Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why Yoga for Triathletes is a Bloody Waste of Time

It's everywhere. Every second article I read is about how important yoga is to the endurance athlete's routine. Macca does it. Terenzo Bozzone swears by it. But you? Really? The working triathlon age grouper that probably has 8 to 12 hours in the week to swim, bike and run. You're going to take one or two of those precious hours to get in a downward dog or whatever it's called and sweat like a pig? Please...

Yoga 23
What does this have to do with triathlons?
 (Flickr: o0bsessed)
Passive stretching (which is, let's admit it, all yoga really is) has all but been proven to do not very much in the way of endurance performance or injury prevention. Oh yeah, it strengthens your core. So does doing a plank. I'll tell you the main way yoga helps with injury prevention. It prevents you from getting your running miles in. And, unfortunately, there's inconvenient positive correlation between the amount you run and the chances of getting injured from it. What is not disputed is that running really, really does help you get faster at running. So use your limited time doing that.

I'm not going to argue, that for a professional triathlete, who has nothing to do between their two or three workouts a day but put their legs over their head, doesn't have an advantage of a slightly more strengthened core and a meditative state. Yoga might help them, all things being equal, gain those precious seconds needed to close the gap on their competition. But, you, dear amateur triathlete, have more pressing issues. Do you have any idea how much better you'd be doing three instead of two hours of running a week? Or how much using that extra hour a week to get your swimming stroke corrected could help your swim split?

I could probably even argue that swimming does more for your recovery than yoga and that's one of the three sports you'll ACTUALLY be doing in the next triathlon you've paid $200 or whatever ridiculous amount triathlons cost these days. Most of you are forced to sit on your butt for eight hours a day anyway. How many more "recovery techniques" do you think you need exactly?

There's one more argument I'm bracing myself for "...but it FEELS so good!" Great. So does sitting on the couch with a beer after an extra hour of cycling. Namaste, clowns.
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