“Run my dear,
That may not strengthen
Your precious budding wings.”
But seriously, I feel like maybe I’m on the cusp of something. Maybe I’m not . This last year of triathlon training and training for an Ironman have been an amazing learning experience for me. (Disclaimer, I hate talking about training for an Ironman that I didn’t complete. I feel like a fraud. So instead, I’m just going to talk about triathlon training.) I’m hoping that some of the things that I learned can be put to good use and that they will help me to move forward in my training for 2014 but also just in my own personal journey.
What I learned …
1) Training requires commitment. You can have the best training plan in the world, but if you’re not willing to leave your bed when the alarm clock goes off, you’re not going to get any where. You must be committed if you’re going to be serious about your training. I spent more mornings than I can count dragging my butt out of bed at 4:30 AM. Some of those days were weekend days. But to get it done, and to be committed there was just no other option. You have to commit and be all in to see it through.
2) For the training to work, you have to be serious and put in the work. Phoning it in doesn’t really work when it comes to reaching your goals. I genuinely feel like I phoned it in for some of what I did over the course of the 2013 triathlon season. I’m not sure what my reasons were or what I really thought the results would be. I know now what the results are. And I know that the results are not the same as my goals were. No more phoning it in. I heard myself say out loud the other day… “You know, just because you want something to happen doesn’t mean that it will happen. You have to make changes, sacrifices and you have to work for it.” Ok Sarah, now take what you just said and do it.
3) It is possible to find a balance. Training, especially for long distance events, can feel all-consuming at times. But I learned this year that it doesn’t have to be. It is still possible to have a life. This might mean waking up early to get your work out done on a Saturday. It also might mean that you’re tired some times. But you can find a balance between training and the rest of your life. It’s possible. See number one and two. You have to commit to seeking the balance and it’s there. Not only is it there, but I think that you can really flourish if you find it. You need to be strong physically, but you also need to flourish emotionally. So a balance really is necessary for it all to come together properly.
Balance like this…
4) Some days it’s going to seem really, really hard. But I can promise that if you work for it and at it, in the end it will be worth it. Over the course of this season I didn’t manage to reach all of my goals, but I met some of them. And I know, without a single ounce of doubt that they’re all attainable in 2014. And I remember how sweet it felt when I crossed the finish line of Rev3 Maine 70.3 with a shiny new PR and a smile on my face. If you put in the time and the work, it will pay off and every moment that it ever felt hard will fall away and it will definitely be worth it. So when it’s hard, think about the goal. Remember why you’re doing it and keep working.
5) Lastly, it takes a village. I know that some people train for long distance events on their own. But in my opinion and for me, this is not the way. I’m a strong believer that the community of support that you build around yourself is just as important as the training you put in. You are going to need people to train with. You are going to need people to encourage you. You are going to need people to pick you up when you are down because you are human and you will get down. Sometimes you’re just going to need people to tell you that they love you no matter what happens. So truly, it takes a village of people who love and support you and who understand just how crazy you are and love you any way. They’re important people!
A small pieces of the village
So tell me friends… What lessons did you learn this season? How will they help you moving forward?