We often follow trends, fashions and waves in order to be accepted within a community. The endurance world is no different. We tend to follow friends, club “trends” and emotions to set our own training and racing schedule.
But is that the right way? I personally think not.
Surely I have often been inspired by something I’ve seen on the Internet (whether an exotic location or an inspiring post), or by an individual performance (a pro, or even just a friend or a stranger). In 2016 I followed a mass exodus to Copenhagen for the yearly “club Ironman blast”. Although I don’t regret any of that, in the last couple of years I started to plan my own training and racing calendar based solely on my personal goals and dreams.
It is not an easy way. It can isolate you from those groups and trends that make you feel at home, but there are also expedients that can make the experience still enjoyable.
But you need to set YOUR own priorities first and you need to have a BIG MOTIVATION when you pursue your own path.
One of my athletes recently told me he thinks his main problem is motivation. Although I — as a coach — can help up to a certain extent with that drive, it’s only his inner motivation that can make the difference over a training regime. I can send him the hardest session on earth, but if he’s not motivated those sessions will become more and more useless over time.
So how do you find your own motivation? I know everyone is different, but I have my own rituals …
Don’t rush. The inspiration will get you when you least expect it.
Don’t sign up to a race only because your best friend does. It can be cool, but: is it what you really want?
Meditate. Meditation is always a good solution to many of our daily stresses and anxieties. Maybe it’ll help too.
Don’t force yourself to find motivation. The more you want to get it, the more it vanishes.
Go to a philosophical café. Talking about democracy and sovereignty may open up your mind in an unexpected way.
As said, these are my personal rituals. Which ones are yours?