-Triathlon Has Taught Me…-
Triathlon has taught me many things…already…even though i’m a neophyte to the sport, i’ve learned so much!
What I want to talk about right now is the fact that triathlon has taught me how to pace myself.
The concept of pacing oneself is not only important in the sport of triathlon, but in the sport of life as well.
Looking back on my life, there are numerous instances where it’s blatantly obvious that I had no ability to pace myself. I have always been such a “go go go” type person, and although I can be patient, I tend to either be going 100 miles an hour or idling. There hasn’t always been a moderate speed. 🙂
When I embarked on training for my first race, I learned very quickly that I must slow down a bit in order to progress. Take for example the fact that during one of my first training runs, my heart rate was roughly 180 and I was miserable the entire three or four miles! Yes, it was hot and muggy that day (go figure, typical summer day in Louisiana), but I simply wasn’t used to easing up. I have always just gone out and ran without knowing exactly how fast I should go. Obviously, the feeling of your heart wanting to burst isn’t what you want during easy training runs!
You see, when you have no concept of being able to pace yourself during workouts, you’re gonna burn out…fast. The same thing applies to life. You simply cannot go 100 miles an hour ALL the time. There has to be balance.
The same thing applies to relationships. Think about it…what happens to most people who meet someone and their relationship instantly goes from strangers to couple without a “dating period?” It’s not the wisest way to do things. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but in most cases, if people don’t take the time to get to know one another, and pace themselves, things fizzle out as fast as they started.
Again, there MUST be balance!
The sport of triathlon has taught me this. Working to promote balance in my life will forever be a challenge, as i’m extremely passionate about my profession and that tends to take over most of my days. Balance is healthy. Extremes are not.
As I progressed in my training program, things began to fall into place. I began to realize that both my resting heart rate and training heart rate were improving. I also began to notice that it required less effort to do workouts that were previously a challenge. My race pace in the run improved substantially, and I FINALLY discovered that “Zen-like” feeling many runners describe. Before this, I had no clue. It’s all about rhythm, balance, and pacing oneself.
It’s also about being in the moment.
All of these things are tied together. You cannot be in the moment if you aren’t able to pace yourself. Again, it’s not always been easy for me to slow down and relax. Through training for my first race, I have come to value “rest days” tremendously…not just because my body needed them, but because my mind needed the break as well.
I can honestly say that for the most of my journey leading up to The Austin Triathlon, I felt I was at 100%! The week before my taper week, I began to notice that overtraining was rearing it’s ugly head, so I made the decision to back off a bit and omitted the final three crazy-insane workouts from my schedule. I’m glad I did. I listened to my body. It was more my mind than anything. My body felt great but it was wreaking havoc on my mental/emotional health. This required me to slow down a bit. Learning to listen to one’s internal cues is a blessing!