Pyramids and the Endurance Athlete

"Man fears time; time fears the pyramids." Arab proverb.



The Pyramid of Giza is an amazing thing. Consider this:


- It is made of 2.3 million limestone and granite blocks.

- The average weight of the blocks is 2.5 tons, with some of the larger blocks at the base weighing as much as 15 tons.

- Experts estimate the pyramid took 20 years to build.

- If this is true, a 2.5 ton block must have been placed every 4.25 minutes, 24 hours a days, every day, for 20 years.

- The Pyramid of Giza stood as the tallest object in the world for 4,000 years.


As a tool to highlight and visualize key concepts, the pyramid is hard to beat. Pyramids visually and physically represent the importance of commitment and a strong foundation, something we as athletes can appreciate. Consider the following "pyramids" relevant to athletes:


- Coach John Wooden's Pyramid of Success (have you noticed Ted Lasso staring at his signed copy in his office?).

- The Recovery Pyramid (sleep well and eat well).

- The Endurance Hierarchy of Needs (train often, mostly easy, sometimes fast).

- The infamous "food pyramid" (since replaced with the much better MyPlate).


If building fitness is like building a pyramid, you the athlete, are the engineer. You must shape and work the stone into blocks that can support those around it. A block may be a simple shape, but it is not a shape found in nature. This explains why building a pyramid is simple, but not easy. A round stone is common and easily found, but cannot be stacked into a tall and stable structure. Blocks, like your health and fitness, are not made without significant time and effort.


Commitment, effort, and a strong focus on getting the foundation right is how you build a pyramid that will survive the test of time.



Train smart,


Antonio Gonzalez



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