People often talk about wanting to race then they say, But I don’t have time. But I don’t have support. But I don’t like to run. But, but, but … The one thing they don’t realize is that their “but” is literally keeping them on their butt.
Been there done that. Thousands of “buts” kept me on the couch before my first race. Now, after finishing a few Ironman’s, I say GET OFF YOUR BUTT. Being athletic feels great. You make healthy friends. Your confidence gets stronger. You can renew energy. What’s not to love!
Here’s the challenge … the unknown. Forget that. Start with an easy 5k race. To get started here are my top 5 training tips – which should empower the new-found athlete to put on their running shoes and get out the door. Let’s get moving.
Create two goals.
The big goal (crossing the finish line) and small goals (training details). Love is in the details, and those details will get you to the finish line. Every day visualize crossing the finish line then strengthen that goal by physically training.
If you want to race a triathlon read Gale Bernhardt’s Training Plans for Multisport Athletes. If you’re 50+ and want to ride, read Joe Friel’s Fast After 50. If you want to run a 5k, check out my 5k Training Plan.
Stay motivated by being held accountable, especially by friends who know what it takes to train and race. If you don’t have friends that race then make some. Join a tri club, a running club, or masters swimming club. Then train with your new found friends who will hold you accountable. They can be your #1 resource for tips, tricks, and support.
Be kind to yourself.
Eat healthy; food is fuel. Hydrate; your body is 60-70% water. Sleep, sleep, sleep; your body and mind need rest.
I started my first ocean swim race expecting to win. Within :10 of the mass swim start I had an anxiety attack (a first for my ego driven mind). Within :30 I fought with other athletes who hit, kicked, and swam over me to get past the waves. Within 1-minute I prayed for help. My expectations were unrealistic. They were guided by ego instead of experience. Learn from my mistake. Instead here are a three realistic expectations for your first race:
- Discipline your body to finish within your allocated time.
- Stay out of the medical tent by being aware, proactive, and effective.
- Discipline your mind to have fun.
Always tri. Never stop.
(Featured image: PublicDomainPictures)