How Much Can The Body Take? Ben Greenfield Looks To Find Out

de8214a8ae1811e2b4ef22000a1fbd4d_7As you may already know, the wildly popular Wildflower triathlon festival kicks off on May 3 – just a couple of weeks away.

And a special feature new to this year is Wildflower Squared (WF2) – the ultimate, slightly insane challenge of completing the long distance triathlon (1.2 m swim, 56 m bike, 13.1 m run ) followed by the Olympic distance triathlon (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run) on Sunday, May 5.

From an exercise science standpoint, it’s well-known that stand-alone events such as a marathon or an Ironman triathlon can create a metabolic firestorm in the body that results in long term oxidative stress, inflammation, immune system deficits, and joint damage that persists for up to several weeks after a extreme endurance effort (check out studies like this and this to see just how much stress these events can create).

In other words, these type of sufferfests aren’t exactly healthy, but they sure as heck can be fun, challenging, and a great way to get extreme bragging rights.

But what about taking it to the next level and not just settling for one hard event, but doing back-to-back tough triathlons like WF2? Are you curious what happens to the human body when put through such a rigorous one-two-punch protocol?

Even though research has never before looked into exactly what happens to the human body during these kinds of consecutive day triathlon challenges, Tri-California coach Ben Greenfield has decided to turn himself into a human guinea pig and find out exactly what happens to the body when placed under this type of endurance stress.

So Ben is partnering with WellnessFX to do a comprehensive test of his body both before and after completing the WF2 challenge. Using just a single visit by Greenfield to his local lab two days before and one visit one day after the triathlons, we’ll be testing Ben’s biomarkers with our advanced Performance package. As a refresher, Performace tests:

  • Advanced Cholesterol (Tests include: Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, Lp(a), ApoB

  • Basic Inflammation (Test includes: hs-CRP)

  • Thyroid & Blood Sugar (Tests include: TSH, Glucose, HbA1c)

  • Liver & Kidney Health (Tests include: BUN, Creatinine, AST, ALT, Total Bilirubin, Albumin, Total Protein)

  • Basic Nutrients (Tests include: Vitamin D, Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Carbon Dioxide)

  • Complete Blood Count & Advanced Nutrients (Tests include: Complete Blood Count w/ differential Ferritin (serum), TIBC, Folate, Vitamin B12, RBC Magnesium)

  • Performance Hormones (Tests include: Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEA), Free Testosterone, Testosterone, Estradiol, SHBG)

  • Metabolic Hormones (Tests include: Cortisol (blood), IGFY1 (Growth hormone surrogate), Insulin

Of course, Ben Greenfield isn’t simply going sit back and let his body sit around passively in between the two races. He’s instead going to pull out all the stops when it comes to mitigating the damage and helping his body to bounce back as fast as possible in between the two races, including all the techniques he discusses in his Lightning Speed Recovery article and his Recovery Pack and Recovery Add-Ons.

So what do you think? Are you curious to see what happens to the human body when exposed to back-to-back triathlons like a Half-Ironman followed by an Olympic distance triathlon less than 24 hours later? Leave your questions, comments and feedback below, and we’ll keep you posted with the before and after results.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.