We are living in uncharted waters. As a country, as a world, we are learning to live in a place where changes come in crashing waves.
As a triathlon community, we are being confronted with race cancelations and postponements. Our training has been disrupted. Gyms are closed, and access to pools is limited or non-existent.
It can feel challenging to get up day after day and log the miles that our training plan calls for. We might find ourselves asking whether we really want to go for a 3-hour bike ride. Does the long ride or long run really matter if our race has a new date or in jeopardy of being canceled? The triathlon motivation we once had seems to have disappeared.
But while we look at the rough seas we are navigating, we can choose to abandon our training. Or, you can see it as an opportunity to have the best outcome possible when the waters calm.
“Of course, the racing schedule is in constant flux right now, and I don’t know when I will toe the line again this season. But I have no excuses to get in some work and continue the process of being the best I can every day within this new dynamic,” says Ben Hoffman, a professional triathlete and brand ambassador for Master Spas.
And, if we take Hoffman’s advice, we can be better equipped to take on the transition and enter the race season strong — mentally and physically.
Whether you are a seasoned triathlete, new to the sport, or simply trying to maintain a regular exercise routine, you can maintain your triathlon motivation.
Tips to Help Triathletes Stay Motivated
Training partners can be a key to our success. They support us, push us, and challenge us. We might have a friend who is always up to meet us at 5 am for a 6-mile run or the group who loves to explore hilly bike routes.
One of the challenging aspects for athletes (and most others) might be the social distancing. You had to cancel group rides and runs, and it can be difficult to get in those early morning runs solo.
But you can still stay connected to your local training group and the greater triathlon community while social distancing.
Subscribe to the YouTube Channel Triathlon Taren (a Master Spas brand ambassador!) and catch up on his triathlon videos. Join runs and rides on Zwift. Set a virtual training session with your friends, agreeing to run or bike at the same time but solo.
You can even schedule your own triathlon relay with a group of friends.
For the relay, divide the disciplines and distances among your training group. Swimmers can go for time in a swim spa by Master Spas, while others take on the bike and run. The adjustable current mimics open water conditions. And with temperature controls, you don’t have to worry about shimmying into your wet suit.
A backyard pool alternative, you can use a swim spa by Master Spas year-round to complement your training and recovery. But during this time, it can take out the frustration of not being able to train the way you would like.
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Whether you take a step back from training or continue full steam ahead, it’s important to remember the “why.” Keep in mind why you started the sport and what feeds your triathlon motivation. Thing about why you continue to do it, and why you want triathlon to be a part of your life.
For professional triathlete Ben Hoffman, moving is his job. “We have to keep some kind of schedule even when the pools are closed, and we are avoiding the group rides for the greater good.”
Hoffman, who trains in Tucson, is fortunate to have a well-rounded training setup. In his garage, there is a Wahoo setup, treadmill, and weightlifting equipment.
The H2X Challenger series from Master Spas has an innovative airless jet system that allows users to swim in place. The continuous water current is ideal for competitive triathletes, like Hoffman, as well as novice swimmers. Triathletes can enjoy a continuous swimming experience and the ability to control the speed of the water current.
“I continue to wake up each day, prioritize my list of actionable items, and execute,” he says.
“Change is always a new stimulus that we have to adapt to, so don’t add even more stress by meditating on the negative and imagining the worst-case scenario,” Hoffman says.
The fourth-place finisher at the 2019 IRONMAN World Championships says he is working with his coach to modify workouts as necessary.
It’s important to get creative and stoke your triathlon motivation so long as it doesn’t add any pressure.
“Stay relaxed and positive, as much possible,” Hoffman says. “Prioritize opportunities to relax and mentally unwind, whether it is a meditation session, stretching, or a dip in the swim spa with family.”