The Lesson Of Yoga

March 11, 2019

NATHAN SPORTS athlete Mike Wardian takes home valuable lessons after the 50-Kilometer World Championships in Doha, Qatar. The recent 12K National Champion shares his experience here:

Opening photo courtesy of RunWashington and Dustin Whitlow/DWhit Photography

I was very fortunate to be selected for the third time to compete in the 50K World Champs in Doha, Qatar and I was super excited to have the chance to race in the Middle East. It was, at the time, a part of the world I hadn't yet been to and it was, coincidentally, a place to check off on my list of "must sees."¬ù

I love exploring different parts of the world, submerging myself in different cultures and meeting new people. Anytime I can combine that with a race it's more than perfect.

I had done all the training and my results were terrific for October 2014. I had a number of really fast marathons (three marathons all under 2:26) and a 50 miler (in 5:46:34). I was really looking to draw on my fitness and come home with some hardware.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the race I wanted, I still did really well, finishing sixth overall in 3:18:11 but I suffered in the heat and humidity. I know everyone else was suffering, too. Still, I thought I would be able to just push through it harder ... push through it at a pace that would land me on the podium. Nope.

I backed off the pace. My body was not willing to cooperate with the heat and humidity. Despite having all the tools, desire and fitness to succeed, my body just refused. It was not my day.

The nice thing: Despite my sixth place finish, I qualified to represent team USA for the IAU 100K Worlds Championships on November 21, 2014 (coming up!).

I'm thankful to have the experience of running in the 50K Worlds with the heat and humidity and I am excited to stay up on my fluids (thank you Nathan Performance Gear!) and really attack the 100K course and competition.

In the meantime, I have been doing a lot of heat training with extra clothes on my runs and also doing something that I haven't in years, going to Hot Power Yoga.

WOW ... Power Yoga is a crazy workout. And humbling.

Adding it to my toolbox will not only help me for the 100K World Championships but also going forward. Perhaps I'd even go as far as to say I am so glad I had the experience of not having the race I wanted in Qatar as it opened me up to trying something different. And, I found a new love for Yoga.

I have heard everything happens for a reason and I think it's true. I don't always like the reason but I think there is one.


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