As I mentioned a few days ago, Monday marked the final eight-week triathlon training cycle of the season. It’s crazy how time flies—how can September be right around the corner?—and it seems like I’ve been swimming, biking, and running forever. Actually, this estimate isn’t too much of a stretch: September will be my ninth month of structured training with Full Throttle Endurance. Say what?
Since I’ve been getting after it for three-fourths of the year, I really shouldn’t be surprised that I hit a mental and physical roadblock: On Monday morning, my outlook shifted from “let’s get after it!” to “why am I doing this?” Basically, my motivation to attack workouts has vanished. Yes, the sessions get done, but they’ve lacked intensity. Granted, I’m fine once I start moving, but let’s just say I’m not popping out of bed at 4:30 a.m. quite as quickly these days.
I talked to my coach and teammates, it sounds like what I’m experiencing—lacking motivation and feeling burnt out—is normal. However, I’m so not ready to throw in the towel. After all, I have my last race in 22 days! Here’s how I’ve been trying to stay focused.
Remembering how my training has paid off …
This was my first year truly training for tris, and because I had a lot of room for improvement, I made huge strides—and reaped the rewards of hard work on race day.
Clearly, the training works, so why in the world would I slack off now?
… And remembering how much progress I can still make.
At the beginning of the season, I’d recall Nautica South Beach’s choppy swim and hot bike/run to energize my workouts, and as the months passed, I’d keep in mind similar results like Montauk’s slow bike split and Stamford’s “cruise control” on the run. In recent weeks, when I’ve been tempted to sleep in or back off the intensity, it’s just taken one word: Milwaukee.
Enlisting teammates for support
A lot of my teammates made Timberman 70.3 their “A” or primary event, so since they’ve completed their main race, attendance at practice has gone from about 25 people to 10. It’s been more difficult to push myself without faster teammates to “chase,” but I’ve made plans to link up with others for workouts. Case in point: I rode 60 miles last weekend, and a group of us plan to go long again this weekend.
Back in my undersized-forward days, my high school basketball coach used to yell this phrase (‘Finish strong, Red!’). All. The. Time. During games, I’d spend a lot of time posting up in the paint, and there would be a ton of contact. Amidst the bumping, battling for position, and occasional elbow-throwing (which is why I wore a mouth guard), I’d still be expected to make a decisive move, finish strong, and put the ball in the basket. And today, even though I’ve experienced moments when it would be easier to back down, sleep in, and take an unwarranted rest day, the expectation remains: finish the triathlon season strong.
How do you cope with feeling unmotivated?