Sometimes you’ll find that you get caught up in training and obsessed with data or results or the next race. Whatever your obsession is in Triathlon – and we all have them – I’ve found that one of the most important aspects of Triathlon is to focus on the journey.
I was quite inspired recently by a friend of mine who was getting a bit down about an injury affecting his training. He was telling me how he went to the doctor who informed him that he had developed tendinitis in his foot. As a result he would need to go for gait analysis, and physiotherapy to help it heal. This would obviously put his training on hold and with an important race coming up in the coming months he became quite discouraged.
To quickly explain, in gait analysis, Biokineticists connect a bunch of different sensors to different parts of your body and then film you with special cameras while you walk and run. What the doctors then do is analyze performance and under-performance of various muscles. They identify imbalances in each leg / foot and the alignment of your spine, shoulders and hips and show you what you need to change to become more efficient in your running.
As he was telling me all this, I had an interesting epiphany. Gait analysis is awesome! It’s something that age-group athletes generally only get done when they’re injured, but it’s also something that pros get done when they are trying to maximize their running technique and speed.
I told my buddy this and it helped put things in perspective for him so I wanted to do that for you as well. In Triathlon, there may be times where life gets in the way of training or you get injured and have to take some time off, but you need to remember just to focus on the journey and learn as much as possible.
Here are some quick tips on staying focused on the journey:
- Focus on the positives
Whatever you are going through, try to remember to be positive about it. If you have to stay late for work and miss a training session, think of it as a time to get a little extra rest and recovery than you might have otherwise gotten in your week.
- Remember to keep learning
If you have to get some diagnostic analysis done like my friend, try to learn from it. If you’ve injured a muscle, take it as an opportunity to learn about that muscle group and about all the rehabilitative and preventative exercises you can do. There really is a lot to learn in our sport and who has time to learn everything there is to know before getting started?
- Remember that your journey is unique
Every experience we go through in our lives and training makes our journey unique to us. We always hear incredible stories of difficulties that Olympic athletes have overcome and wonder how they did it, well, they were focusing on their journey! Yours is different, embrace that!
- Triathlon is not just a one day sport
Don’t forget that you are not just a triathlete on the day you compete in a triathlon. You are a triathlete every day. Your journey and story as a triathlete is about training, being healthy, and being happy. Triathlon is a lifestyle, not just a sport.
As I told my friend, being a triathlete is such a journey and there are hundreds of experiences along the way. Remember to enjoy every minute of it and try to see things in a positive light. You will enjoy it way more!
Have you had any experiences like my friend? Have you been injured and made it through by focusing on your journey? Tell us about it!