Staying Motivated to Train – Issue #138

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Staying Motivated to Train in Triathlon

Dear Friend,

Staying Motivated to Train in TriathlonMotivation is defined as “the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose”.

Here in North America, the triathlon season is beginning to wind down, and many triathletes are deciding what to do in the next month. I was listening to Adam Carolla’s podcast yesterday where he interviews Olympic swimming gold medalist Natalie Coughlin, and was surprised to find out that she has not trained swimming since the Bejing games over 1 year ago, even though she is planning to compete in the London Olympics in 2012!

That gives a good perspective on the need for a break, even at that high a level of competition. Think about focusing on just one discipline, or doing something else to stay in shape for a while until the next race. The shift in focus can bring on a welcomed new perspective when you get back to it.


“When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.”
-Henry David Thoreau

Swim Tip of the Month

Actually, you get 4 tips this month!

Common Challenges in Triathlon Racing

1. Not enough time to train. Yes, of course you have the right to do duathlons instead of triathlons, and often this is just a matter of preference. But if you’re feeling squeezed on time to fit in swimming to your training routine, remember that in triathlon, focus the most time on your weakest link. So if that means swimming, just cut out a run and bike workout. Also, economize your workouts. Only have 30 minutes? Simple, 5 minutes warmup, 10 minutes drills, 10 minutes main set, 5 minutes warm down.

2. Not practicing in the open water. Even for a 300 meter race, practicing in the open water is a MUST if you’re going to do an open water triathlon! At minimum you should be getting in the open water every other week and getting used to conditions and how it feels to swim without walls.

3. Cold water. This can partly be overcome by training in cold water. However, if your race is in really cold water, like the pacific ocean in California, it still may be a bit of a shock when you first dive in. The best thing to do is to stay calm, and keep your breathing as normal as you can. Mentally be prepared for what it feels like to get into ice cold water and you will not be thrown off in your race.

4. Overall preparation. How bad does it suck to have to repair or replace a tire? Just make sure you have everything in working order before your race. That includes goggles, caps, and wetsuits!


Kevin Koskella
Tri Swim Coach