With a blink of the eye – we’re through October and well into November. It didn’t seem like life was busy outside of work, but I had a lot on my mind… well, I had one thing on my mind and that was whether or not I was going to sign up for a full Ironman in 2018 and if I was, which one.
It was also the “off-season” which means no formal triathlon training plans, but it doesn’t mean that I was sitting around doing nothing. In the off-season, its time to work on weaknesses and less formalized activities. One of the weaknesses that I desperately want to improve, regardless of what race distance I choose for 2018, is my running. At the end of my race season, my coach pointed out that I need to strengthen my legs and glutes if I want to run better. So, I have been hitting the gym and lifting weights since the end of August. Since I wasn’t sure exactly what I should be doing and wanting to get the most out of what I was doing, I decided to work with a personal trainer. It’s been productive so far as I’m lifting heavier weights and my form is better.
The other area I wanted to work on was my mental strength. And that doesn’t just mean making up mantras and working hard. I need to believe in my athletic abilities and that I am capable of doing hard things. When the going gets tough, I don’t want to stop and walk, I want to find the strength within me to keep running and pushing forward. I’m tired of giving up and walking in a race. I’ve got more in me and I have to find a way to harness it.
So – what am I doing about it? First thing I started doing again is meditating. I started meditating last year, but stopped around May or June when things got busy and life became about going to the cabin and training. I use the Headspace app and finished off the Focus series and started in on the Balance series. When I didn’t have 10 minutes to spare, I did some of the short exercises available. I even did one session on my own in the sauna after a run at the gym. It does help settle my mind, I definitely sleep better and I’m able to recognize negative or self-defeating thoughts and let them go a bit more now. I think the thing that triggered me adding meditation back into my life was when I was at a work conference recently. There was a session about meditation and the presenter spoke about how meditation can change your DNA – or more specifically, change how our DNA reacts to stress – it can actually help lower inflammation that is a response to living in a stressed state and reduces the risk of related diseases. COOL!! And it isn’t that hard – a few minutes a day is all it takes. My goal for the next few months is to meditate three times a week.
I also read Peak Performance written by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. An amazing book about top performers in not just sports, but also business so there were lots of things I found I could apply to my life – not just triathlon training. I’m hoping to share more in another post because this one is already too long! But I will share the most important thing I learned – define your values and develop your purpose which will help you with the going gets tough. So that’s what I’m currently working on. (And they also mention meditation in the book.)
In case you missed my last post – I decided to go after the Ironman finish line and registered for Ironman Mont Tremblant in August 2018.
Cheers for now! It’s November and I’m back into a regular training routine…