What workout do I embrace today? Choosing my workouts has suddenly become more challenging now that triathlons are on my horizon. Juggling three sports creates new dilemmas for me and I have had to think about and discuss the best plan of action for my workouts. I do have a strategy now, for the next few months at least…I will fill you in, but first, I want to share the elements that I think are important for everyone to consider when deciding how to set up their workout schedules and know exactly what to focus on.
- Be Purposeful: Make a conscious decision about what you will focus on, rather than letting life or other people decide for you. Without being purposeful, distractions, random events, and lack of motivation will keep you from achieving your goals.
- Listen to your Heart: What do you love to do? What activities do you enjoy most? When do you feel most energized? If outdoor adventure is your passion, look into trail running, hiking or mountain biking. If competition motivates you, you definitely need to be training for a race and striving for a time goal. Maybe you need the flow of yoga in your life. Find what you love and then commit to doing it. Even the activities you love will be difficult to do some days…you will still need commitment!
- Choose a Goal: Find a focus of what you want to accomplish: This could be weight loss, completing a specific race (i.e. marathon), achieving a personal time goal – a PB, reducing stress through exercise, learning a new sport (try squash, rock climbing), finding new adventures.
- Take Inventory of your Resources: It is essential to determine how much time you have available to exercise and what resources you have available to invest into your chosen sport. If you are not realistic, you are likely to fail and be disappointed.
- Determine Where you Have Support: A training group is huge in making training fun and keeping you consistent in your training. Look at your support networks. Also communicate with your family and share your goals to ensure that they are supportive. The best-case scenario is that your community will cheer you on and assist you in achieving your goals, rather than tearing you down.
For the next few months my focus will be on building up my running mileage to be ready for the Boston Marathon. I have several races planned that are meant to assist me in getting my long distance speed and endurance ready for the marathon. My secondary focus is on getting fitter in swimming. I am working on my swimming form – my kick is strong, but I am weaker in the pull and have some specific areas to work on. I will focus on these two sports and save the cycling until the spring, after Boston is done. I was feeling rather stressed out about fitting all my workouts into my life, realizing that right now, I simply do not have time for cycling and in fact, at this point it is not that important. My limits are largely with my time; I work full time and want to keep family first. When I start adding too much, it cuts into my valuable sleep time, my body gets run down, and illness begins to make its rounds. It is liberating to me to focus, streamline and give my best in the areas that I am concentrating on. I am loving my runs and swims!