Into the great unknown
Into the great unknown
As far is I can tell this triathlon business is 90% in the head. I'm really good at some bits, not so good at others, and mostly it's a great ever unknown. This is my experience of managing mind, and body, to be the best triathlete I can be.

Happy AND fast?

ritatrisby ritatrisJul 3rd 2013
This season is turning out to be quite different to the last. In a way I feel a bit daft for being surprised, but I didn¬'t see it coming.

So it turns out that at some point in the last 6 months I seem to have got relatively happy and well balanced. Neatly sidestepping a TriBlogs therapy session, this is relevant because it turns out that being not very happy or well balanced was a large part of the motivation behind my training and racing.

So I¬'ve been left with the huge question of why?

And it turns out I actually quite like running, cycling, and even maybe swimming. I¬'ve recently been having a go at running intervals round Queens Square in my lunch break, to the tune of encouragement from the builders, foreign language students and folks enjoying 2ltrs of cider of an afternoon. And enjoying working really hard at that too. And I¬'ve had some help with the swimming from John ¬'Mr-First-Out-Of-The-Water-Practically-Everywhere¬' Wood at TriCoaching which has helped me chill out a bit on the frustration levels, and as a welcome by product took 2 minutes off my 750m race time in three weeks.

So I¬'ve been progressing nicely, taken 5 minutes off my sprint time on the same course from last year, improved times on all three disciplines, and am enjoying it whilst feeling very little pressure to drive myself to the limit over self imposed goals designed to never be achievable.

So why the continuing sense of ambivalence about this?

There¬'s the nagging sense that I could be doing even ¬'better¬' if I was still killing myself over every training session and race. The thought that is it possible to be happy AND fast? I know my push-to-the-limit mentality saw me through the big improvements in my triathlon last year, and running before that. I feel like it was my biggest asset. So will my new disinclination to push past 97% see a drop off in improvement? And ultimately, which is more important ¬- being fast, or being happy?

Well for now I¬'ll have a crack at both. The next two races are on courses I raced last year, so we¬'ll see how it goes..
sarahleonardby member: sarahleonard, Jul 3rd 2013 14:38
I guess it depends if pushing hard continually = stress which is detrimental to performance in the long run. I'd go for happy (and in the longer term probably faster!).
twiggyby member: twiggy, Jul 4th 2013 16:40
Happy = Fast and Fast = Happy. Its a never ending circle of speed and joy :)
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