Ironman Athlete Doug On Yoga For Recovery

Doug Johannson—Ironman Yogi

Yoga For Ironman: Doug shares how he finds the time to fit his Yoga 15 sessions around his primary swim, bike and run workouts.

As a recreational athlete of advancing years (I’m 55), I’ve found more than ever that finding the time to do the things we know we should as athletes is difficult.  Sometimes it seems impossible.

I started my journey with a few marathons.  Calgary, Victoria, New York, Chicago, Boston.  After volunteering at Ironman Canada back in 2009, I signed up the next day and decided to train for my first triathlon. I was still living in Russia at the time and found a swim coach by swimming so poorly at a local pool that a lifeguard who spoke limited English felt compelled to intervene.  


I returned to Canada later that year, hired a real coach, and was diligent with the workouts and programming.  Fast forward to 2017, I had completed 6 full distance (140.6) Ironman’s and 27 Half Ironman (70.3) distances. I found myself injured and lacking the passion that once drove me in the sport.  You could call it burnout but it felt like swimming upstream with reoccurring hip, lower back and shoulder issues that made me want to give up my racing flats and race bikes for a sensible pair of walking shoes and maybe some nice bifocals.  I’m convinced this was due to poor habits developed along the way.  Not enough strength training or stretching or yoga.  It was hard enough finding the time to get my primary swim, bike and run workouts in.    


Doug Johanson—Ironman Calgary, 2015.

As athletes, we know the importance and benefits of yoga or we ought to.  It works.  But finding the time for a 60 – 90 minute studio visit before or after a long day and mandatory workouts made it difficult for me to summon the energy to get there.

Then I discovered Yoga 15.  Abi Carver’s program has allowed me to incorporate yoga into my life, on my schedule.  Her well-produced videos give me all the instruction I need to realize the benefits of a regular yoga practice layered onto my regular workouts.  They are easy to follow and are excellent, either before or after a workout, or even on rest days.  When I travel I bring an iPad or computer and can loosen things up as well as reduce the jet lag, on my schedule.


So now there is no excuse.  Making yoga part of your athletic pursuits has never been easier.  I’ve made it part of mine, thanks to Abi, and my body is thanking me for it.  I’m enjoying the bike a lot more, my running has improved and I’m back to racing. Pretty sure my Russian swim coach would still be disappointed. There is just no pleasing some people. ☺ Namaste.

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