Who said things always had to be completed the same way?
Why is it that Saturday is always long ride day and Sunday long run day?
And who do athletes always tend to follow what others are doing without asking questions?
How do you know which way is the ‘right’ way?
Maybe it doesn’t have to be the way that it currently is. Maybe that’s just what you have always been told or shown? Maybe you don’t know any different?
Do you ask questions? Are you inquisitive? Intuitive? Have you done some of your own research? If not, maybe it’s time to challenge what you already know…. Because there is more than one way….
This is what I realised quite a few years ago now and proof was in my results, and in my health and happiness. AND this is even more important now that I have a little one in tow (now nearly 9months old!).
“Finding a balance in training, work and life in general was at the top of the list for me. I knew if I was able to get this right, my training would be on track, I’ll be at my happiest and then the results would follow. Yes I still have big goals, and yes I’ll work my butt off to achieve them, but I will ensure that balance, as my health and happiness is not something I am prepared to ‘give up’ in pursuit of my goals. And nor should you have to either.
So when planning out my training, I sat down and looked at what time I had to train, what time I had to work and what time I wanted to spend with family, friends, my other half (and now my little one!). Time simply for myself, away from triathlon and training. And I looked at how I could maximise that time in each area of my life. So I decided that Sunday was no longer my ‘long run day’. Sunday for me was now going to be a day of choice. A day to wake up whenever I choose to, and do what ever I felt like. That could involve getting on a bike, or going for a run, and if I do it’s for fun. But it could also involve staying in bed and watching movies, catching up with friends, going away for the weekend, stepping away from the training ‘norm’. And it is the most refreshing thing ever.
I sought advice, asked questions and trialled. I tweaked my program to where I felt I had the right balance of training, working and ‘life’. But I didn’t just get rid of my long run, as a Coach I whole heartedly believe the long run is a key session for the week. What I did is, I shuffled my program around my life. Not the other way around. I programmed my long run for a Wednesday, and I work my other sessions around that. And it worked. For ME. And that was the key.
Just because everyone else swims Monday, Wednesday, Friday, it doesn’t mean you do if it doesn’t suit YOU. Sit down with a coach who is prepared to ask questions, get to know you personally and understand your motivations. The coach should then help you formulate a plan for YOU and YOUR needs. Not for the needs of a group, or because it is easier for them. But because they put your personal, training and racing interests first and foremost – and they get YOU.
I plan to stay in this sport for a long time. I plan to enjoy it, I am passionate about it and I love what I do. But that couldn’t happen if I’m always following what others are doing even if it didn’t suit me and my lifestyle. If I don’t have that balance, if I don’t maximise my time, if I’m not happy, then I will become another one of those athletes who falls out of the sport because they haven’t built it to be sustainable, as PART of their lifestyle, not running their life. They skew too much of what they do in one direction for too long, and it is only a matter of time until that falls around them.”
So be prepared to challenge the norm, ask questions, and push the boundaries. And never settle until you have found that perfect balance for YOU.
And always remember, Triathlon is what you DO, it’s not who you ARE. It shouldn’t define you, it shouldn’t compromise your happiness and nor should it stop you from doing what you want in the rest of your life.
If you are unsure of where to start, I wrote an article on finding the right coach for you – use these tips and questions to help you find the answers and define your own triathlon journey. 🙂
Happy training & racing
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Sarah is the Director & Head Coach at Complete Per4mance Coaching. Born out of the desire and passion to not just coach but to educate athletes, Sarah shares her 10 years of coaching and racing experience, knowledge and education with athletes of all levels to help them achieve their optimal performance while maintaining a balanced, happy and healthy life.