Key #4: Semper Fun
In our experience, many triathletes get so geeked out with “my long ride needs to be X and my long run needs to be Y next week, and the next week, and the next…” that they lose sight of the fact that the process of triathlon training is building an incredible Cool Stuff Fitness Vehicle.
Your endurance lifestyle builds a vehicle for doing cool stuff with your fitness — to experience the world and life from the unique perspective of your bicycle, running shoes, or Speedo (not that there’s anything wrong with that). One of the unfortunate products of triathlon training are the missed opportunities to do other cool stuff with that fitness.
Let’s face it, at the end of the day, this is all just a game and we are just middle age folks wearing silly clothes and pointy helmets while riding funny looking bikes from buffet table to buffet table. So take an opportunity to step back and find, or create, the fun in your sport!
Now, we’re not saying that triathlon training will always be, or needs to be, fairies, gumdrops and unicorns. But in our experience, the key to longevity in the sport, and therefore the consistency that builds great results season after season, is to view your triathlon training as an expression of your commitment to a fitness lifestyle.
Triathlon then is just one of many things on your Cool Stuff List that you do with your fitness. On this list should be other non-triathlon cool events — running races, epic bike rides, hiking trips and much more. If it sounds like fun, do it, saddling up your fitness and doing cool stuff. Put cool stuff on the calendar, trick your friends into doing it with you, call it “training,” and just move from Cool Event to Cool Event across your training and racing season.
In summary, the Four Keys of Triathlon Training are:
- #workWORKS – focus on optimizing the amount of work you perform, the training stress you apply to your body, within the time that life gives you.
- Return on Investment (ROI): critically assess your return on race day for every input spent, and then seek opportunities to achieve better results with the same of fewer cumulative inputs.
- The Box: be smart and ensure that your Training Box fits within the Box that Life gives you. The key for you, the age group triathlete, is to closely manage the intensity of your sessions within your relatively fixed training frequency and volume.
- Semper Fun: remember that this is all just a game. Find cool stuff to do with the Cool Fitness Vehicle you’ve worked so hard to create. This focus on fun will help you achieve the consistency that creates great results, and a healthy perspective, season after season.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your training!