It’s very common to get discouraged or lose motivation when training for a triathlon… especially if it’s your first triathlon. It’s also common for friends and family to underestimate the power of their support and encouragement during your training. And it’s even more common for beginner triathletes to wish that someone would encourage or motivate them on a regular basis.
So next time you need an extra push, a word of encouragement or you just want to hear that someone believes in you, don’t wait around for it… ask for it.
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Davey and I like to train for triathlons together. Sometimes we do the same workout. Other times we go to the gym together but go off and do our own thing. I can hold my own and pretty much keep up with Davey when we bike. When we swim–well, it doesn’t matter who can keep up with who because we’re staggered in the lap lane anyway. But on the days we run, I need extra encouragement.
Davey is an awesome runner. He makes it look so easy. I, on the other hand, have a love/hate relationship with running… 1% love and 99% hate. I’m also SLOW. So when we run together, I get discouraged very easily. I also used to get REALLY angry.
Picture this: We start out running at the same pace which is usually a sprint for me, jog for Davey. At about 2 minutes in and I feel like I want to turn around and run home. I start to slow down. Davey slows down with me, but I feel bad that he’s practically walking so I tell him to just keep going.
He does some interval sprints and runs with me every now and then. As he’s sprinting ahead of me, I start to get angry. I think, “He knows how much I hate running… why doesn’t he encourage me? Why isn’t he telling me to keep going or that I can do it?”
Well, it didn’t take long for me to realize that he can’t read my mind. And while Davey does cheer me on during our runs, I sometimes need him to tell me I can do it quite often… like every few minutes.
So, I now ask Davey (all the time) to “Tell me I can do it”.
You may think that it doesn’t mean as much or that it won’t inspire me to keep going since I had to ask for encouragement, but honestly, you’d be surprised how much it helps.
I can believe in myself and tell myself that “I can do it” over and over, but there’s something magical when someone else tells you that you can do it. Even if you have to ask them to tell you.
Another magical thing also happens when you ask for encouragement. You’ll find that you have to ask for it less and less because they’ll catch on and start telling how awesome you are doing without even being asked!
So don’t be afraid to ask for encouragement… you might be surprised just how much it can help you push through and swim, bike or run that extra mile!