9/23/14

Why YOU train... inspiration/motivation coming at ya!



Thank you, thank you, thank you!

228 amazing, inspiring, motivating female endurance athletes have completed my Female Endurance Survey that I shared 2 days ago. 

I have learned so much from your responses and I am really looking forward to presenting some interesting findings at the Women's Fitness Summit  and to eventually share on my blog and via presentations to women's tri/running groups. You all gave so much fantastic feedback for me as a RD who specializes in sport nutrition. I believe that the info you provided is not only helpful for me since my main focus is on fueling the endurance athlete's body as well as learning to eat for fuel and for healthy AND developing a healthy relationship with food and the body BUT to share with other sport nutrition professionals. I also hope that I connect with the many sport nutrition companies out there so they can better understand how female athletes think about their body, fuel their body and choose/tolerate nutrition. 

As I was reviewing the survey responses (which has been hours and hours of learning!), I couldn't help but go back to the first open question. 

Why do you train for your sport of choice, specific to performance/health goals?

The responses not only made me smile but it brought me back to when I started training for triathlons almost 9 years ago!
I feel it would be extremely rude of me to not share some of these anonymous responses.
I could feel the excitement, passion and positive energy as I was reading these responses (and many more) and I know you will be just as inspired as me to know why female endurance athletes, of all ages, train for half marathons, marathons, half IM's and IM's. 

No matter if you are reading this now and are a male or female, I hope you enjoy a large dose of motivation from some amazing female endurance athletes.

Please use this positive energy to dream big and to help fuel your next workout or race! 


EXPERIENCE: 
LESS THAN 1 YEAR


For fun, for overall health & fitness, to challenge my body and mind, and to push to new levels of fitness.

I train to keep my body in motion. I want my heart to beat for a long time and be able to watch my children grow up. My goal never changes.. Do the very best that I can and try to outperform my last race.

To learn and grow as an athlete, not just in the physical sense, but also the mental. I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself to become stronger, faster, and healthier.

Sitting at a desk all day makes me feel like my body is slowly degenerating. Running gives me results faster than a class at the gym like Zumba, when I'm looking for real, lasting change that I can feel in my body. 

I trained for fitness and health. I also train to maintain a good body weight. It keeps me from sitting on the couch watching TV.

I like the long distances. I have a half-ironman distance triathlon and multiple International/Olympic tris. I prefer triathlon because of the various disciplines--swimming is my favorite sport and makes me feel most alive. Cycling is for the speed junkie in me.


EXPERIENCE: 
1-2 YEARS


I started running because I saw a group of Disney friends having so much fun. I then had major hip surgery since running uncovered a congenital abnormality with my hip joint. I have now run 4 half marathons! I am not nor will I ever be super fast, but I feel such a sense of accomplishment after each successfully finished race. This year, 2014, I will have run 7 half marathons! 
Yay for me!


I train to challenge my body and mind and see personal growth and improvement.

To be healthy and fit. Also to be a role model to my kids.

I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, and it was enough to really make me mad. I saw the difference in my body, the way it responded to exercise, food, food allergies. Training and focusing on something other than constantly feeling like crap helped to feel like I could move past this set back, and be healthier in the long run. Plus - race medals are addicting. :)


I love the dedication, the mental toughness and to push your body to it's full potential. I prefer tri's over any other event because it makes me feel more well rounded, my over all health and body love the different events and mentally I just take one sport at a time.

I train for half marathons (and now a marathon) because I genuinely love to run and stay active. Being able to just run and not have anything else pulling me in different directions, just focusing on my body, is an essential part of my day. I also rely on it for stress relief and to help with occasional mild depression.

Training is part of the complete triathlete's lifestyle that I embrace, which includes not only training and racing, but maintaining a high level of fitness, sound nutritional habits, discipline, focus and perseverance, and rewarding relationships with like-minded individuals.


To push my body to see how far it can go and how much I can improve on my abilities. 

I simply love the feeling of being outside and the freeing our sport brings everyday.

I have always been athletic, but when I was diagnosed with PCOS and endometriosis, diet and exercise became even more important to me. I am combining my naturally competitive edge with the need to be healthy to create   a positive life long outcome - mentally and physically.

I've only done a few half marathons and think I can perform better. It seems to be the distance with the right amount of challenge.

