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Three Signs You’re Ready to Do an Ironman

Competing in an ironman competition is something that many athletes consider doing. It’s so incredibly difficult that even the most in-shape athletes question whether they’re ready to go for it. Take a look at the following three signs that you’re ready to do an ironman. If you check all of the right boxes, then you’ll be able to move forward confidently and start training for an ironman. 

  1. You Have the Right Lifestyle

Having the right lifestyle to train for an ironman means a few different things. First, you need to have enough time to train for this competition. It will require around 20 hours per week of training and not everyone has that much free time to spare. Also, this will take time away from your business and family, so you’ll need to be able to comfortably focus on your ironman training without having regrets. 

This means that people with young children and business owners are likely not good fits for doing an ironman. It will depend on whether you have a partner who is ready to support you in your athletic endeavors, too. Are you willing to make personal sacrifices so that you can complete ironman training? If the answer is yes, then you can keep moving forward. 

  1. You Have the Proper Athletic Experience

Be honest with yourself about whether you have the athletic experience to even consider doing an ironman. No one is going to come off of the couch and get ready for an ironman in 13 weeks. You’re going to want to be athletic already and you should already be good at activities such as cycling and swimming. If these are activities that you struggle with, then running an ironman is probably not feasible for you. 

  1. You Can Afford it

Being able to afford the ironman is another story entirely. Understand that the fees to compete in the ironman will be around $700 and the cost of training will be even more. Many people need to sacrifice work hours to train for this event and that can cost you a substantial amount of money. If you don’t have the necessary funds to make this happen, then your ironman ambitions might need to be placed on the backburner for now.

What Happens When You Stop Running?

Marathon running is not an easy sport to commit to. It takes a level of physical and mental toughness that goes above and beyond the average person. Those who compete in these races do so not just to prove to themselves that they can, but for the most part, they actually enjoy them. 

The human body wasn’t meant to organically run the distances that marathon runners do. For this reason, self-care and injury prevention are just as important as training before a race and maintenance during a race. Training for a marathon and keeping yourself fit enough to run again down the line are not the same. If training stops altogether, then you need to wean yourself back into a routine that will not cause injury. 

Depending on how long you’ve been away and how much your muscle to fat ratio is altered, there are different workout schedules to follow. When you stop a regular running routine, your body decreases in blood volume and mitochondria. In addition, your lactate limit gets lowered. That being said, experienced runners will bounce back much easier than an amateur. This is because the longer you’ve been running, the more aerobic strength you have built up. The mitochondria that live in your blood cells are the powerhouses of the cells. They produce more energy. More blood cells mean more oxygen delivery to all of your muscles. In short, it’s your maximal aerobic capacity that determines how hard it is to get back into marathon shape. Depending on how much time off you take, you lose a certain percentage of your cardiorespiratory fitness level (VO2max). This is also known as your maximum oxygen uptake level. 

Taking two weeks off means you will lose between 5–7 percent of your VO2 max. By taking two months off, that figure climbs to a 20 percent loss. At three months, you lose 25–30 percent of your maximum oxygen uptake. In addition, stopping a workout routine also affects other parts of your body. Your entire musculoskeletal system is affected as you lose the conditioning in your tendons, ligaments, connective tissues, and muscles.

The best rule of thumb is to walk for 45 minutes before starting to run again, especially if you are recovering from an injury. 

How to Train for Your First Ultra Marathon | Timothy Lofton

So, you want to compete in an ultra marathon and you’re wondering just how you should go about training. This certainly isn’t going to be an easy task and you’re going to need to take your training very seriously so that you can get good results. Read on to see how you should be training for your first ultra marathon. This information should put you in a position where you can get good results.

Lose Weight

Losing weight will make your life easier when you’re running an ultra marathon. Getting rid of extra weight will make running a marathon much easier and you will feel better during training as well. Try to lose as much weight as you can within reason. Lose weight naturally by eating well and exercising.

Focus on Nutrition

Nutrition is a big aspect of training for an ultra marathon, too. Eat a healthy diet that will allow you to get enough energy. Find healthy protein sources and be sure to drink a lot of water.

Go on Regular Long Runs

Of course, you need to go on regular long runs to improve your stamina. You should be doing at least one run where you use your 10K tempo each week. It’s also beneficial to go on several three-hour runs each week to work on getting your endurance where you want it to be. If you do this properly, then you should be able to make significant improvements before your ultra marathon is set to begin.

