Father of two, devoted husband, Clydesdale, hope to become just an age grouper someday. Former nationally ranked triathlete (sounds better than it really is, but I like the sound of it). Competing in the 50-54 bracket this year. Have done a 1/2 Ironman tri, a marathon and a bunch of sprint and oly distance races. Member of BT since 12-1-03
GOALS: Setting Them & Staying Motivated
Making goals achievable is an important part of reaching our end goal. Also, having a bar that is set high is important, so we are always striving for something better.
How many of us have said, "I need to lose some weight," or "I need to get faster on the bike next season"? Whatever you are looking to do is a goal. The problem is, sometimes we put our goals well out of reach. I, for instance, want to lose enough weight to no longer qualify as a Clydesdale in local races. I often lose site of that goal with the extra slice of pizza or dessert.
Making goals achievable is an important part of reaching our end goal. Also, having a bar that is set high is important, so we are always striving for something better. If, three years ago, I had said, "I need to lose some weight," I may have stopped working out after ten pounds and six months. Trust me, I have done that too many times before. But having the 190lb goal keeps me honest with myself. I may never reach it, but it is my carrot to keep me motivated.
Recently I have seen a bunch of new triathletes infused with the holy grail of triathlon, Ironman Kona. I too share this goal, and it is a wonderful one to have. Unfortunately, I used to look in on a fellow BT'er who went out for his first tri as a half-Ironman. After his race, I never saw him on BT again. I wonder what happened to him. From what I saw of his training, he bit too much off in his first attempt, and decided the sport was not for him.
What I am trying to say is that we do not levitate to the top of buildings, we climb the stairs. Instead of trying to take huge leaps, set stepping stones out in front of you to reach your goal. If you have trouble staying motivated in any athletics, find a race and sign up. It could be a 5k, sprint tri, or anything in between, but it is a goal. Give yourself the time to train for the race. Use one of BT's free programs (like the Couch to 5k, for instance). Once the race is over, set a new goal for a new race.
If racing is not a motivator for you, start with one workout. Log it on BT or a piece of paper. Then set a goal to work out three days a week. Next, step it up to four. Do not let little setbacks like missing one workout disturb the progress you have made. Get back out the next day and keep going.
For getting faster, consider a more formal style of training. Until last year I had been using simple time- and mileage-based training plans available on this site. Last year I stepped up to one of the premium package training plans and set personal records in both of my triathlons last year.
If you want to go long, first figure out where you are starting. I started as a couch potato. My plan has been and still is as follows: year one- sprint races, year two- sprint and Oly distances, year three- faster sprint and Oly's with a marathon, year four- Oly and half-IM, year five- increase speed on Oly and half IM, year six- Ironman.
These goals may not work for you, but I use them as an example of how to put the pieces together to stay motivated and eventually reach your goal. Most of all, enjoy what you are doing. If you are having fun, you will tend to do it more.
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