Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Things I love about tri: The Race

The Race


One of the biggest issues I had for about 20 years of trying to lose weight and get fit was a total lack of focus.  I could diet, I could work out and these might even work ok for a while but ultimately I was still just a fat bastard on a diet or working out and sooner or later the focus would slip, the diet would become lax, the workouts become less frequent and I would revert to being just a fat bastard again.

Triathlon has changed that by giving me a focus and an identity courtesy of a simple little thing. “The Race”.

Without “The Race” I’m just going for a run, a swim or a ride.  It doesn’t matter if this is long or short, fast or slow, on the hills or on the flat. Ultimately, it doesn’t even really matter if I even do this run, this ride or this swim.  

“The Race” changes everything.   Suddenly it matters a lot whether I run, ride or swim.  It’s really important that I do the session as planned and if I don’t there will be consequences (see my Roth race report for what they might be).  “The Race” gives me focus.

Perhaps even more interesting, ‘The Race’ begins to define me, it gives me a healthy identity.  I’m not just a guy going for a run, a swim or a ride – ‘The Race’ makes me a triathlete.  That identity is important, it means that watching what I eat, or making sure I exercise isn’t an optional extra, it’s a core part of me.  It means that the work isn’t a temporary burden, it’s an expression of who I am.  The reason this has worked for me while dozens of diets and work out plans didn’t is because I recognized “I” had to change.  That who I was could not be happy.  (PS, this has some really interesting implications for the whole body positivist crowd – as a former fattie they really annoy me).   “The Race” is a powerful tool for forging and maintaining that identity.

Which brings me to the race plan.  For “The Race” to be effective there must be actual races on the horizon otherwise all its power just bleeds away.  Therefore I need a race plan.  

Rather than secret it away, I figured that like my training diary, I may as well share it and use it as a conversation piece and sort of clearing house.  So, I haven’t included my 2015/16 race plan in this post.  Instead its got its own page so you can following this link here or select it from “My Pages” up there on the right hand side of this blog.

In short the plan is this.
  • Ballarat 70.3 A bit of a warm-up, set a standard for the rest of the season etc
  • Do the active tri sprint series in Melbourne.
  • Not doing the Gatorades - not because I dont like them, they are great, rather lots and lots of mates do these races and I want to photograph them and I cant do that if Im racing.
  • Geelong 70.3 End of the season and an A race - aiming for sub 5 hours.
  • IM Austria in June - set a goal after Geelong but looking to PB as a minimum.