What would it be like to feel motivated all season long? Get ready to get excited, and stay excited.
1. Intentionally Select Other-Sport Races or Events to Kick off Your Season
Beginning with events that are not your main sport are a great way to get reacquainted with the competition vibes while setting a fun tone for the upcoming season. For example, non-triathlon events in the winter are great ways to pick up some fitness and even fix some of those imbalances. Since there are no expectations, just have fun with it! Skimo or XC skiing are just a few winter sports options that will give you the satisfaction of working hard and getting fit, without the primary sport pressure. Rock climbing is a fun way to build some serious strength, mobility, and balance. The main goal: keeps the early season light and get your fitness primed for more focused training.
2. Develop a Race Schedule
Select the races you want to do this year – put them on paper. Looking up races and planning out your schedule should get you excited for the season as well as give your training purpose. Even a 5K or 10K in the early season is not too “small” of a race – anything on the schedule is a great way to help your training feel more purposeful, and gives you a chance to plan any necessary work on weaknesses prior to heavy training blocks. Do not forget to work on your race selection with your coach so they can set you up with proper programming!
3. Commit to a Weekly Group Workout
Our sport demands that we spend a lot of time by ourselves, so community is a great way to mix things up. A masters swim or weekend run group will break up the monotony of individual training while giving you another source of accountability. When you build relationships with the people you train with, that Sunday long run suddenly won’t feel so dreadful.
4. Attend a Training Camp
Nothing gets you fit quite like a week-long training camp or an extended weekend training camp. Not only do you get to hammer some miles with a bunch of other people at an awesome location, you glean exclusive knowledge and coaching in person from the experts! With a coach present you can receive immediate feedback on what your doing well and what you could do better – as well as the “how.” Beyond training and back to the previous point on community, the camaraderie built during camps are something unique that you’ll never forget.
5. Switch It Up!
Do some cross training. Do something outside of your comfort zone or at least outside of your primary discipline, such as a trail run or mountain bike. On your easy days, or maybe some of your longer days, do not be afraid to switch it up. Hitting the trails for a run or a mountain bike every now and then provides a huge mental break and keeps movement fun, all while bringing you to some awesome views! Undeniably, this type of cross training will also help your agility and bike handling – you have to be nimble to navigate some of those trails!
6. Find a Rival
Sure, there’s a spectrum of competitive, but we’re all in this because there’s something inside us that thrives on a little healthy competition, right? Having a rival in the pool or at the group run / ride is one of the biggest motivators you give yourself! Sometimes we need that extra push in training, just keep it healthy. Be careful and be smart – do not do the easy days with someone too competitive, or the competition will quickly turn your recovery workouts into a threshold set! Go easy when it is prescribed, then when it is time to go hard, let it rip and race it out!
7. End the Season on a for-Fun Race
Plan something just-for-fun to celebrate the season after your big “A” race. Do that spartan obstacle course run or crazy race that your crazy friend has been trying to talk you into. Go do something epic that will shift your focus from thinking about how your season ended to how much fun you are having! This will help prevent the Off-season blues that is often triggered by ending a season abruptly after an “A” race.
8. Buy Some New Gear
Let’s be honest, new gear is always fun. Plus, it can help us motivate us to train – who doesn’t want to try out a new kit? Do not splurge more than you can afford, but maybe some new wheels, or even just some new socks, will light the fire back up for you.
In all these tips, remember that everything in life is seasonal, including sport. Give yourself time and space to enjoy all seasons of the endurance experience.
For all these tips, remember that everything in life is seasonal, including sport. Give yourself time and space to enjoy all seasons of the endurance experience.