It's officially race week. On Sunday morning, I will join Karel, eleven of our athletes and many other excited triathletes for the start of Ironman 70.3 Florida in Haines City, FL.
I'll be honest with you. I've really struggled with training for an event over the past few months. The race specificity hasn't been well, specific but instead, I've been seeking ways to keep my motivation high for training. Group rides, gravel riding, master swimming and happy running has kept me super active and enjoying the triathlon lifestyle. Although I love riding my triathlon bike, it hadn't seen much action since November. Over the past week, I've made it a point to ride my bike as often as I could to get my mind into race mode. I've had a bit of ambivalence towards triathlon racing but over the past few days, I started to find myself excited to put myself into the race environment.
After nearly 15 consecutive years of long distance triathlon racing, I've accomplished a lot. But I still love the sport too much to stop training and racing. I won't stop racing triathlon events because that is how I can connect with other triathletes - especially our team members. I love being around like-minded individuals and the community aspect is what I look forward to the most on race day. This leaves me in a bit of a confused state as I don't want to stop racing but I am craving challenges and adventures for my mind, body and soul.
As athletes, I think very normal to feel confused by sport. The beautiful thing about sport is that it's there to teach you lessons. Not just about life but about yourself.
If you have also felt a bit confused with your strong passion for training but a bit indifferent about racing, it's important to do some soul-searching without giving up on your first few races of the year. With a long hiatus from racing due to COVID, we haven't felt that 'high" from racing in a long time. We haven't had that reminder of why all of this training is validated and necessary. We haven't been given the opportunity to be in that place of self-discovery that gives us great meaning to life. We haven't been around like-minded people who radiate inspiration and motivation.
The beginning of a new adventure often brings a great amount of emotions - from nervous energy to excitement. When you are in the same sport for such a long time, it's normal to forget that humbling experience of what it was like to be a beginner. It's also easy to stick with the things that you are already good at.
Instead of giving up the sport that brings great value and meaning to your life, it may be time for a new challenge. Stay open and curious for new and different opportunities. To stave off boredom, look for a race that requires you to step outside of your comfort zone.
Don't give up on your active lifestyle.
Stay humble and curious by trying something somewhat new.
Trying something new or different (even if it's a different triathlon course than what you are used to) can spark excitement (and a bit of good pressure) in your training and may be what you need to get out of a motivation funk.