As I was riding the other day, gasping for air and feeling my legs burn, I thought to myself, “When will this ever get easier?”
You know, “it” HAS gotten easier, but the workouts have gotten harder as I’ve gained fitness, so it feels the same. The reality is that I’m climbing hills I could never have contemplated before. I’m riding faster and longer AND recovering quicker. That’s HUGE for me. I get more mileage, more speed, more laps for the same amount of effort as before. That’s progress!!
I now realize the true importance of tracking your training journey in some fashion. I mean, really journal it…not just distance and time, but route, intervals, recovery, how you felt mentally and physically. There are so many ways to do this, and of course, Bia Sport makes it quite easy to do this with their tracking system. If you don’t do so already, make a committed to becoming more diligent because it’s so important for down the road when you need a little boost.
If you want some perspective, look back to your first workouts or back 3 months ago and then you’ll realize how far you’ve come. Look at what you’re doing now for that hard workout. I remember a time not too long ago that I couldn’t even run 1/4 mile without feeling like I was going to throw up. Now I can do 3.2 for that same throw up feeling . So how about we all give ourselves credit for how far we’ve come.
All you couch to 5K people…look at what you’re doing? Inspirational! What about those of you who had never hopped on a bike until you were in your late 40s. Wow!! And those who start off with sprint triathlons only to be tackling 70.3 now. Impressive! Have the workouts become easier? Doubt it! Are you doing more during your workout than you ever thought yourself capable? Very likely!
Here’s an abridged list of my improvements…I ride the brakes a lot less going downhill (meaning I’m not so scared any more). I’m riding up hills that I couldn’t do before, and the “big” hills of the past are now routine. I can swim in open water without total panic (still working on the ocean fear though). My “recovery” during speed track workout is a jog now rather than a walk. Most importantly, I’m gaining control over the thoughts that taunt me into giving up and am replacing them with “keep going, you’re doing great” thoughts.
Perspective is so important to keeping you motivated and moving forward. Acknowledge how far you’ve come. Focus on every little achievement, not just the big ones. Log these little things in so that you can remember and refer to them for added encouragement down the road.
So, when is this going to get easier? It will only get easier when we stop trying.
Keep it going strong…
~Coach Carrie @Tempo Life Coaching