Tag Archives: motivation

Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – Lisa

Welcome to another edition of Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in your awesomeness from your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s Fantastic Finish Photo is from Lisa Freeman:First time triathlete Lisa

 

From Bodiam Castle Tri

Lisa:  I was so nervous for my first tri but I needn’t have been. The atmosphere was great, the people were supportive & friendly. I had an epic feeling of fun the whole time. My lasting thought?..that was amazing, when can I do it again?

Awesome job Lisa! How many times do you get to swim in a moat?

Do you have a photo you would like to share? Don’t be shy, send it to firsttimetri@gmail.com, Please add a quick paragraph of what the photo means to you. Please share and be an inspiration to others.

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Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – Mrs. First time Tri

Welcome to a special edition of Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in your awesomeness from your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s photo is from Danni Buddenhagen (My Wonderful Wife):

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Danni, with myself and our two little volunteers

 

Danni: Back in February Shawn suggested that I complete in an upcoming Triathlon scheduled for August.  Now, if you know anything about me, then you would know that I do not have an athletic bone in my body.  But, being who I am I was up for the challenge.  So, with August in my not so distant future, I began going to the gym and practicing on the bike.  The swimming is an entirely different story. 

Before I knew it, it was the big day.  Of course, I was nervous, but one thing still sticks in my mind.  While getting my number written on all kinds of body parts, the guy says to me, “Oh, next year you will be in a different category”.   (Um-Yes, he was referring to the age category.)  At that time, I was thinking, yeah right- next year!  But, he was absolutely right. I managed not to drown during my first triathlon and make it to the finish line.  Having my family cheer me on and hand out water at the 2 mile marker was definitely a motivator to keep me going until the end.  I survived, I crossed the finish line and I can’t wait to get even better for next year!  

Danni like many first time triathletes did not have an athletic background before the race. She raced a few 5ks, and did some spin classes. She had not swam any distance and needed develop a freestyle stroke. With that in mind, I wrote up a 8 week training plan for her, and by race day she was well prepared.

There’s no need to wait for proficiency in all three disciplines before signing up for your first race. Find a race you want to try, and build on what you can already do. If you can run or cycle a bit already. Build on those strengths, and work on the weaker sports.

Do you have a photo you would like to share? Don’t be shy, send it to firsttimetri@gmail.com, Please add a quick paragraph of what the photo means to you. Please share and be an inspiration to others.

Monday Mantra – Failure

“A Failure is a lesson, until you make an excuse.”

 

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photo credit: alias URBAN ARTefakte via photopin cc

Fantastic Finish Photo Friday – Jamie

Welcome to another edition of Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in your awesomeness from your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

The photo is week is from Jamie Dewdney:

Jaime 1

 

“All those gruesome hill climbs, choppy swims and wet and windy runs are worth it when crossing the finish line of my first triathlon, bring on the next one!”

Nice work Jamie! Training is the hard part. The race and the finish are the pay off. Best of luck to you in your new triathlon journey.

Do you have a photo you would like to share? Don’t be shy, send it to firsttimetri@gmail.com, Please add a quick paragraph of what the photo means to you. Please share and be an inspiration to others.

Fantastic Finish Photo Friday

Welcome to another edition of Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in your awesomeness from your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.

This week’s photo is from Jim Barke:

Jim's First Triathlon Finish
Jim’s First Triathlon Finish
Here is a picture of me finishing my first triathlon.
 
The journey to be a triathlete began two years ago while I was cheering my kids on in their swimming lessons.  As they progressed I quickly realized that it was time for me to put my lifelong fear of water behind me.  I began with basic group swimming lessons, private lessons and everything in between.  I was ready to give up about six months ago.  Then something started to click and family, friends and others encourage me to continue.  This long journey was tough but I am so glad that I finished the Chaska Triathlon and will be doing my second one in September. 
 
Hear more about Jim’s first triathlon here on Jim’s blog.
 
Awesome photo Jim. Overcoming your fear of water must have been no easy task, but you persisted and made it to the finish line. Best of luck on your second race.

Do you have a photo you would like to share? Don’t be shy, send it to firsttimetri@gmail.com, Please add a quick paragraph of what the photo means to you. Please share and be an inspiration to others.

 

 

 

 

 

“Oh Man This Hurts”, Keys to Racing Mental Toughness

 

Tough as nails
TOUGH AS NAILS

Mental toughness is the ability to withstand discomfort with a focus on your goal.  All of the situations and struggles in life develop your mental strength. You are defined by how you react to different situations. In racing, the battles lies between your body and thoughts. When a race gets tough, the mind will always give in before the body. The challenge is to control your thoughts, and get your mind and body to work together to achieve your goals.

Preparation

The key to mental toughness is preparation. Training for your race will increase mental toughness. When you show up the the start line, you should be confident in your abilities. You confidence comes from adequate training, and preparation. That confidence kicks in when the race gets hard and you want to stop. If in training you have already had these feelings, you know you can push through.

