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Welcome to motivational Wednesday. I love finding fun articles and videos to share with everyone to keep us all motivated because let's face it, we don't always want to get out there and do our workouts. Hopefully some of these will get you out the door.
45 Motivational Pictures to Help You Achieve Your Wildest Dreams
There are some great quotes and pictures in this article. I have some experiences and thoughts to share on some of these quotes.
"You were never created to live depressed, defeated, guilty, condemned, ashamed, or unworthy. You were created to be victorious."
I have felt many of these emotions for most of my adult life. I have faced numerous rejections and disappointments in my life.
Once I found running and triathlon, my spirits began to lift, but I was still wasn't completely happy because I struggled with my weight. I wanted so badly to be that Cinderella story. I wanted that story of starting running or triathlon and a year later crossing the finish line feeling and looking like an athlete. The medical system did not want to listen to me that something was wrong. I went through a decade of being persistent, getting nowhere, and giving up. When my last doctor told me my symptoms were just part of aging, and that we will add more medicine to control any issues as needed, I gave up for a while. I felt many of these emotions over the fact I didn't have the willpower to starve myself to lose weight. Food was no fun. If I didn't eat super healthy I felt guilty and craved junk food. When I caved into my craving, I would think "Yep, this is why you are a fat cow."
When my body decided to cry for me for help over the summer, I said no more. I will find answers and something that works for me. I was so miserable that I could not imagine living the rest of my life like this. I will have to find someone to listen. I will advocate for myself and not give up. You can read more of the story here:
I finally did. Is my progress going quickly? No, but I do see progress. It's not always on the scale. I feel so much better and relish in the soreness of my training. I see progress in my workouts and how I feel. I can't wait to race in 2024 and continue racing for many more years. I know I will be victorious. I know I will race well this year, make massive improvements, and cross an Ironman finish line one day. Every day is a blessing, and you can choose whether to spend the day hopeful and look forward to each new day or get up and think nothing is going to change why should I try? I promise you it is better to wake up hopeful and happy than wake up thinking why should I do anything? Ask yourself what you can do to make your day great and make progress?
"Strive for Progress, not Perfection."
When starting in anything, it is hard not to take an all-or-nothing approach. We have so many diet programs in this country and crazy ideas to lose weight. From juice cleanses, and sugar detoxes, to the cabbage soup diet, people have struggled to lose weight. For those of you who don't know the cabbage soup diet, this diet consisted of eating a cabbage-based soup that was supposedly fewer calories than your body took to burn off the soup. How many of us have started some of these diets, and lost our resolve when we have craved ice cream, donuts, or any other food that is not considered healthy? We just decide we can't do it and that's that.
While I do have a nutrition plan, I stay on my plan about 80% of the time. Anytime I have had something not on the plan, I have enjoyed it and went back to my plan after. So you are trying to lose weight and had ice cream. Did you enjoy it? Did it make you happy? Yes and yes. Good. Is your day ruined, no? Did you make a better choice early in the day? Did you have a diet soda with your lunch instead of regular? Guess what, you made progress and made a better choice.
Many of us starting in running and triathlon use run/walk intervals. Were you tired today? Did you not want to run but you did because you wanted to get faster? You may not have made all of your intervals but you got out there when you didn't want to. Congratulations, you made progress. You talked yourself off the couch, put on workout clothes, and shoes and got out there when you didn't want to. Good job!
"The Moment You Want to Quit is the Moment When You Need to Keep Pushing"
After struggling so badly the last few years, there were moments I thought I can't do this. My body doesn't want to anymore. I'm just always going to be at the back of the pack struggling to complete races and never be where I want. Deep down I knew I couldn't do this. If I quit, I will always wonder what would happen if I kept going. Would I do it and be "fast"? Would I ever be able to beat a friend that I am competitive with that tells me it will never happen? Take the time and think to yourself if I quit, would I be able to stop thinking what if?
"Set Goals, Stay Quiet About Them, Smash the Shit Out of Them, Clap for Your Damn Self, Repeat"
This is a quote I have taken a long time to learn. I used to tell everyone what races I was going to do, how fast I was going to do them, my training goals, and that I was going to do it.
