Resolution or Revolution?

author : sekhmet
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We can no longer say “I’ll start training next year” or “let me just get through the holidays”- it IS next year and I, for one, am more than through with the holidays.

By Pam Beaton
A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer

We’ve gotten through gallons of eggnog, whole villages of gingerbread people, and enough fruitcakes to build a garden wall. Now that the food-induced comas have subsided and we can hear the gym calling our name, it is time once again to think about the upcoming tri season.

We can no longer say “I’ll start training next year” or “let me just get through the holidays”- it IS next year and I, for one, am more than through with the holidays. It is with a renewed vigor that we look upon the upcoming tri season - which for some may come as soon as this weekend. For myself, if all goes according to plan, I have 129 days until my first tri this year- roughly four months to get serious and improve my time from last year. The only question that still remains is- how focused do I want to be?

Last April, when I made the life-changing decision to do a triathlon, I didn’t think I’d stick with the training. It’s been my personal experience to give up from sheer boredom (mostly self-inflicted), and move on to another sport that I would just as quickly abandon. I almost gave up when I couldn’t find the stupid registration location, which the organizers managed to hide in the far reaches of Massachusetts with a series of extremely windy and unmarked roads.

Thankfully, I completed my first race and I found I didn’t just like it, I LOVED it. The sense of accomplishment was amazing. I didn’t care that I came in 1,395,287th (give or take a million), or that my bike time was abysmal - I made it through without stopping. I worked as hard as I possibly could, something I haven’t done since…ever. It seems that all that hard work paid off.

However, now that I have made my list of resolutions:

  1. Win lottery
  2. Eat more veggies
  3. Move up in career (or #1, whichever comes first)
  4. Complete three triathlons

I see that I don’t want to just complete three triathlons but I want to excel at those triathlons. To do this, I must do a complete turnaround in my training - a full revolution, and challenge myself in ways that I could only dream. To keep these revolutions, I am going to limit them to 3:

Release my inner Arnold and Lance.
As someone who trains others for a living, one would think that I rocked the race portions and only got caught up in the unfamiliar transition territory. Alas, I found that being an indoor cycling instructor does not translate into excellent biking abilities. As such, I really need to focus on getting outside and taking really intense rides as well as doing more leg extensions to work on my quads, hamstring curls to balance the antagonistic muscle, and squats to get my gluts up to “speed.” I tend to focus too much on my upper body physique, I need to listen to ZZ Top –get legs and know how to use them.

Bend it like Gumby.
Injury can sideline someone faster than a red card in a World Cup Soccer match. Although they bore me to TEARS, I need to hit the Pilates and yoga classes more often. Flexibility is just as important to training as logging in the hours and the weights.

Mix it up.
The boredom monster looms its ugly head regularly. To avoid hitting a run/bike/swim plateau, I am going to do more “other” sports- particularly team sports. I used to love soccer as a kid, so I’m going to sign up for an outdoor soccer league. The running back and forth along the field will help me accumulate miles without really thinking about it, and the kicking and reversing direction will help spark the muscles in my legs beyond what they have become accustomed too. Plus, working in a team atmosphere will allow me to appreciate the solo determination that a triathlon requires, maybe then I can introduce someone new to the joys of tri’ing!

There they are. My three tri revolutions. Not too many, not too few, just enough to get me to my three race goal! Maybe you should try to make some revolutions as well. It could help you reach that long-time tri goal, or just focus you more in the upcoming season. Don’t just resolve to get better. Revolt!



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date: January 30, 2005