Thursday, March 1, 2012

On Being a Triathlete & Seasonal Plans

Finish line scene at Ironman Canada

There is a trend in the sport amongst the recreational crowd, that I find curious - putting all your eggs in one race basket. Typically, these days it's putting all your focus on one big long race, and these days this is very often an Ironman. It's reached the point that I heard of athletes suffering post-Ironman depression - seriously!

It's natural that after a big goal has been achieved, that there is a bit of a let-down. Nothing wrong with this. This is a common occurrence in all manner of things we do in our lives.

To counter this, my suggestion would be to be a triathlete. Even more, be an athlete! If you are a true triathlete you are a jack-of-all-trades endurance athlete. Your range of things that you can do as an endurance athlete is wide. So why focus and obsess on just one event?

My suggestion would be to do two things:

1. Revel in your endurance athlete range, ability and endurance.

2. It sounds cliche, but focus on and enjoy the process of being a triathlete.

Regarding #1 - As a triathlete you can swim, bike and run. You don't have to just race and do triathlons. You have three times the events to look forward to and do, verses the single sport athlete.

Regarding #2 - If you really enjoy the journey and the process of being an athlete, the training, and everything that goes along with this, the goals will come.

Its OK to have a big season end goal - I am not advising against that. What I would recommend is that you have small goals along the way - smaller, other races, perhaps even single sport races and events leading up to the season ending race. Then, if the season-ender does not go so well, you'll have a season long list of other races, and hopefully successes to look back on.

Also, take time to hone your game of being a triathlete, of being an athlete. "Success" in any endurance sport, does not come over night. It takes time to build up the base of fitness and experience to do well, so take the time to immerse yourself in the sport, or sports and enjoy the journey?

Hopefully, what all of this will do is, buffer you from a really big let-down and depression after the end of the season and that big goal race.

What is your main season goal? Do you have little goals along the way?

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1 comment:

Axel Kussmann said...

I try to have a few races planned for a given season. I just put together my own (tentative, subject to change) race calendar.

Flexibility is key, and triathlon as life is more about the journey than the destination.