FitOldDog’s Three Favorite Ironman Life Training Manuals


“Body awareness not only anchors you in the present moment, it is a doorway out of the prison that is the ego.”

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Hi folks! Thanks for stopping by!

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is used by FitOldDog to calm his mind on a regular basis. From:

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is used by FitOldDog to calm his mind on a regular basis, but this is becoming decreasingly necessary.

After finishing a hard ride, that shouldn’t have been a hard ride, I was a bit frustrated with my performance. Eighty miles on a pretty nice day should be no problem at this stage of my training, but, you know, you get good days and bad days. Those are the breaks. So, you chalk it up, have a rest, and get back on with your training. Basically, much of what we do as endurance athletes is 90% mental. Sure, your body complains, but it is your mind that keeps you going. My book recommendations are all about the mental aspects of endurance training, and life in general for that matter, in spite of the availability of some great books on triathlon training, including The Triathletes Training Bible and Going Long, plus some great blogs and coaches. It is really your mind that you have to bring into line.

In fact, in order to live a full and happy life, be a good friend and companion, and make good choices along the way, it is your chattering mind that can be your greatest challenge. Just listen to it, as you read this text. It’s chattering all right, giving its opinion. In fact, if there is one thing the mental monkey likes most is attention. Books on calming the mind are not approved of by the chattering monkey, believe you me!

FitOldDog with his dog and his book (Nook).

FitOldDog’s favorite book (Nook) and his dog, both teaching him the nature of inner peace and contentment.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to stop thinking and just BE? You can! I do every day, thanks to my first Ironman Training book choice, The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, especially during my early morning cups of tea with Scooter and Willbe, while Deb is finishing her 12-hour night shift in the ER (I couldn’t do that, I’d be a sleep deprived zombie).

My second choice is a book that has helped me more than any other, the Tao te Ching, especially the translation by Stephen Mitchell. Reading these 81 little poems, packed with wisdom, can help one to achieve the balance needed for a healthy family life, which is not always too compatible with the pre-race stages of Ironman training. In fact, if you start to become irritable with your family when they interrupt your training, maybe you need to educate them kindly on your need for space OR maybe you are suffering from overtraining.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman's version of S. Morgenstern's classic tale

The movie is brilliant, but the book is even better.

Finally, my third recommendation is The Princess Bride, largely because of the attitude of the main character, Farm Boy. I’ve seen athletes (not many, thankfully) behave badly at races, screaming at the volunteers, when a course problem occurred or there was some unavoidable delay. Not a good thing to do. Not something that Farm Boy would do. This character is relaxed, thoughtful, humorous, kind, skilled, fit, flexible, talented, and he seems to be unfazed by anything that happens. If you want to relax, just think of the way Farm Boy’s head swung around on his totally relaxed neck as he was recovering from being mostly dead, while he and his two friends, the Giant and the Sword Master, were looking over the castle wall, discussing their next plan to rescue the princess.

As an athlete, gentleman, and human being, Farm Boy is someone to emulate, and YES, the book is even better than the movie.

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.