Practice on the Terrain You’ll Be Competing on

Practicing on the terrain that you’ll be competing on is smart. You want to get a feel for exactly how tough your ultra marathon is going to be. Training on concrete isn’t going to be as effective as training on dirt if you’re running on dirt for the marathon.

Take Recovery Days

Sometimes you might need recovery days if you have pushed yourself a bit too far. Remember that rest is a part of training and that sometimes your body will really need a break. Some people like to take up to three days off each week to ensure that they’re getting enough recovery time. Try to train at a pace that is sustainable for you.

Originally published at http://timothyplofton.net.

Seven Ways to Improve Your Tennis Game | Timothy P. Lofton

Tennis is one of the most popular sports for a reason and it can be a lot of fun to learn. If you’re trying to become a better tennis player, then you’ll want to focus on key areas that will improve your game. Look at these seven ways that you can improve your tennis game below. 

  1. Prepare for Shots Early

You don’t want to rush to a ball at the last minute. Prepare for shots early if you can see them coming and get into the right stance. Get your racket back and be ready to hit the ball. 

  1. Follow-Through

The follow-through of your shots makes a big difference. If you want to get more power, then you need to focus on following through with your shots. 

  1. Play Hard

You need to play hard if you want to get better and this means being ready to chase the ball down. Always run to the ball even if you aren’t sure whether or not you’ll be able to get it in time. Put in the effort and you might surprise yourself. 

  1. Don’t Watch Your Own Shot

Don’t watch your own shot to see if your opponent is going to be able to rally. Get into position and get ready to hit it back. You can’t get caught admiring your own shot if you want to get results. 

  1. Pick Your Shots Wisely

Sometimes you need to be careful about picking your shots wisely. Playing conservatively might be boring, but aiming for a safe spot on the court is sometimes in your best interest. You can’t just go for winning shots all the time. 

  1. Practice Your Serve

Serving is a key aspect of playing tennis and some people are really good at it. Spend some days simply practicing your serve so that it can improve. You should get to the point where you will feel pretty confident in your serving ability if you put the time in. 

  1. Avoid Distractions

Tennis is a very cerebral game and getting distracted is going to hurt your results. If you want to improve at playing tennis, then you need to learn to drown out distractions. Don’t think about what you need to do at home later when you’re playing and instead just focus on the game while scoring one point at a time. 

Eight Tips for Trail Running | Timothy P. Lofton

Trail running can be very fun, but it’s important to do things as safely as you can. If you keep the following eight trail running tips in mind, then you’re going to have a better time. If you’re still new to trail running, then this is a good opportunity to pick up sound advice. Simply read on and you’ll be ready to get the most out of your trail running experience. 

  1. No Two Trails Are Exactly the Same

The first thing that you should know is that no two trails are exactly the same. Each trail is unique and this means that each trail will present a unique challenge. Singletrack trails are often the most challenging due to being narrow and featuring obstacles such as roots. 

  1. Don’t Be Overconfident

Some people who run normally get overconfident about trail running and push themselves too far. You need to slow your pace because trail running is more challenging than a traditional run. It will likely take you twice the amount of time to run the same distance as usual when you’re trail running. 

  1. Running in a Group Is Safer

Trail running has the potential to be dangerous and you should consider running in a group if possible. If that isn’t possible, then make sure that you bring a fully-charged smartphone with several safety apps so that you can call for help if need be. 

  1. There Are Trail Rules

You might encounter other trail runners during your run and there are rules that you should follow. Yielding to other trail runners might be necessary and the rule of thumb is basically that downhill runners should yield to uphill runners due to uphill running being harder. 

  1. Stay Focused on the Trail

Stay focused on the trail as you’re running and try not to get distracted or let your eyes wander. If you don’t keep your eyes on the trail, then you will run the risk of stumbling and getting hurt due to hitting an obstacle. 

  1. Keep the Time in Mind

Setting out to run a five-mile trail might not be the best idea at first. You might want to simply run for an hour and this will mean running for a half-hour in one direction and then turning around. 

  1. Buy Trail Running Shoes

Using standard running shoes won’t be perfect for trail running. A pair of trail running shoes will be better at handling rugged terrain while also protecting you from the risk of rolling your ankle while running. 

  1. Bring Water

No one should want to get dehydrated while trail running. Bring a bottle of water with you so that you can quench your thirst and you can have enough energy to make it back safely.

