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Be About It

CPC's Blog About Health and Wellness

Life of An Endurance Athlete - Is it Worth it?

Tuesday, 5 / 30 / 17

Finding a balance between training, work, family, friends, and life’s obligations is a one of the most challenging aspects of being an endurance athlete. Making it all work is often times harder than the actual training. So why do it? Is it worth the struggle of getting up before the sun rises to get an early workout in and returning home, even with the longer days, when the sun has gone to bed? Is it worth the 5-6 hours of IRONMAN training on a Saturday being away from your family? Is it worth the time spent prepping food on a weekend, after putting out a big training effort hours before and all you want is a nap, knowing full well what you’ve prepped will only last to mid-week?

The answer can only truly be provided by the one choosing to invest their time in this crazy world of endurance training. In my opinion, and of course, I’m biased, the answer is yes. YES, it’s worth aspiring to run a marathon, finish an IRONMAN, or compete in your first 5k. It doesn’t matter the size and scope of the event. What matters is the feeling you get when you finish something you set out to do. You worked and trained and sacrificed for that one moment when a volunteer proudly looks you in the eyes and drapes a medal around your neck. Or, when Mike Reilly, the iconic IRONMAN finish line announcer, tells the cheering crowd that “You Are An IRONMAN!”

My goal when I launched 18 Maple Endurance Training in February of this year was to bring training to endurance athletes that is unique to their goals and lifestyle. Training everyone with a “one size fits all” approach can often times miss the mark when it comes to training adaptation, recovery, individual strengths and weaknesses, and goals set by each individual. Most importantly every athlete has a story. What makes them tick? Why are they choosing to invest in the rigors of training? What makes all of this worth it when the finish line is reached?

Figuring this out as a coach is critical to your athlete’s success and to your coach/athlete relationship. It might be a hard question for an athlete to answer. I’ll be honest, as I type I’m not sure that I can completely articulate WHY i’m going back for another IRONMAN. I know how I feel when I’ve reached that point in my training when everything seems to be clicking and the finish line while weeks and months away seems so close because I know I’ve got this. But that’s me.

“What’s your “WHY”? What is going to make all of this worth it?”

I had a conversation with a client when training didn’t seem to be going as well as they’d like it to be. I asked, “What’s your “WHY”? What is going to make all of this worth it?”. I wasn’t asking for an immediate response I was asking so they could spend time sorting through the reasons why taking on such a challenge was worth it. I mentioned that I didn’t think I could completely articulate my WHY. Reason being, it keeps changing. I feel I have so much to work for and prove and achieve. My WHY on one day could be, Because I CAN! On another far more meaningful day, it’s to bring 18 Maple Endurance Training to another level of recognition. Then there is the self imposed pressure of proving that my last IRONMAN wasn’t a fluke, which I know is completely ridiculous but there nonetheless.

Here’s my point, your WHY is what is going to get you to the finish line. Your WHY is what makes all of the training and sacrifice worth it. Being an endurance athlete is more than just crossing the finish line it’s about the journey. The journey often times becomes our WHY.

TAGS: Inspiration, Ironman, 18 Maple, Endurance
Sarah Kelly