any tips on staying motivated?  With career, family, social obligations, sometimes its tough to get in my workouts.  Tired, no energy from "life".  Suggestions?

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David  -  Please let me know if you get any good ideas.  Training for my first was easier than it was for my second because I had a real bad case of "Been there/done that".  For some reason I've signed up again.

Watching those Ironman teaser videos usually fire me up. Like this one:


I know the feeling David! It's getting down to crunch time for my IMCDA-3 months left and I keep getting busier and busier at work!

I want to post something here for you and I'd like to help,  since this is my expertise, teaching athletes  how to stay inspired and rejuvenated on their athletic quest (mental game)  ~ but I don't have a quick witty small thing to post because the real answer takes a bit more than a quick post.  However, I am going to be doing a special class on this very specific subject coming soon AND it's part of the Ironman Mental Game class that is still open.

I'll look at the schedule and get a class on there asap for you all ~ it will help you a lot!!  In the meantime if you would like to post specific questions I would love to give you wisdom that will help.

Some wisdom to begin with: Remember, when you approach your athletic quest as a personal spiritual quest of sorts (not spiritual in the sense of religion but a quest of heart and soul) when you approach it from that point of view you will find it to be a far more inspiring daily journey.  Most people become caught up in the numbers, analytic and tasks not the heart and soul of what they are doing OR the quest to become a better person through your athletic quest.

Definitely listen to the interview I did with Navajo Ultrarunner Shaun Martin it will give you a very inspiring perspective for your own athletic quest.



David, is it motivation or are you just overloaded with too many other priorities? Family, career, social, religeon are all important priorities in our lives. Sometimes our goals are set too high for the time we have available to commit to them. I suggest you look at your primary life commitments and see how much time you have left to focus on training. Then, set your tri goals to fit that time. I am now retired, my kids are grown and gone, I work hard for our local Kiwanis Club, but I still have more time to commit to training than I have energy. Earlier in life I faced the same problem as you have, but I had a very forgiving boss and family and was able to work it out in the last 6 months before my IM. I suggest you talk to the stock holders in your life and explain to them what you are trying to achieve and see if they will give you the support you need to achieve your goals.

If you're lacking in energy, I would suggest eating better!  Taking good care of yourself is a great way to find stamina.  When you eat well, you're telling yourself that you're worth it, and you're giving your engine what it needs.

I'm training for my first one, so pure terror is keeping me motivated haha.

Terror is working for me too ;) 

I am not sure that there is a magic bullet for motivation. I agree with Dick's comment on needing to decide if this is a case of being overloaded with life. I have several athletes that I coach who would like to do an Ironman, but when I put that goal in perspective with all their other commitments in life, they all decided to hold off until it fit better into their life priorities. They understood that they could not balance everything that was coming at them.

If you feel that being overloaded is not the issue, you should ask yourself why you race? If the answer does not motivate you, maybe it is time for a break. You may have burned yourself out. I do not think there is any shame in admitting that you are burned out on the pace of this lifestyle and checking out for awhile to re-group.

David,  Take a break, that might only be a day or so or a week.  There is no workout that is absolutely necessary for your success in the IM.  Change it up, make a workout different.  Crosstrain.  Participate in a group training, like a spinning class, or involve the family at the Y evening volleyball.  Get some exercise and cardio in other ways..like a pick up basketball game.  And when someone asks how the IM training is going..you say great and start back at it.

thanks for the advice.  Glad to see I am not alone.  When I first decided to do my first ironman, things looked pretty clear.  But then kids started moving back home, promotion at work (read:  more responsibility), home improvements to make room for kids moving back home...  I took 2 days off training and felt better.  Agree that focusing on numbers and times takes away from focus on the "spiritual" aspect of training and racing.  All great things to consider.  Thanks.

Agree with the rest, I have moments like that where I may dread going for a run, which is my first love of the three.  This tells me I am entering into the realm of overtraining and I end up taking 2-3 days off from all three disciplines and then I am ready to roll again.   I do find it helps to mix it up a bit on occassion, find a different location to train, new trail, roads, etc,  maybe sign up for a short race to get you excited again.  Most times I have no problem as I am busy visualizing how well I'll do on race day! 

David, what works for me is watching others participate in an event and those teaser videos like Bob has pointed out.  This has been the most injury filled marathon season I've ever had; three injuries caused me to miss all four marathons and ultras in which I was going to participate; and I'm on crutches right now.  But after watching part of the Herman HIM yesterday, I am chomping at the bit get back into training.


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