So the 2 questions I most frequently get when I tell people that I am training for a triathlon are 1) Why? and 2) How do you do it??

So yeah, it’s definitely tough. My first Tri is 3 months out and I have been following a 16 week training plan which means that I have been fully immersed in tri-training for a month already. Not to mention the “base training” I’ve been doing since the New Year. Training for 3 different sports as well as strength training takes up a lot of time and on top of working a 40+ hour work week there is no way to avoid 2-a-days. I typically do them 3-4 times a week and I’m not going to lie, a lot of times it is brutal. Like yesterday I swam a mile over my lunch break and then biked for an hour after work. Today I did my lifting routine for an hour before work and ran 7 miles (1:08=9:42 ave) after work. This is obviously draining both mentally and physically but honestly sometimes I think the worst part is having to shower twice a day! Brutal.

So how do I do it? Well here are some tips:

1) Just take it one step at a time. I try really hard to just focus on what I am doing and not think about what I did earlier in the day or what I still have to do later on. This way I try to focus all my energy and attention on the task at hand. Obviously this doesn’t always work…like tonight when I was running along at a snails pace and literally almost faceplanted when I tripped over my own feet and thought “well yeah, probs cause you lifted like a bajillion lbs this morning…” As much as I can though, I just try to live in the moment. Also, I remind myself that as hard as it is now its going to be oh so much harder on race day when I have to do all 3 sports back to back, so I should enjoy this while I can.

2) Think of it as training. This is completely a mental trick but when I think “I have to exercise or workout twice today” it is much more demoralizing than if I say “I have to train twice today.” By thinking about it as training instead of just exercise, I can focus more on the big picture. Like if I skip a workout, whatever, but if I skip a training session, crap…I need that to make me stronger for the race. Does that make sense? Probably not, my mind is a scary place.

3) Think about how good you will feel when it’s done.

4) Recover after each workout. I’ve learned the hard way how important it is to streeeeetch ASAP after a workout. Whey protein powder has become my best friend.

5) Motivational quotes. I just love them so much. Here’s a good one: “Whenever you have a bump in the road, whether it’s two weeks or two years, there are so many naysayers. Let it fuel you. Don’t take it personally. Go out and prove them wrong.” I also like this one: “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”

6) Write out a training schedule. I do this and then mark down my average and max HR after each workout so I can use that for analysis. When I skip a workout I have to cross it out. Being the Type-A, OCD person that I am it kills me to see things crossed out on my calendar like that so it’s usually just worth it to do the workout for my sanity.

7) Remember old races. Tonight I was really not feeling my run even though I knew I had to do it. So I put on my shirt from the Marshall Mangler race to remind me of just how tough I am. If I can run 5 miles through the woods with my leg bleeding, I can do anything. In case you hadn’t heard that story…I fell and this happened:

Not to be confused with this:

which happened a few weeks ago when I couldn’t unclip from this:

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”- Confucius.

Well said Confucius, well said.