As an endurance coach, I develop a great long term relationship with many athletes. The athletes I see are of all ages and from all different backgrounds. Some have a background in running or triathlons and some have never played a sport in their life. It is fun, interesting, and an experience!
Here is one question that I think many of my athletes and athletes in general might ask? How do I keep my mojo going for a long time? Mojo would be defined as energy, excitement, dedication, endurance, devotion to the training plan……you get the point.
How do we keep racing hard, and working out hard, and suffering during workouts week after week….month after month…year after year. What is the end goal?
I think training is like a relationship. When you start it, your are infatuated. All you want to do is train and get in shape. You are hooked. Then you begin to argue …..then we’re not talking to each other for a few hours …..then we make up and have…. well ya know…..it is all very similar. But when you think of training, the first year you might get personal bests every race. You might have amazing workouts where you are always improving. You begin to set a higher bar for yourself and become more experienced. Then year two or three comes along…..you begin comparing workouts with the last year…..uh oh…I did better last year in this workout….or I remember this workout this one hurt….oh boy I am nervous. Or when you first started you were getting personal bests by minutes and now it is only seconds.
All of this is preparing yourself to get to the next level. Training is not always fun. It is a grind. Sometimes you have weeks that you just have to throw out , forget about and move on. You are only human. It is normal to have days or weeks like this as long as you learn how to snap out of it and change your thinking. Your body needs seasons and planned breaks so that you can keep that spark. Pick times of the year where you know you enjoy training. Mine is fall through spring. I LOVE RUNNING in the fall, winter and spring, I have my best workouts and races. The summer is my time to do what I want and train how I feel. It is base training time keeping my body in shape so when I am itching to go hard in the fall and winter, I have that base. A triathlete might be the opposite where fall and winter are their off time because it is colder.
As long as you remember that you will have days where training is a struggle, but you can push through it. You will have days where motivation is distant but when you find ways to get motivated you will be proud of yourself. You won’t always want to workout but find a friend or a group to help you and your day will end with smiles and laughter. You will get a Personal Best again but it will take that same dedication and excitement that you had when you first started training and probably some extra drive to work harder. Set your self up for success….you can do it and you can be consistent. Find balance in your life and set new goals! All of this above relates to life so much. I believe that if you can push through it in training, then when life gets tough you learn how to handle it.
We call it endurance for a reason: the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. Don’t give way, give more!