 

  • Know your body – Be sure to notice the difference between this is uncomfortable, and this is injuring me.
  • Have a race day plan and execute – eliminate unnecessary decisions.
  • Simulate race intensity in training – not everyday
  • Have confidence. Accept that the race will be difficult, you are trained, and prepare to suffer a bit for your goal.

 

Be Present

When a race or workout gets hard, the brain wants you to stop. Your mind will play every trick it has to get you to stop or slow down. That little voice in your head will say “go ahead, just walk for awhile” or “Today is just not your day, slow down a bit”. Everyone has these thoughts, even elite athletes. When you can push through and not give into these thoughts, that is when breakthroughs happen.

To combat this voice, you need to be present and focus on the now. The mind may trick you into thinking you can’t run another mile, but it’s hard to convince you can’t run two more lamp posts. Focus on what you can do right at this moment to push you toward your goal. Accept the situation, adapt, and overcome. 

  • Focus on breathing and relaxing into the effort
  • Break the race up into small pieces – Run to the next lamp pole, Swim another 20 strokes.
  • Have a mantra – My mantra is “Relentless Forward Progress”
  • Be optimistic that things can get better. Example: You stomach may become upset during a long race. Know that it may hurt now, but with some additional nutrition and time, it can come back around.

Find Your Happy Place 

To pull yourself out a funk during your race, go to your happy place. I know this sounds a bit new age, but it works. When all of your focus is on the hurting, you need to shift your focus. Turning those negative thoughts, into a positive feeling is powerful. Those positive thoughts can get you into a rhythm and carry you through the difficult times in a race.

Try this: Force yourself to smile for the next two minutes. After the feeling silly for the first 30 secs, your mood will actually start to improve. You actions can impact your mood and attitude.

Here are some ways to find your happy place during a race:

  • Smile – It is also easier to breath while smiling
  • Encourage others – Your positive attitude will spread to others, and you will feel more positive in the process. Win-Win
  • Remove the word I can’t – Turn your mindset to thinking of what you can do , and not what you can’t
  • Think of the reasons why you are racing the event. Maybe you are racing in memory of a loved one, or to set an example for your kids. These powerful thoughts can push you through.
  • Absorb the energy of the race. Feel the energy from the crowd and other athletes. They are cheering for you because you are being awesome. They respect the training and effort your are putting forth. Soak it up.

I hope these suggestions help next time you are in the pain cave during a race. If you have any strategies that work for you, please share in the comments.

 
photo credit: bitzcelt via photopin cc

Racing Through Resistance – Finding a way to flow through

 

Moving your body through a triathlon is a practice of pushing through resistance. Friction, wind, and will are forcing you to expend energy. You have two choices, fight against the resistance or find a way to flow through. Finding your flow through the resistance is mostly a matter of mindset. How you react and adapt to the resistance determines your success.

 

Swim Resistance

The average human swimmer is 12% efficient when swimming. Your average dolphin is 80% efficient. The dolphin has evolved to flow through the water. To move effectively through water, you must concentrate on good form that minimizes drag. If you fight against the water the water will win.

Tips for flowing through water:

  • relax
  • Keep the body in a streamlined position
  • focus on gliding through the water
  • reduce any inefficient movement

Bike Resistance –

On the bike the wind is the major force of resistance. Pushing through the wind gets exponentially more difficult the faster you go. Flowing through the wind means reducing drag, and flowing through the air flow.

Tips for flowing through the wind:

  • use a set of aero wheels, energy savings of 5-8%
  • wear an aero helmet, energy savings 5%
  • a properly set up TT bike with aero bars can save 10-15% energy
  • Keep your knees tight to the top tube
  • in a stiff headwind maintain effort, don’t increase effort and burn yourself out

Wind can also play into mental resistance. A persistent headwind will wear you down. At times you are putting out a ton of effort, but making slow progress. In these times, you have to accept the headwind and flow through. If it is a race the wind is effecting everyone. Make yourself as small as possible, conserve your effort.

Run Resistance –

Running is essentially falling forward. You lean forward move your legs and you propel forward. Gravity is providing the greatest amount resistance, but also it is also moving you forward. Your job is find the flow, where you are using gravity to your avantage.

Tips for flowing though gravity on the run:

  • lean forward from the ankles
  • maintain good body position
  • take quick steps, to minimize contact with the ground
  • minimize up and down movement, concentrate on moving forward
  • breathe, relax, and don’t fight against your body

 

Life  –

Good things happen, Bad things happen. There is constant resistance trying to keep you from achieving your goals. The trick is to find a way to flow through the resistance. You can either fight against the resistance, or accept it and find a way to flow through. Be flexible, and adapt to the changes and situations. Things good and bad will happen, it how you react is what matters. If you are focused on your goals, you will find a way to flow through.

Sexy in Lycra & Other Added Benefits of Triathlon

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Triathlon is not just about getting exercise and and some fresh air. It goes much deeper than that. Sure training and racing will get you fit, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a list of the awesome side benefits of triathlon, you may not have realized.

