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Thanks to @A_drizzle , I am now free to lose the dadbod and get as fit as I want!@AaronWebstey I'm not a doctor or scientist or genius. But I've been in and around endurance sports for 25 years, known a whole mess of pro athletes, doctors, coaches, scientists, physical therapists, etc. Plus I have an insatiable curiosity in general, and a desire to be healthy from a very young age (so I have a ton of related books and stuff). I've seen/heard from a LOT of sources that being a top-tier pro athlete is not healthy. Being fat is also not healthy, and I think there is a WIDE middle ground between the two extremes in which you can be very healthy. Health could be defined as a lack of injury, illness, or chronic conditions causing pain and interference with normal life... and pro athletes have these problems all the time. Did you listen to Episode 10 of the Minimal Multisport Podcast, where I discussed this topic at length with Ironman crusher Ben Hoffman?! Shame if you didn't!
So sure, there are no diminishing returns as you move into the top 2% of fitness. But is anyone looking at the impact that long-term, high-level Ironman training has on the body? Is it really "healthy" to be fit enough to race at the level of the top pros?