Through the offseason, Josh and I have kept in touch and he asked me to write down my thoughts for the upcoming 2015 season. I have some really big goals, some of which Josh thinks are crazy, and he was just curious about what keeps me motivated and focused through my journey.
This year will mark my third full season into this sport called triathlon. In 40 days, I am kicking it off with my biggest race ever, Ultraman Florida. For those that aren’t familiar with this format, it is a three day stage race in and around Orlando, Florida. Day one begins with a 10k open water lake swim followed by a 90 mile bike TT. Day two is a 170 mile, point to point bike TT. Day three is a mere 52.4 mile, point to point run. I will be one of approximately forty competitors from around the world giving this race our very best effort. I began training for it immediately after 70.3 Worlds in 2014 and have been thrilled with the progress. The most important factor for me was the selection of my first coach. I was self-coached and copied the workouts of my training partners for my first two years. But for this, I definitely needed guidance and found a coach that has excelled at this distance before and coaches other athletes for ultras as well. I really can’t thank Chris Draper, with DT+N Training, enough for getting me ready for this challenge both mentally and physically. So, that is my first thought: if you have been debating on getting a coach, maybe this is the year to take the plunge. I was so against it when I started out but now I can’t imagine not having the guidance. It takes all of the guess work out of my routine and I am reaping the benefits of my efforts. But, choose wisely! I make it a habit to only want to learn from people I would be willing to trade places with. This is the smart path to success!
My next thought: could it be time to reevaluate your training group? Have you become comfortable with those around you and you have plateaued with your gains? I am not saying you abandon your current friends for greener pastures, but are their new ways you can challenge yourself to reach that next level? I absolutely love my training group. We get the very best out of each other on a weekly basis. I am very luckily to have such a fantastic support system. If you can’t say the same for your situation, maybe it is time to reevaluate. There are also small changes you can make in your routine. One that really worked for me was bumping up a lane at my swim practice. It forced me outside of my comfort zone and really made me focus on my efforts, form, etc. We know the gains in swimming can be more marginal but we are always looking for those precious seconds and this is a great way to obtain them. Maybe finding a faster group ride once a month or running in a faster pace group every other week is the way to go. Never be afraid to push yourself! Become comfortable with making yourself uncomfortable.
Lastly, when was the last time you slowed down and took a long, honest look at your “why”
for your goals? Self-reflection and a positive attitude can be just as powerful for your goals as your hardest training sets. For us age groupers, we live very busy lives. We work full-time jobs and juggle families and friends. A fresh, revisited “why” helps keep all of the training in perspective and makes a race of 2000 people seem like your own personal journey. It takes a sport dominated by blogs, products, chat threads and makes it your own. For me, I choose to keep my “why” in front of me daily. I surround myself with positive reinforcement and people that get what I am trying to accomplish. I don’t have time for negativity and small thinkers.
Make 2015 the year for your breakthrough. I was sharing with Josh that for an athlete of his caliber and at his level of competition, any racer can win on any given day. It usually comes down to a belief that you have what it takes to accomplish your goal. I have this phrase I use for my goals, “Why NOT me?” By that I mean, someone has to win the race, get the trophy, have the fastest split, etc. So, “why NOT me?” Somebody has to win 70.3 Worlds in 2015, “why NOT Josh?” Someone has to qualify for Kona, “why NOT you?” It is ok to embrace an attitude of belief for your goals. Don’t let anyone, much less yourself, convince you that you aren’t worth a reward for your efforts. If there is something holding you back, commit to turning it into a strength and those limiters will no longer matter.
Here is to a fantastic 2015!