Maintaining Motivation Season After Season
Coach Stephane has been doing triathlon for over 30 years as an athlete and coach. It has taken him all over the world, representing Belgium and with his contingent of Aussie athletes. Each year he takes on a new challenge, a new race and with a group of coached athletes to race & train beside. Here is his take on maintaining motivation season after season.
I often ask myself why do I do triathlon? It is easy to forget after a set back, injury or illness or simply a bad race. Pretty normal given I started racing triathlon in 1986. During this time, I have witnessed technical changes, champion athletes come & go, the evolution or pro and age group athletes and the rise of Ironman. I never lost the love. This is why I do the sport first and foremost, the love.
After completing Ironman Western Australia and Xterra Callala Beach, I underwent elective surgery. This meant one full week of no training. Which I never do. Usually it is two weeks of very low volume and no intensity. I scheduled it mid season to allow my body to heal physically but also refresh mentally.
I thought that I was going to live like a “normal” person for a week. I went to bed later, slept in, ate whatever I wanted, drank a few beers, watched more movies, spent more times with the kids. However, apart from the opportunity to spend more time with my kids – I hated it! It was like I wasn’t myself anymore. I felt terrible, tired, mentally down, slow & fat. This made me realise once again that triathlon is what I do. Without it, I would an overweight, unhealthy & unhappy middle aged man. This sport is what I love but it is also my life, my health, my escape, my passion, my happiness & well, my job too.
It is important to find your why, whatever you do in life & this is mine. Now, I cannot wait to get back into it & get fit again. I cannot wait for the big challenge of 2018 which is 4 Triathlon world championships (Two ITU events, Kona & Xterra) in 6 weeks. My aim is to podium in two of them.
Triathlon is a part of who I am – my personality. I need the discipline, the pain, the structure, the fun, the drive, the good feelings that it brings. I should have known this, no test was really needed. It has always been like this & this is simply what I do, I swim, I bike & I run.