Feel good, improve my health and defy what I think is possible. I also run for those who can't and those who won't.

For the challenge,...... when i started running, i thought a 5k was impossible.... took me years to overcome that mental hurdle, but then accomplished a few 8ks..... and after a couple more years, a friend pushed me to dig deeper..... so i trained for my first half marathon.... which i thought was beyond impossible..... and 10 months later, I completed my first marathon..... its all about the challenge to dig deeper, push to where i never thought i could go

Training - no matter how hard a workout may be - is an escape, a getaway, for me. I work a demanding job and training provides an outlet to get my mind off work and into enjoying life. I also love feeling strong!


EXPERIENCE: 
3-4 YEARS


I have two boys. I want to show them that women are strong...that their mother is strong! I want to be healthy for the rest of my days.


I I enjoy working toward a goal. Working out just to work out doesn't interest me.

I love training & seeing improvements, and conquering goals (racing is fun too and provides purpose, but I really love training and that great post-workout feeling). I like the added benefit of a healthy and strong body, good sleep, endorphins.

To challenge myself, to become faster and stronger. To try and keep my mind and body as fit as it can be.

It's a challenge. I like being able to work towards a goal and see how my training pays off.

I love to push my body to see what I am capable of. However, I also choose the distance based on how much time I have to dedicate to it. I don't ever want to set myself up for failure so when picking goal races for the following season I like to look at every aspect of my life to truly see what I can give to my training. At this point, I generally tend to stray towards the half marathon distance.


I love all three sports. Also love the discipline it brings in health, rest and fitness. I am a Mom of two boys so training helps me not put myself last.

Training is something that i have total control of. No one can do it for me. Crossing the finish line of every race means accomplishing a goal and not giving up. Racing and training help me to believe in myself.

Because I truly love to do it. I love to move my body and to challenge myself both physically and mentally. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a long race and the atmosphere races provide for helping me to push myself to the limit. But even if I didn't ever race again, I wouldn't want to change my current lifestyle. I love to bike, run, and swim (well, I am learning to love the swimming part:) and am grateful everyday that I get to do it.

I enjoy running and cycling, so I like to challenge myself with races that pertain to what I enjoy! I want to live a long life, so figure these sports will keep me healthy and active!

To stay healthy, have fun and set an example for my kids.

It gives me a goal to train for and it's a great place to practice real life skills like flexibility, adaptability and perseverance.

Because I enjoy it and it has become a way for me to get away from my super busy job and focus on myself.

To stay healthy. Still enjoy the competitive feeling. Getting over some fears. Open water swimming.

I must always have a goal to keep my training on track. Without a plan I'd spend more time napping and Netflixing.


Friendship... I love biking and running with an amazing group of women who have become close friends.

All my life I would see people able to do something....almost seemingly without effort, but actually it was a lot of effort, it just didn't seem that way because they loved what they did. Finding triathlons was my "love". I loved to work at it. I love to get lost in it. I love the lifestyle it brings with it.

As a mother of 4, my husband and I like to train to keep us healthy and active so we can keep up with all the running around we do with our children. We love the discipline involved in training for a race. We believe we are setting good examples for our children as well. They see us manage our careers, our family and our fitness levels. We strive to live healthy lives for our own benefit as well as our children.


For the thrill of competition, ability to drive personal/physical progress and joy of the sport.

EXPERIENCE: 
5-6 YEARS

I love the process. Looking at each step, each workout, each week. Knowing that if I do all the little pieces I will arrive at the start line ready to complete the race.

Part of it is to maintain health, the other part is for mental health. Running gives me the "me time" that I need. I love the feeling of conquering a run and I love the feeling of exertion. I also love the bling. Through the years I have set new and different goals each year.

I simply love to train and having a goal of something that to most people may seem unattainable, makes me want to achieve it even more!

I'm a competitive person and this is a healthy outlet. I enjoy challenging my mental and physical abilities and finding other people who enjoy the same thing.

It fuels my fire. Running energizes me. I have more energy. I love the challenge.

I have a healthy appreciation for my body and while I'm not the "typical" triathlete body type, as I carry a little extra weight than most skinny triathletes who usually make podium, I get it done all the same and have a secret pride in beating those who DO have that triathlete body type. I think I'll always want to lose those 20 pounds, but at the same time I know that I don't have to be skinny to be in great shape.

