Sometimes you get to the end of the triathlon season and can’t wait for the early season pool swim races to begin. Other times you get to the end and the thought of racing and training hard doesn’t seem nearly as appealing as it once did. You can try watching all six Rocky movies consecutively, but that will only get you stoked for a day or so. If you want lasting motivation here are five great ways to get it.
Work with athlete’s new to the sport
Sometimes as triathletes we can get caught up focusing purely on performance benchmarks like Watts, T2 splits and Kona qualifying. It can be easy to forget the reasons we got into the sport in the first place. New triathletes will remind you of this passion. Their pure excitement for just getting out there and pushing their limit and doing something epic is contagious. You can feel that excitement by volunteering at races or with your local tri club. If you want an even greater source of Newbie energy, work with kids. Kids always display a pure passion for hard work and pushing themselves. If you help feed their passion, the energy will come back to you amplified!
Get a group together and all sign up for the same event
It’s always more motivating to work hard when there are others doing the same. Get a group of your triathlon friends together and all sign up for the same destination race. I had the pleasure of hanging out with members from the Northern Light Triathlon Club at Ironman Melbourne this year that had done just that. I heard all about the group trainer sessions during the Fort McMurray winter that led up the to March race. Not only did they have an amazing passion and excitement for the sport, but they also all put down awesome times on race day – coincidence? Probably not.
Sign up for a new event
The number one problem with our sport is that there are too many great races and too little time to recover! If triathlon is losing its luster for you, pick another epic endurance event to help rekindle the flame. Individual events like trail races, Grand Fondos and marathons are great. Another great way to shake things up while sticking to triathlon is to try a new distance. Escape from Alcatraz which features a 2.4km swim, 29km bike and a 13km run is a great example. Challenge Penticton is changing things up for 2016 in preparation for 2017 ITU Multisport World Championships and is featuring a 3km swim, 120km bike and a 30km run. It can be a lot of fun to try and figure out how to pace and prepare for a new distance without having the pressure of a personal best to compare it against. If I didn’t have to worry about recovery, I would race Otillo Swim/Run, the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon and Ultraman Hawaii. Putting your name in the lottery for any of those is sure to get you fired up!
Do something epic…just because
Sometimes you don’t need a specific event to get you stoked, you just need to dream of something epic. Last year, long time Ultraman Competitor Brad Sawa decided he wanted to work on his triathlon weakness, the swim. In order to keep motivated throughout the year he got together with his friend Allan Ollenstein and made a goal of swimming 33km from Grand Beach to Gimli. There wasn’t an event, he just wanted to do something epic and inspire others. He also raised over $10,000 for CancerCare Manitoba along the way.
Take some time off
If your motivational batteries are a little low on energy now is a great time to take a break from the sport. Don’t be afraid to let go of your fitness and give yourself a break. Your fitness will come back fast and you will notice the gains almost every time you lace up your shoes or put your goggles on. Though be warned, periods of inactivity aren’t for all of us. If your spouse says that you are bouncing off the walls and driving them crazy, it’s probably a good idea to go for a run. Not that Sophia would ever say that about me…