Bodacious Bovines: A Different Kind of Triathlete
Happy June Dairy Month to cows, readers and athletes near and far! Cows have always brought my family together, whether it was daily chores on the farm, at a cow show or conversation around the dinner table.
Once again, I look to cows for inspiration while training for the big 140.6 mile race day. Nutrition, hydration and chill-laxing (Yes, I’m making up words. I think we’re at that level in our blogging relationship :) ) are just a few training tips my bodacious bovines demonstrate daily. Here’s how these lessons translate to becoming an Ironman:
Growing up on a dairy farm and now being a part of my own dairy, I’ve seen countless hours go into the planning, growing, harvesting and preparing of crops for our cow ladies. Cows require high quality forages and diets balanced to achieve optimal nutrition requirements to stay healthy and produce milk. As a result, farmers work daily to get the feed just right for our moo-athletes.
Triathlete translation: Although I might not have four compartments to my stomach like my four-legged moo friends, my mono-stomach needs the right fuel for my body to train hard and recover smart.
Milk is approximately 87% water, so cows drink a lot of water to meet body and milk production needs. They slurp up roughly a bathtub per day – that’s 25-30 gallons - sometimes more! Farmers have large amounts of clean water accessible for cows to hydrate around the clock.
As a side note: I’ve spent more than my fair share cleaning cow water tubs. I can honestly say that cows see a scrub brush and draining water as a personal invitation to congregate by said water tub for a party :) !
Triathlete translation: When I’m training, recovering and going about my busy day hydration is my compass to clear thinking and a happy body. Check out my Ironman Hydration blog post.
Cows spend the least amount of their day in the milking parlor. At our farm, our ladies only spend 3 hours collectively per day in the parlor (this includes walking them to the parlor, waiting while other cows get milked, and actual milking time). Our cows only take 5-7 minutes to be milked once the milking unit/machine is attached. If you do the math that’s 21 hours per day of free time to eat, drink and spending time chill-laxing.
Triathlete translation: I tend to pack my schedule with work, school, social time, hubby time and a lot of training time. When I see the cow ladies eating leisurely, and napping as needed, it’s a reminder for me to listen to my body and take time to relax and recover.
I realize not all my readers have the privilege to have beautiful bovines remind them to take care of your body, but I wanted to share what a blessing these cow ladies have on my life. As usual - keep tri-ing and follow me on social media :)
Spilt milk: Don’t Run* Out of Milk!!!
One of my long-haul weekends where I cranked out a 2.4 mile swim, 87 mile bike and 18 mile run, I hit the fridge after my run to find zero milk!!! Somehow, we had gone through 3 gallons of milk in 1 week. I settled for some drinkable yogurt and made a run to the store for chocolate milk …. and I lived happily ever after.
The end. *Pun intended
American Dairy Association North East is one of 16 state and regional promotion organizations working under the umbrella of the United Dairy Industry Association. It is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council®, which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. For more information, visit www.americandairy.com.