It's a hobby I am passionate about. I love pushing my body and going outside my comfort zone. It also teaches me invaluable lessons that translate into my school/work, family and friends world.

I started triathlons with a desire to lose weight and get my health back. Now, I continue doing triathlons to maintain my weight loss and push myself to become a better version of myself. Every ironman is a journey and you learn so much about yourself through the training.

I'm driven by nature, always looking to do something more, something that is not the norm. I began the journey to stretch the limits of my belief, now I have the honor to coach first time half marathoners on their journey. I love helping others break their belief barriers.



EXPERIENCE: 
6+ YEARS

For my sanity and running with my dogs.

Maintain my health/weight and socialize. Outlive my competition so that I don't have to go so fast to win.

Train to stay healthy as I age; to stay at the top of my age group; like what it does to keep my body fit for being able to age gracefully and still be able to compete with younger athletes.

I lost about 25 lbs over 10 years ago and have been able to keep it off partly because of running. Also, frankly, it is convenient - even while on vacation or traveling for business, it is easy to run while being away from home.

Sanity. It's my passion. My escape. Something I can call mine. Makes e a better person to myself, my husband, and my kids. .....and because I LOVE it.

Because I love the feeling of completing a goal, the ccamaraderieof other athletes and their families, and love the joy my body feels from training smart in all three activities:running, swimming and biking! I use the knowledge I gain through training to carry over into my work and encouraging others to live a more healthy and active life. I enjoy training with family members and friends for a fun social life too! It keeps me connected as a masters triathlete!

My history is running half/full marathon to half/full ironman and now back to marathons. I do it because I love it - the training shift back to running is time to train - 4 kids in 4 years. But I want to continue because it is part of what I do and it is important for me to have my kids see me train and race. My first marathon back this year (baby was 9 months, oldest was 4) since my first daughter was born and a qualified for Boston on a super challenging course. Made me happy that I could "still" train/race/perform with so many "extra" challenges to juggle. This body has done a lot, and isn't quite what it used to be, but it is strong and I'd like to keep it that way.

Healthy lifestyle, keeps me fit and healthy, love the social aspect of training and the sense of accomplishment and being able to train for and finish the long distance races.

To enjoy time outside. Performance goals help me to work harder and smarter as I get older.

I am 58 years old. I train to stay healthy, I train to stay happy. I love to compete.

Because it's fun. I love swim, bike, running and love the community. And I love pushing myself and finding new edges every day.

I love setting personal goals and reach for them! I love love the community of fellow athletes and inspiring my kids, their peers and my peers and strangers!!!! I love marathons and ironman!

Short and long term goals have always been in my life and this is what keeps me motivated, focused and fulfilled.

I train for triathlon because I absolutely love doing it!

I train because I love to see the fitness gains and what my body can do over time. I love to be healthy, in the fitness community and practicing what I preach in terms of a healthy body and mind!

So my bootie doesn't explode and my pants size remains the same.

I like the variety of training all three sports at one time. I also like the mental and physical challenge of trying to "put it all together" on the race course.

So my bootie doesn't explode and my pants size remains the same.

Training helps me compete at the competitive level. For years I was a recreational athlete and might place in my AG but now I try for personal bests and or prize money. Also, it is very much a part of who I am. I love the thrill of pushing myself to be my best.

Ex college soccer player- love pushing myself- love the feeling of total exhaustion- and with 4 young boys, need the mental release- make me better mom to have my own long term goals:)

I love the feeling of accomplishment as I check off the workouts in a training plan, and I love being able to (usually) meet the goals I set for myself. Training for marathons/HIMs/my one Ironman helped me feel healthy, strong, and confident

I love to have goals for myself. That motivates me to eat right, train, and stay healthy. I also have grown to love competing and identifying myself as a strong, female athlete. Chicking the boys is fun too! :-) Triathlons help me do all of that.

Gives me a goal to grow, improve and push myself while keeping me physically fit.

First and foremost, training connects me to my mind and body; it's "me time". Secondly, training is an outlet where I channel my thoughts into creative energy that manifests into reality. Lastly, racing is the measurement of my personal bests.

My mom has ALS and my father has had a quadruple bipas so I know life is short and while I can I am committed to seeing how far I can push my body and stay healthy and live a life with no regrets.

I like the feeling of being healthy and strong.