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Swim Strength vs Technique

What motivates you and why?

AdWattsby AdWattsFeb 27th 2014
I often wonder what people’s motivation for entering events are. Myself, I have always liked to be able to say I have achieved something or that im aiming towards a specific goal. But the more I think about it, it’s much, much deeper than that.
For me, my ‘career’ in endurance events / races started as an 18 year old doing the London Marathon raising money in memory of a close friend who died of a heart defect at the age of 15. So here my main motivation was to raise money and awareness for a great charity and cause, the run was purely the vehicle to do it. In that year I entered smaller races as preparation for the LM, so for these again my motivation was based around the memory of a friend. So within this, there is the pressure to ‘not let anyone down’ especially family and friends who was putting faith and support into â€" I mean, how the hell would I feel it I raised loads of money but didn’t finish the race!! So from this I was an ‘accidental endurance participant’.
The next 10 years of my sporting life was dominated by playing Rugby, as you can imagine the training for running full steam into 18stone blokes is slightly different from that of running a marathon or taking part in a sportive. But there is another type of motivation, to not let your team mates down. This can be a pretty powerful drive, the desire to get up off the floor to make a last ditch tackle on the rugby field, or to push your limits on your leg of a relay triathlon.
For some people, the desire to be the best at all cost is the main driver! (having just finished ready James Cracknell’s autobiography, he was obviously driven to be the not only the best he could be, but be better than anyone else!) Then there is the rivalry of a friend or competitor, if there’s someone out there who is slightly better than you, whether a team / training mate or a fellow competitor, is your goal to finish ahead of them? Or to get a PB? Qualify for Kona? Or is it simply a way of simply keeping fit and healthy? The list is potentially endless.

As triathlons and endurance racing is by nature, individual, so too is the motivation.

I for one, like the idea of taking on tough races and testing myself and overcoming weaknesses and proving people wrong that say i cant do something (see my earlier post on my lack of swimming talent), my training partner on the other hand, (somewhat frustratingly) is only interested in racing in ‘scenic’ or ‘culturally interesting’ places… so for me it’s the race, for him the place! Although I would find it to drag myself through the dark parts of races because there’s a nice view, or the fact you can see nice flora â€" that’s not what motivates me.

Again, as an individual sport, you need to find your own individual motivation. What makes you tick, what is it that keeps you focused and how do you channel it? does you motivation work against you? I know for me, while doing the UK Ironman last year, (again in memory of my friend) the isolation of the bike worked against me as well as for me! I know now that my emotions dictated my output, which dropped significantly in the middle of the bike leg, but was also what kept me going when the going got tough!

The truth is, whether having a burning desire to be able to say you are an Ironman, or an MdS finisher or a sub 3 hour marathon runner is great if that is what pushes you to succeed. Likewise if you are competing for a team or a cause, or even just for fun. The trick is to establish what it is that pushes you on, and to use this to your advantage!

Your mind is just as important as your body, and I believe you should train this just as much â€" you never know there might be a dark place in a race that you need your mind to overcome the matter!
Swim technique vs Power
AdWattsby AdWatts Feb 25th 2014
As a 'non swimmer' (in that i never swan any higher at school than as a back up for the house, i.e not even in the top 4 boys out of the 26 in my house for my year group) my technique has always been at best chaotic! As i spent alot of my youth Rock...
 
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