“Off Season Weight Gain” ??? WHY???

Just flipped through the latest issue of the publication that USA Triathlon puts out… and I came across an article on a subject that has NEVER made sense to me.

"Off season weight gain", which was a piece about how to not gain 'too much' weight when race season is over.

I have personally known many athletes that put on a good five, ten or twenty pounds on their 'off season' from training.

Then they have to lose it again the next season, or race heavy.

I do NOT understand this.

The mere idea that one needs to 'let themselves go via packing on the pounds off season' tells me that they're doing something too restrictive to maintain (temporarily) their 'on season weight'.  

You can  be sure that nine times out of ten, if not more, they're surely NOT following the Paleo diet!

If they were, and they were 100% committed, they would NOT be restricted, deprived of calories coming from real food sources and experiencing blood sugar peaks and valleys and subsequent energy level surges and crashes… so they wouldn't need to 'take a break to eat crap and get fat' in the off season.

I weigh 116 when I race in the summer. I weigh 116 when it's Christmas and I don't have a race until a few months pass.  Period.  Why would I want to put my body through intentional, repeated weight gain and loss, year after year?  That's no different than someone who is not an athlete and follows the lastest diet trend of the minute which basically equals out to be a yo-yo diet.

I realize those statements may sound harsh… but I've really had it up to the eyeballs with the volume of nonsensical ideas presented to us endurance athletes not only by the media but by organizations and governing bodies, like USAT, which we should be able to trust but, unfortunately, cannot.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the best interest of many large groups that have governmental ties is NOT the health and performance of the athletes (or whatever commonality any particular community may have), but the portrayal that some of their biggest 'sponsors', as in the USDA and the Dairy Board, actually have a good, sound product to offer (which, if you're reading this blog, you already know, they do NOT!).

Can you imagine a society where the 'food pyramid' told us to shun grains, legumes and dairy and focus on heaping on the kale and grass fed meat?  An athletic event where, at the finish line, there were baked yams with olive oil and free-range, grilled chicken waiting to greet you?  A pre-race dinner that served sweet potatoes, wild mixed green salad and turkey breast?   A sports magazine that had ads for where to get the best coconut oil and beetroot?

Sounds like fantasty land, I know… but the more of us who are vocal about it, and, at the very least, don't buy into the theories, and don't buy their products, the closer we are to making our PALEO voices heard!


Whether you write to the race director of your favorite race asking for yams at the pre-race dinner instead of pasta,  Send an email to the publisher of your local newspaper asking for articles about where you can best locally source your veg and fruit or simply refuse to buy product… make a statement and do your bit to get this planet eating more healthfully!