Beginning tri training, week 21: You've hung in there; now go race! (and have fun)

Credit: Nick Wilson/Allsport
Nothing else much to say, except the obligatory speech I must give to everyone who has gotten this far in their quest.

You ought to be mighty proud of yourself. Being a triathlete is not easy. It takes a lot of time and discipline, and inasmuch as we all go 'round only once in this life, we all do try to urge ourselves to become the sort of people we can be proud of.

We all want, at the end of our lives, to know that we've fought the good fight, run the good race. We all want to feel that we've achieved the goals for which we've aimed.

And what are those goals? Not so much, I don't think, to place better or worse than someone else. Rather, I believe, you and I want to become more disciplined, wiser, harder, stronger, more compassionate, than the "you" or "me" of last month, and last year.

But that's got to be a sustainable drive. You've made it this far, and you ought to give yourselves a big pat on the back. But this ought to be a beginning, not an ending. You'll be extremely satisfied upon crossing the finish line. But let that not be an opportunity to slide into easier habits. Use this opportunity. You've gained new skills, new fitness, new habits.

Do not revert to passive, softer, slacker habits, but don't go the other way either. Do not adopt a training pace that guarantees you'll flag and fail before the ultimate finish line, which is no doubt many decades in the future. Continue on at a sustainable rate, paying homage and honor to those other aspects of your life -- work, family, friends, interests -- that deserve a rightful slice of your time.

Triathlon is a terrific sport -- the best sport in the world, in my book. But this lifestyle requires that an artful balance be struck if you want to continue to be a triathlete five, 10, and 20 years from now.


This is the final rest week. Enjoy it. One of my great friends has done the Hawaiian Ironman a dozen times, first in 1981. His taper? Two weeks of never leaving his hotel room, watching I Love Lucy reruns for 13 straight days before the race. Perhaps that's a bit extreme. Just get yourself to the start line happy and rested and you'll be fine.


Not much else to execute here. You've read it all, done it all, and you're ready. Good luck and have fun out there ...

Race this weekend: Repeat week 15 (rest week)

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Find and register online for your first triathlon!

Check out the full beginning tri-training guide

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