Finding Balance…

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One of the big talking points around the Gold Coast squad at the moment is the fatigue that many of us are experiencing as we head into Mooloolaba; and a race we have been working towards for a number of months.  It got me thinking about maintaining balance in our lives and keeping things fresh and positive whenever possible.  I am know I am certainly guilty of not practising what I preach from time to time but I know I must getter better.

We love this sport but we must keep it in perspective and treat it like the hobby and pastime that it was designed to be in the first place.  That’s what is was when we first crossed that metaphorical line and began our triathlon journey. That’s what it needs to remain, even when we struggle with mental fatigue and tiredness at the back end of any training block.  As competitive creatures naturally, it is especially important that we remind ourselves why we got into this sport in the first place and how it provided a positive release from everyday pressures.  It must not become the pressure that we were so desperately trying minimise in the first place as naïve, fresh-faced beginners who were filled with excitement about what lay ahead for us in this sport.

For me personally and many others within the squad, triathlon is a constant juggling act.  Now that that the calendar year is back in full swing I, like many others, do not have the luxury of countless hours of downtime to maximise recovery.  Although, as I heard so beautifully expressed once, work is the recovery time between training sessions.  Hands up if you agree!  On a more serious note however, I believe balance is the key to longevity in this sport.  Too often we can get caught up in the endless counting of kilometres and sessions completed.  Realistically, you can only do what you can do.  From time to time I need to remind myself that triathlon should enhance my life not diminish it.

I’m learning that I need to train smarter rather than longer.  Longer might seem like the key to success, but time often dictates when and how much you can actually train.  I currently find that my life is very full at the moment.  I have a full-time job as a teacher and have decided to bump my university subject quota up to two, so I realise I need to become more specific and thoughtful when considering my training schedule.  However, after plenty reading and talking with lots of experienced people I have come to the realisation that if each sessions has a particular purpose and I ask questions of our coaches (but don’t question) I will get the results I desperately seek.

Furthermore, and I think most importantly, is maintaining a positive connection with the outside world.  It is essential to maintain positive relationships with those important people in your life.    They are the people who keep you grounded and provide the support in times of self-doubt.  Those of you with kids out there and still find time to train in between work and family commitments you have my complete admiration. The longer I am involved in triathlon the more I come to realise that the people who are able to maintain a positive life/training balance are the one’s who’ll be out there smashing Garmin Hill in 30 years’ time.

I must confess that although I am really looking forward to conquering Mooloolaba triathlon and Alexandra Headland again next week, I am also looking forward to those post-race beverages with friends and family; and a week or two of time away from training.  I LOVE triathlon but I need the rest to freshen up (both mentally and physically) for the long-course events later in the year.

Anyway, I hope to see many of you up at Mooloolaba next weekend but until then happy training!

Geoff Bartlett

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