Friday, May 3, 2013

Loving, Learning, Living

You all know that I've been training for about a year now for IronMan Texas. You don't devote a year of your life to a specific goal without actually learning something from the process. This post is me sharing some of the things that I have learned. Enjoy!

My wife is the bomb!
I think all triathletes say this about their significant others (or at least they should). She is tolerant of my training schedule. She is encouraging and pushes me to follow my plan and get in all of my workouts. She attends races and takes pictures and the list just goes on and on. I love you babe! Thanks for everything that you do and that you have done to support me in this crazy sport.

This shit is really easy
Seriously, it's running, biking and swimming, which are all things I learned to do when I was a kid. Nearly anyone can do them. This sport should not be intimidating. You workout, you eat and then you race, how hard can that possibly be? No excuses.

This shit is really hard
Seriously, I spent countless hours (that's bullshit BTW, I counted every damn one of them, I'm just not sharing the total) trying to develop my swim stroke so that I would be more efficient and I still swim like a stone. I also spent hours and hours practicing my race nutrition plan - yes, that means I practiced eating! How great is this sport?! Triathlon is the kind of sport that takes only seconds to learn but a lifetime of work to perfect.

It's much easier to get out of bed if you have a specific goal that you're working towards
I learned this in November and December when I was trying the "just workout when you're motivated to workout" plan, which worked out to be... never.  That was an epic failure and I don't intend to try that again. Set a goal, develop a plan and then follow the plan to completion. Again, not hard, you just have to do it.

Results build motivation, which leads to hard work, which in turn creates results
This is what economists call a virtuous circle and it's a good thing. When you are in this situation, training should be, and usually is easy. You want to get out of bed and see what you can accomplish. There is also something that economists refer to as a vicious circle, which is like this only in reverse. Vicious circles suck are to be avoided at all costs.

4:30 AM is really early
Enough said.

I hate swimming... but I love the results
Oh, the elephant in the room... I hate swimming, always have. That said, swimming is probably the area where I have improved the most (virtuous circle!) so it's something that has been motivational for me this past year. It's also an excellent upper body workout that helps to build long, lean muscles. Plus, it's killed all of my belly fat and nearly all of the dreaded back-fat. Yuck.

Your GPS / heart rate device will fail in the middle of a race
Consider this the "be prepared" tip of this post. If you train exclusivly to heart rate and your GPS/HR monitor dies in the middle of a race (which mine did) you still need to finish the race. Devices are great and I truly believe that if you don't measure it, it did not happen, but you still need to learn / know your body.

Eating AND losing weight is awesome
Again, enough said!

Pin a number on your shirt at least once a year, your body and your brain will thank you!
I probably should have started with this one as it's the one that truly got me into triathlon. You don't know what you're capable of doing until you try. Technically, you don't know where your real limit is until you try and fail, but that's another post all together. Either way, you need to push yourself and grow in order to be happy and engaged in this thing called life. Competing is one way to make that happen and I highly recommend you give it a try.

So that's it kids, that's what I've learned this past year. Hopefully some of my muttering will ring true for you too. Set yourself some goals and then go out and knock them out.


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