Three Lessons From My Race That Can Help You
Last weekend, I completed my first 70.3 Half Ironman – a triathlon that incorporates a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile half-marathon run. In my case, the run was actually more of a walk, but the day served as milestone in my training, and it was the first time I’ve completed a triathlon at these distances.
The race took me 7.5 hours, and needless to say, there’s plenty of time to think and many lessons to be learned from participating in such an event. Here are a few things that I learned that also apply to you and your goals, whether they have to do with fitness, nutrition, or life in general.
- Small steps add up. When I started on my run, it was easy for me to look at the 13.1 miles as such a long distance! Instead, I tried to break it up into smaller, more manageable parts. I broke it down into single miles, and then quarter mile parts in order to get through it. This made the mental challenge much more manageable and kept my mind focused on completing the very small goals that I had set for myself.
- With consistency and motivation, you can achieve your goals. I created a training plan that I started (with 2 other friends) 5 months ago. We stayed focused, concentrated on one week at a time, and didn’t stress over an occasional missed workout. Over the course of our training, we logged a lot of miles on the road and many hours in the water. This weekend, we all reaped the benefits of staying consistent with training.
- It helps to have a support team. Accomplishing this goal was definitely a group effort. My “battle buddies” and I all followed the plan, even though we seldom worked out together. We kept each other motivated, shared things we had learned, celebrated our successes, and encouraged each other during our failures. My wife and family supported me throughout my training and during the race. Having others hold me accountable and having a strong family support system made it possible for me to reach this goal.
We all have goals in life, whether health-related or not. In order to realize these goals, it’s important to break them up into smaller, more manageable parts. Stay consistent and focused on your task, and surround yourself with others who believe in you and will support you. Your goal doesn’t have to be an Ironman race, but whatever it is, applying these principles is sure to help!