If you’re thinking of doing your first triathlon but your training hasn’t quite taken off yet, this feature is written with you in mind. It shows you how get fit for a sprint triathlon and how to make triathlon training a regular habit.
At this stage the biggest hurdle you face is getting started. The secret is to start with small steps, rather than trying to achieve everything on day one. So don’t aim to win the IRONMAN World Championship tomorrow, instead just train for 15 minutes today.
Research by Duke University suggests that 45 percent of all human behavior is habitual.
For example, if you decided to start swimming before work each morning, the first few weeks would probably be a struggle because those neural pathways would still be weak. But after a while your brain will strengthen the connection between waking up and getting straight out of bed. So the chances of rolling over and going back to sleep become reduced.
Habits are great because they stop you from relying too heavily on your sense of motivation. The problem with motivation is that it ebbs and flows, depending on how you feel at a given time. Imagine you get back from work one sunny evening and you can’t wait to go running. But what happens when you have a stressful day in the office and it’s pouring outside? Are you still so motivated to run? Luckily we have another tool that’s far better in these situations. It’s called willpower.
Every time you create a new positive habit, such as stretching after a workout, you increase your reserves of willpower. You can use these reserves for activities such as regular training and eating healthily. Willpower, unlike motivation, is dependable. You can build it up and rely on it.