Are you doing back-to-back Triathlon Training but getting frustrated with how slow the improvements are?
I am speaking to all the athletes who train harder than most, yet achieve minimal results. I know how frustrating it feels. Before having a coach, I used to race every single weekend. I’d go to work every day, then train every night and repeat. I did this because I wanted to see faster results. I felt motivated to train because I had races almost every weekend. I would train day in and day out back to back in order to get better and faster. When I thought about the idea of resting, I would easily dismiss it because if I took time off, I wouldn't be able to train for the next race. I thought I was doing the right thing. The best thing! Today, I see many athletes, especially beginners, thinking the same way, which can result in some really horrible consequences.
Consequences of training without rest
What is going to happen if you don’t allow for sufficient rest and recovery time? Most likely, you will end up experiencing one or more of the following:
Putting in junk training (low quality training with no results)
Not being motivated to train, having to drag yourself to do it every time
Failure to push yourself as hard as you should
Slow paced training
The game changer
When I finally had the chance to reflect, I was literally astonished to make a game changing discovery about the way I train. The very thing I believed was helping me progress was the thing sabotaging my results. Ironic? Maybe so, but the good news is, you don't have to continue to make the mistake I made.
The key to a successful training is not in the volume or intensity. While it’s important to train hard, it’s equally as important to rest and let your body recover.
Now, let's go back to how I discovered this.
Why do you train? What is your motivation?
Back when I started, my main motivation was simply to finish the race. After finishing many races, I thought about making more progress. I wanted to go faster. But putting in more training didn't seem to be working. I kept failing my targets even though I was putting in tons more effort. I thought about what else I could try and finally decided to give a coach a try.
I was not prepared for what was to come. I was blown away by the results. For one, I realized that training is not always about hard work. It has to do with strategy, checks and balances. Now I feel excited to train every single time because I’m achieving the results that I could only dream of, faster than I thought possible. I don’t have to drag my feet to train. I’m really into it!
Another thing I really like is that I don’t feel alone in reaching my goal. The presence of another person helped a lot in making sure I stay on track. I was able to get into much better shape because I learned to listen to my body as opposed to doing things randomly on my own terms.
By focusing on key areas of improvement, I became successful and eventually became the Guinness World Record Holder in 2015 as the Fastest Female to complete 5 Ironman in 5 consecutive days, (comprising of 12 mi swim, 560 mi bike, 131 mi run). You may read more about that experience here. Want to know how I did it? Below are some tips.
Training tips for putting in high quality work
Train your mind - stop thinking about the training for a minute. According to Raihan Hadi, a managing director, “A restless mind can take you places, but a well-rested mind takes you where you want to go.” Your mind is the source of your motivation and your ability to reach your goal. If you want to take it to another level, actually put in time to train your mind, just like you put in the time to train your body.
Have a solid training plan – Remember, you don’t want to JUST finish the race. You want to finish STRONG and FAST. If you don't know how to do that yet, you need to have a plan from someone who does know how to do that. You want to make sure that your training is very SPECIFIC and it’s executed with HIGH QUALITY.
Pamper yourself – Complete relaxation involves pampering yourself a little bit. Don’t let people make you feel guilty about treating yourself to a deep tissue massage after training. It will help speed up your recovery. Also remember, whatever helps in relaxing your body also relaxes the mind.
Recovery routine – Listen to your body and pay attention to your muscles. Which areas are tight? Put in at least 15 minutes in stretching and digging into the tight areas to release them so you can execute another high quality workout next day.
Quality Sleep– This is the final touch to a well-rested MIND and BODY. The quality of your sleep determines how well you recover. Your sleep helps in physiological adaptation. The adaptation only happens when you let your body rest after hard training. With it, you produce more mitochondria cells and grow performance.
I am not in any way suggesting you should always get a coach. You have to work with what you think is best for you. However, if you want fast results, that's usually the best solution.
Funnily enough after I started seeing great results in my own racing, other athletes came to me for help. Turned out I was able to help them get results, the same way I was able to do it for myself. I became so passionate about coaching, that I gave up my highly-paid engineering job to pursue it as a career. I wanted to help people who are just as motivated as I am and want to succeed in their racing and health goals.
After helping many athletes finish their dream races, I'm more excited than ever to help. Every day I see my athletes break bigger and bigger goals they thought were impossible when they started. It's inspiring seeing cancer survivors become ironman, athletes with injuries qualify for Boston and podium. You can read more about the results my athletes have achieved here.
If your reason of hiring a coach is to excel and do well in your training, that’s a good start. However, your growth is more about you. The question I'd like you to ask yourself is, what if you couldn't fail and achieving the impossible was a matter of deciding? What would you chose to pursue? One of my athlete’s quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson when he said, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
Now, it's your turn to answer the question: What would you chose to pursue, if you knew nothing was impossible? Really. Give me your wildest dream achievement below.