Seven Things No One Tells You About Running a Marathon | Timothy P. Lofton

Deciding to run a marathon can be very exciting when you’re the type of person who wants to challenge themselves. Even so, there are many potential issues that can make running a marathon tough. Take a look at the following seven things no one tells you about running a marathon. 

  1. Fear Might Set in

The excitement that you’re feeling now could turn into fear eventually. Some people start to doubt themselves and will be afraid of embarrassment. You might be worried about not being able to finish and this fear is something that you have to push through while training. 

  1. Some Might Not Be Supportive

Not every friend or family member is going to be supportive of your marathon training. Some might think that it’s not worth the effort and others will want you to go out drinking instead of jogging. If you’re serious about your marathon, then you have to keep doing your best even when you don’t have a great support system in place. 

  1. Certain People Experience Digestive Issues

You might wind up having some digestive problems that will make you feel off. This is due to the intense training and the changes in your diet because of your marathon training. The best thing that you can do is to eat nutrient rich foods while avoiding processed foods. 

  1. Necessary Gear Might Be Expensive

Buying running shoes and other necessary pieces of equipment might be somewhat expensive. It can also be costly to have to take the time to train for the marathon if you’re normally a busy professional. Make sure that you can afford to do this before committing to the process. 

  1. Foot Pain

The foot pain that you will experience due to running so often will likely be severe. This will cause some people to decide that it isn’t worth it. You just have to keep pushing through if you really want to run the marathon. 

  1. Nightmares

Nightmares can occur as it gets closer to the date of your marathon. Some people start to have bad dreams about failing and others might have other types of nightmares. This is fairly common even if it isn’t something that everyone deals with.

  1. Sometimes Things Still Go Wrong

Sometimes things will still go wrong even if you did everything right during your training. Frankly, running 26.2 miles is a tough prospect for just about anyone. If you didn’t complete your marathon or if you struggled to do it, then you can always sign up for another one and try to do better. Keep pushing your limits and believing in yourself. 

Honesty and Integrity in Business | Timothy P. Lofton

Sometimes companies don’t focus enough on honesty and integrity. You need to understand that how your business is perceived has an impact on how well it’s going to perform. Aside from this, you want to create a work environment where employees can thrive and provide customers with the best possible customer service experience. Honesty and integrity in business are imperative and you should keep reading to learn more. 

Lying and Cheating Never Pays in the End

Lying and cheating customers will never pay in the end. If you build your company on lies, then it’s going to come back around to bite you sooner rather than later. You need to try to build your company on a foundation of integrity so that you can enjoy success for many years to come. This involves operating honestly and treating the consumers with respect. 

Do the Right Thing

Doing the right thing whether it’s convenient or not is the hallmark of a business with integrity. Sometimes the right thing won’t be financially convenient and other times it might go against what others in the industry are doing. Even so, it’s going to be good for your business to maintain its integrity by making the tough choices and doing what is right. Commit to making responsible choices for the good of your company and the community that you’re serving. 

Keep Your Promises

Keeping your promises is crucial and you should always try to do what you promised as a company. This also means that you need to think about what you’re saying very carefully. Don’t make the mistake of promising things that you won’t be able to deliver on. Sometimes you have to be honest about expectations instead of shooting for the moon and falling short. 

Don’t Fear the Truth

Some businesses have tried to hide from the truth because they were worried about the implications. History has shown that being truthful is always the best way to move forward. Even if your company has made mistakes, it’s still going to be best to be honest about everything. It’s better to be able to ask for forgiveness and to make amends than to lie to consumers. 

Top Leadership Podcasts | Timothy P. Lofton

Have you ever listened to a podcast? If not, you are missing out on a ton of great information and valuable conversations. Podcasts have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years, especially with busy schedules and recent happenings moving people more towards relying on technology. Podcasts cover a wide range of topics, including leadership. With that being said, let’s dive into some of the most popular leadership podcasts available to everyone who is interested.

How I Built This

Hosted by Guy Raz, this podcast tells you everything you need to know about startups. Guy dives into stories from the world’s best idealists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and the companies they built. Many people have ideas for new inventions, companies, and services but have no idea how to go about the journey into becoming an entrepreneur. The interviews Guy conducts with various leaders are inspirational and insightful to listeners everywhere. They are also each about one hour long, so each episode is packed with useful information and fun storytimes. 

