Triathlon Troubleshooter

  • By T.J. Murphy
  • Published Dec 7, 2012
  • Updated Oct 31, 2014 at 4:40 PM UTC
Illustration by Oliver Baker.

I get lazy in the winter and skip a lot of workouts.

Sometimes you look at the day’s training plan and rather than head for the door, you alter your workout from a swim-bike brick to something more like a refrigerator-sofa session.

Solution: The cold, dark days certainly don’t elicit extra motivation. Push through by developing your own reward system, says Julie Vieselmeyer, a triathlon coach and sports psychology consultant in Seattle. “The first thing I want my athletes to do is to think about what they want from the sport. You need to dig into what motivates you. Once you’ve tapped into your motivation for being a triathlete, you can come up with tools to get you out the door.” In her back and forth discussions with athletes they will come up with a set of concrete rewards. “Is it to enjoy a fancy dinner after a hard day of training? Is it the social aspects of being in a group training situation? Is it to earn the right to buy a new bike?” As a triathlete becomes more experienced, the motivation to train offers the reward of the feeling of training itself. “Getting out the door can be the only reward you need.” But even for the veteran triathlete, Vieselmeyer remarks, sometimes bad weather or some other obstacle may require you to dig into your bag of flashier rewards.

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