Miami Heat shooting guard Ray Allen is having a fantastic season so far, thanks to a low-carb, gluten-free Paleo diet and intense training.
Allen, who adopted a gluten-free, Paleo diet last summer, said his health is his top priority now at age 38.
"I’ve taken great care of myself," Allen told Bleacher Report.
"But now, I’m so much more meticulous about taking care of my body to make sure I [play my best basketball]. I feel better, and it’s all because I push myself a little more when I have those opportunities."
The 6-foot-5 Allen lost 10 pounds on the Paleo diet and now weighs 197 pounds — his college playing weight. While weight loss was not his goal when he went Paleo, Ray feels lighter on his feet after eliminating sugar, processed food, and gluten from his diet.
Allen has since incorporated more healthy carbs into his eating plan, and feels unstoppable. Switching to the low-carb, gluten-free Paleo diet helped Ray realize the impact the foods he ate had on his health and his basketball game.
It’s helped me understand my eating a little better. It’s been good, because I’m not just eating carbs all the time. Now, first thing in the morning, I eat carbs. Then we have shoot-around, and then I come back and have a salad and fruit. Then I have carbs before the game, and that’s it."
Allen has also adjusted his training (which includes lots of cardio conditioning) to incorporate more weight-lifting.
"I lift more now than I have ever lifted in my career," he said. "I never lifted on game days before. I lift on game days now. It's getting my body going, getting my legs strong, and keeping my wind good."
Ray feels so great he's considering competing in an Ironman Triathlon. "I was sitting on the couch when I was sick, and I was watching the Ironman in Hawaii," he said. "I was trying to think of every reason why this isn’t possible for me to do."
The Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon, done in that order without a break.
That’s something I want to at least try and see how my body can withstand. Because the pounding here for us is tough. But when you just train regularly running, swimming and biking, I know that’s equally hard. But it doesn’t take as much of a toll as bouncing up and down, bodies banging, so I want to see if I can accomplish that."
Knowing the intensely disciplined Allen, it's likely he'll not only complete the Ironman, but will finish it with an impressive time.