This weekend I had a chance to reflect on the race training I have been doing in Atlanta. My running and swimming efforts have been more effortless than anything and I have found myself sitting on the couch watching The Biggest Loser with my wife rather than lacing up the running shoes or hitting the pool for the training sessions I know my race schedule AND my sanity needs. The picture shows the Groom wearing a pair of cycling socks as his dress socks for the wedding. All the groomsmen were wearing cycling socks as well. Motivation, here we come...
The reflection came as I visited Houston, TX to watch my good friend and racing buddy get married. I hadn't seen him in a while and these days he has his own bike shop and racing team "Shama Cycles". These guys are serious about what they do, and recently they have been sweeping podium finishes around Texas.
Just hanging out with these people can make you feel like a slacker so I came up with 5 things that I think will motivate me to get off the couch and stop being such a loser. You might find these useful too if you find yourself sucking.
1) Visit a place where you were once motivated. This could be a city, state, race venue, or even gym where you pushed yourself once or multiple times to the limits. By being in this place, you will be reminded that at one point in time, you did not suck, you were not a slacker, and you dominated someone else or the clock depending on who you are and why you race.
2) Surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to do. By doing this, you will feel like you are a slacker and that will motivate you to get off the couch and go do something with yourself before your training and racing friends make new training and racing friends.
3) Tell people about the races you have scheduled on your calendar. This is a good way to keep yourself accountable. When people ask you how your training is coming along you will either be able to say "I suck and haven't been training" or "I am ready for race day."
4)Look yourself in the mirror and call yourself a Runner, Swimmer, Triathlete, or whatever you are supposed to be. It is easy to lie, and it is easy to tell people that you are awesome and train 2 times a day 5 days a week, but you can't lie to yourself. Look in the mirror and call yourself a triathlete when you haven't been training in 2 months and the next thing out of your mouth will be, "I suck."
5)Write a blog about running. This is always a great way to stay motivated about running. Even when you aren't running, you can still write about running. You can also tell your friends how much you a slacker because you don't run. Again, this is a good public forum for you to put yourself out there and tell the world why you have been awesome and training like a machine, or why you suck and have been wasting perfectly good training time by eating Girl Scout Cookies on the couch while watching The Biggest Loser.
So, having exposed myself to this type of elite athlete element, I was able to kick start my motivation engine into overdrive. My training and racing motivational emotions where on a roller coaster the entire weekend. When I got into town wanted to wake up the next morning and power through an 85 mile bike ride even though I heard people were blowing up the entire way. I wanted to wake up with Trent to do a 3 hour run the day of the wedding even though I knew that would likely prevent me from being able to stand as one of the groomsmen.
It is amazing what being around people who are hyper aggressive about the way they train and race, but it is a great way to keep yourself in check and to quit being such a slacker.