Triathlete: My Definition
On Sunday I had a revelation that led me to think that being a triathlete was much different from I had imagined. Some of you may call me a triathlete based on the completion of two Ironman races (Texas, Arizona) last year along with 4 Half-Iron distance races in the past two years. I would have agreed with you but during my 3 hours of training I realized that was wrong. Triathlete is not an adjective for a person who completes a triathlon like the dictionary says it is. Triathlete to me is a lifestyle, a way to view the training for swim, bike, run but also nutrition and recovery.
In the past I would have said I am a runner who competes at triathlon, but that mindset has to change if I want to be the triathlete I need to be. If I want to accomplish my goals for 2013 and beyond my definition of triathlete must be just that: triathlete. Going out and swimming, cycling and running with purpose and then recovering properly from those training sessions and watching what I eat on a daily basis.
In the year prior to bringing Maria and John on as my coaches I read a post about how John had a D-Day in his nutrition. That day was the day that he began the process of eating ultra clean and preparing his mind and body for a run at Kona. Guess what……he accomplished that dream by qualifying for the 2012 World Championships at Ironman Lake Placid. He did not go into Kona on his laurels but instead worked hard to make sure that when he got to Kona he was ready to do everything he could to have a great race. That to me is how to become a triathlete.
I have taken a lot of queues from them and began my process to achieving the term triathlete by my definition on December 10. That day was the day that we started working together and it has been a great ride since then. I have my goals written on the notes section of my laptop which connects to my iPad so I cannot miss them each and every time I read Training Peaks for my workout.
When I enter my ingredients for a recipe into My Fitness Pal it is with the idea of becoming a triathlete by my definition. The foods are high in carbs in the morning and tapering down throughout the day but also making sure that I hit my macro-nutrient needs as well as recovering properly. All of this so that when I get in the water at Ironman Texas 2013 I am prepared to have the race of my life because I committed to becoming a triathlete by my definition.
This may sound like I am forgoing everything else in my life but the opposite is true. I am more focused so now there is no wasted time or movement. I am more efficient with my work and my family life and able to do more because of this. Triathlete by my definition is no longer about the race starting on the bike or chasing down other athletes ahead of me because I am a better runner. I want to be a triathlete which means the race starts when the canon goes off and with the proper training, recovery and nutrition I will be maximizing my potential from that point until the finish line.
My view has changed and that is a good thing as I am learning to take past failures and successes and apply them to 2013. When 2014 rolls around I will have another year under my belt and a better opportunity to define triathlete by my definition. I am having a blast discovering who I am and what I am capable of and that is important in writing out this definition. Come Ironman Texas I should have a clearer view of who I am and what I am capable of. In the meantime my goals are written down everywhere and will not allow me to go one day without seeing them or reciting them as I train.
How Do You Define The Word Triathlete?