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Awesome Tan – All of those training rides and runs basking in the sun will turn you into a bronze god. That is where you are not covered by your tri gear. Your tri shorts will provide cover for a distinct tan line between your pasty upper thighs, and then rest of your tan legs. Try varying your tri short length for the rainbow effect.

Comfortable in Lycra – You may be apprehensive, when first sporting your lycra training gear. You might try covering up with gym shorts, or bring extra clothes to a ride. This is short lived. Soon you will be rocking your lycra like your favorite pair of jeans. Lycra to the grocery store? Sure. After ride coffee shop? No problem. Church? Why not. Soon, you will wonder why everyone else doesn’t realize the comfort and awesomeness this magical textile.

Sexiness – All of this training and racing will have you tan and fit. You’ll be tight like a tiger, and ready to pounce. Well, you’ll be ready to pounce if it is before 8 pm, because you need to be in bed by 9 pm for a 5 am 4 hour ride in the morning. Maybe you want to wait until after the next big race,  so you don’t interfere with your recovery.

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New Set of Friends – Triathlon is a great community. During your journey of training and racing you will make some great friends, who share a similar passion for life. They will be slightly more type A than you, and be happy to train with you if it fits in their highly regimented plan. There’s nothing better than chatting on a long ride or run with a friend. At some point during that workout your friend with pick up the pace, ruining your LSD pace, and hammering you into a shell of yourself. Thanks friend.

 

Healthy Lifestyle – Racing tris will lead you to a healthier lifestyle. You will be getting regular exercise, and watching your diet. This will last until you decide who want to go faster. Then, you will up your training volume way too quickly, and eventually get injured. You may find yourself in the doctor’s office on a Monday with a searing pain in your foot. Here’s how the conversation will go:

Doc: “How did you even walk in here? Your foot is in bad shape”

You: “It only hurts when I run”

Doc: “Well the only cure for this is rest”

You: “That’s cool. I don’t have another hard run planned  for two days. Is that enough rest?”

Doc: Speechless -gives you a look of bewilderment and disappointment.

 

Triathlon Badge – You are taking on new challenges and setting big goals. You want to share your goals and achievements with others. Soon everyone will know you are a triathlete, because that is all you talk about.

IM Los Cabos http://www.ironmanloscabos.com/
IM Los Cabos
<www.ironmanloscabos.com>

Family Vacations – Triathlons are held all over the world, and in some pretty sweet locales. You want to bring the family along to support and cheer you on. They are excited because they get a free trip out of the deal. Then you wake them up at 4:30 am on race morning, and they have to deal with your anxious, cranky pre-race mood. The rest of the race they get to stand in the (heat/wind/freezing temps/bugs) on the side of the road, so they can cheer you on for :45 secs of a two hour race.

Invest in Yourself –  In life, the best investment you can make is in yourself. This is what you will tell yourself, when shelling out a two months salary on a new Tri bike. Now,you will just need to explain this logic to your significant other.

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Car Rear Bumper Hall of Fame – As you progress through longer distance races, you can add the distance stickers to your rear bumper. You might start with a 13.1, then a 26.2, maybe a 70.3, and a 140.6. Soon enough your rear bumper can be a hall of fame to your triathlon career. The soccer mom in the SUV behind you will be so impressed.

photo credit: dullhunk via photopin cc

photo credit: speedophotos via photopin cc

You Control the Effort, Not the Result

I was a reading the “War of Art” by Steven Pressfiled, and a phrase really stuck out to me. It was, “You only have a right to the work, not the results or benefits.” I think this nicely relates to training and racing as well. To me, this means you control the effort and process, and not the results. So, enjoy and take satisfaction in the process, as that is where the joy should come from. You never know when the race day conditions will suck, or you get sick two days before your A race. If you are doing what you are meant to do, the results will come.

Let me give a recent example from my life. Last week, I raced a marathon. My training for the race was the best quality training, I have done for a marathon. I will confident in a PR. At mile 16 of the race, my legs had a different plan, and I finished 10 minutes slower than expected. It was not my day.

When I crossed the finish line, I was disappointed. How could I have training so well, and fallen short of my goal? Then, I thought back to the quote above. Training and racing endurance sports is my passion. I would not take back all of the training run with friends, or long runs that leave me feeling invincible. I put full effort into my plan, and i just came up short on race day. This is my purpose, and is not defined by the result.

I am not saying not to set goals. Goals are very important. The best way to succeed is to set a big goal, and work a plan backward to achieve it. Along the process of achieving that goal, find enjoyment in the work. If you succeed or fall short on race day, know you put in a full effort.

This is not an excuse either. If you didn’t put in a full effort you will know. That’s OK. Find out what resistance kept you from putting in your full effort, and overcome it next time. Rationalizing a bad performance with excuses is not acceptable.

What are your thoughts on this topic? How are you living your purpose, and enjoying the process?