclist and sometime Rucker. It is my intention to phase out long distance running simply because I do not enjoy it as much. A 25k – a 25 miler is just more fun than a 50k or 50 mile. Cycling is less forgiving than a long run from my experience, especially the dirt road gravel stuff.

So I will eat what I want and train when I want, or not. Chart your own health. You born weak and defenseless and you will die weak and defenseless. The time in between is up to you.

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