Eat Sleep Work Repeat

 Although this podcast’s name can come across as scary, this show is actually all about improving the balance between your work life and personal life. Overworking yourself isn’t suitable for anyone, and it actually can lead to you being less motivated and efficient in your daily work. Hosted by Bruce Daily, this show features various interviews from guest speakers such as entrepreneurs, psychologists, and other leaders known as “workplace experts.” Some of the hot topics talked about include improving work meetings and understanding the gig economy. Employees enjoy listening to this podcast, but it might be even more beneficial for those who are business owners as it delves into many different leadership aspects.

Business Wars

This podcast is a fun one. It details the intense competition between similar companies with the same goal and what they do to differentiate themselves and stand out in the market. They have featured rivalries such as Facebook vs. Snapchat, Ford vs. Chevrolet, Boeing vs. Airbus, and more. Some features even involve a three to six-part series. Some find the podcast to be a bit overdramatized, but the show is interesting and informative nonetheless. 

What Tennis Equipment Do You Need to Get Started?

Tennis is a very popular sport and many people enjoy playing it as often as possible. If you’re a new tennis player, then you might be wondering what equipment you need to get started. Luckily, getting started with tennis isn’t that tough and you should be able to get the necessary equipment without it being too costly. Read on to learn about the necessary tennis equipment for beginners. 

A Good Tennis Racket

A good tennis racket is going to be the primary piece of equipment that you need to get started. It’s important to get a racket that is the right size for your hands. Take your time to try out different rackets and pick one that feels natural to you. If you’re going to splurge on something nice, then your tennis racket will be what you want to spend the money on. 

Tennis Shoes

A solid pair of tennis shoes is necessary if you want to have good results while playing the game. You need shoes that will give you a good grip while playing the game and you also need ankle protection. Make sure that you buy shoes that fit you properly and that feel comfortable to run around in. 

Tennis Balls

Of course, you’re going to need to buy many tennis balls so that you can practice. These tennis balls are going to be relatively inexpensive and you won’t have a problem buying many of them. Buy at least a few cans of tennis balls. 

Comfortable Tennis Clothes

Buying comfortable tennis clothes is an absolute must. You don’t have to buy a traditional tennis outfit, but many people do choose to go this route. It’s easy to find tennis outfits online if you don’t have a sports shop near you that carries tennis clothes. 

Overgrips and Vibration Dampeners

Overgrips and vibration dampeners can improve your overall experience, too. The overgrips will allow you to get a more comfortable grip on your tennis racket. Vibration dampeners help a lot with shock absorption and overall comfort levels. 

A Pickup Hopper

This next piece of equipment isn’t entirely necessary, but some people will like having it. A pickup hopper allows you to collect and store your tennis balls while you’re training. It can protect your equipment and it makes carrying things a bit easier. 

Eight Tips for Effective Leadership

Trying to be an effective leader is admirable, but you might not be sure how to achieve your goals. Thankfully, there are eight tips that you can follow to help yourself become an effective leader. Read about the tips below and then do your best to put the advice to good use. 

  1. Try to Lead by Example

Leading by example is a great idea, and it’ll show your team members that you’re willing to put in the hard work. When employees see leaders working hard, it’s going to make them want to try their best as well.

  1. Focus on Your Goals

Your goals matter, and you need to make sure that you focus on them. Ensure that your team members understand the goals that everyone is supposed to be striving toward. 

  1. Own Your Mistakes

You might make mistakes sometimes, and it isn’t going to be helpful to try to shift the blame. Own your mistakes, and try to learn from them so that you can do better next time.

  1. Give People Credit

Give people credit when they do good work, and they’ll be much more motivated. An effective leader should be ready to praise employees and shouldn’t try to hog all the glory. 

  1. Develop Your Team

Your team might need some help along the way to develop into an efficient unit. Work with individuals to help them get better in key areas that will help the team as a whole. 

  1. Work on Communication

Communication is a crucial element of leadership, and you’re going to be responsible for coordinating communication for the entire team. Work on your communication skills and understand that sometimes communication involves taking the time to listen. 

  1. Learn to Be Assertive

You won’t be successful as a leader if you’re a passive individual. Being assertive is necessary when you’re in a leadership position, and you should be ready to take charge. 

  1. Confidence Is Important

Being a confident leader is essential, and people always prefer to follow individuals who exhibit confidence. Try to believe in yourself and your abilities so that your team will believe in you.