I have done it again. Registered for another 70.3 Ironman race in September on the beautiful Sunshine coast. Cairns and Huskisson were so fun I thought I might give it another crack for a couple of reasons following:
1. The big fat hairy bodacious goal.
Lets face it, a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km half marathon is not really something you can show up on the day and wing it. You need to train. You need to set your sights on finishing well and perhaps even work out a goal time. Then you need to get the work done. You need to put your head down, bum up so to speak and just get to it.
2. Gives training a purpose.
I like to train for the sake of training and am the sicko that organises a run with my mates on my birthday over breakfast, well maybe before..! Either way I love to train. But when it gets cold, after an illness, after cortisone injections in your heels and lots of time lying on your butt well lets just say one loses a bit of motivation and inspiration. Training for a race gives your training a purpose.
Getting out of bed at 5am when its 7 degrees outside is more achievable. Moving those tired and protesting legs on the bike after a long run yesterday becomes more do-able. It changes your mind set on the swim on the mercy dash from your strip off to the pool through the through the bitter winter air. Knowing what you have to get done and doing it makes the work much more enjoyable.
3. You get to tick some serious shit off your list.
If you are a list maker, and best of all a item ticker, this kind of training is for you. Get a program done, lay it all out and just follow said program. Easy peasy. Then best of all you can tick them off as you go, feels kind of great and leads to the next point.
4. Great fun for number crunchers.
Count the hours, count the kilometres, track your progress, spend as much or as little time as you like perusing your stats on Garmin connect or other similar tracking programs in awe of well, your awesomeness!
5. The coffee after
I will admit I have been guilty of letting my mind wander off dreaming about and lusting for the post ride coffee on a couple of long hard rides early in the morning. I like my coffee but there is something extra special about it after a long hard ride. You can pay out on Mamils as much as you like, but I get it.
6. The athlete nap*.
If you are lucky enough to have a supportive husband and understanding kids like I do, you get to have the well-earned athletes nap on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon after your long ride or run. I think this is what makes it a fairly selfish sport and less family friendly than some sports because not only am I gone half the morning (or all of it) but then soon after finally getting home I pass out upstairs and leave them all to it again.
A nap without the work is a nanna nap and arguably suitable grounds for divorce. 😉
*Athlete naps are so called if you have trained hard in the morning and earnt that rest.
7. Don’t drink as much.
After Cairns 70.3 I took a break from triathlon and spent time catching up with work, friends and family and getting pretty piss fit. Everything was cause for celebration and a glass of something. Great fun, but have put on a bit of weight which is not comfortable on my runs (or my rides!).
Now in week two of training and by the end of the day I find I just don’t crave that glass of wine like I did. If I’m honest all I really want to do is hit the sack by about 8/8.30 so a glass of anything is not really on the agenda.
Also knowing I have to get up at 5 I really don’t want to risk feeling seedy from a drink. I’m feeling better and like I have lost a bit of weight, which will be more ideal for race day. So I would call this a win-win for now.
If you have never done a triathlon before I recommend to, its good fun and a very inclusive and supportive sport. For all the reasons above is also great for training and personal achievements.