I have learned to be my own cheerleader. I tell my husband about my accomplishments because he loves hearing about my training adventures. Other than that, no one knows what I'm up to for the year unless they ask anymore. I enjoy doing my training, celebrating my own accomplishments, and planning for the next year. The best part about learning to be proud of myself is what others say doesn't get under my skin. I just smile knowing I will prove them wrong one day, remembering it's for me not them.
I love all of these quotes. I could write analysis for all of them but I would end up repeating myself. I have this page bookmarked so I can return to it for motivation when I'm feeling down. I hope this helps raise your spirits.
For those of you struggling to buy the other triathlete in your life a Christmas present, this may help, or if you are making a list for those to get you gifts this may give you some ideas.
The first thing on the list is Magic 5 goggles. https://themagic5.com/
This is an interesting concept. The company has you send a picture of your face to them and they can make goggles fit specifically to your face. Before you get this one, I would do some digging on if your athlete is happy with their goggles. You can easily ask these questions as any triathlete is happy to tell you what equipment they are using, training struggles, and if they are having difficulties. For someone, just getting into swimming this is a great gift. I'm really happy with the goggles I use, to the point I just bought two extra pairs in a Black Friday sale in case I lose my current ones.
Next up in the video, is a strap for their watch. Yes, we wear our watches every day. If your favorite athlete wants a different color, this may be a great stocking stuffer. If the strap isn't broken, I would avoid this. If someone got this for me, I would be grateful, but I'm going to put it away until I need it. I would probably forget I had it and order one anyway, find it after the fact, and be sad I had to wait for a watch strap.
Transition bags are discussed next. A million times yes. For me, I can never have too many bags. Plus it's always fun to figure out which one you like best and I like using them even for non-triathlon-related trips. This video got me shopping for them to see if I want to get one before my next triathlon.
Form Goggles. https://www.formswim.com/
I am interested in these but have not pulled the trigger yet. Originally when these came out a few years ago, you could not connect them to your Garmin watch. I became uninterested until this video, as I have enough programs related to triathlon training, I didn't want another one. After seeing these in this video, I did some research and found there are now multiple videos about how to connect it to a Garmin watch. The most interesting thing about these is it shows your pace and distance in the goggles so you can see it while you are swimming. I would love to see the pace as sometimes because I think I am swimming hard, get to the wall, hit the lap button on my watch, see my pace, and think "Really, that's as fast as I swam". It would be nice to see this as I was doing my set and be able to tell myself, "Hey, pick it up."
A Whoop lifestyle band was suggested. https://www.whoop.com/us/en/
Honestly, most Garmin watches tell us more data than we will ever know or use. For most athletes in the triathlon community, I feel like this isn't worth it and I wouldn't want to wear two watches. I don't see the benefit to this if you already have a fitness watch.
Swim Parkas is up next. If you have an athlete who swims regularly, this is an absolute yes. I love my parka and I live in Florida. Our outdoor pool is open until the temperature reaches below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, our pool is heated, but when you are wet and that cold hits you getting out of the pool, drying off quickly, slipping your parka on, and heading to the shower helps get you warmed up. I dry off and put my parka on before I pack up my swimming stuff on cold days.
Hydration packs are always a great idea. I love anything related to hydration. Water bottles, cups, and anything else related to staying hydrated are always appreciated. I have more than enough but always get excited when someone gets me any of these.
Swimsuits are always appreciated by the dedicated triathlete who swims regularly. We go through swimsuits quickly. Make sure you know their size or check the exchange policy for gifts in case they need to exchange it for a different size. This goes for any triathlon clothing. It's always appreciated but make sure a gift receipt is included.
Surpass Calf sleeves have been seen on some of the Pro-triathletes. They are supposed to be used during races. I don't like the feeling of compression on my calves during races. Find out what your athlete races in before investing in these. I like calf sleeves for recovery but not racing in. Some people do, so it is finding out what the person likes.
Athleisure is a new term discussing comfortable clothing to wear after workouts. I agree with the video, you can never have enough of it. You have probably seen your athlete wearing some of it. Find out what brand they like and have fun.
Other great stocking stuffers are hats, gloves(if you're in a cold climate), nutrition if you know what they fuel with, nuts, or protein bars.
Still not sure, gift certificates are great. You can do one for their favorite bike shop, favorite coach, or anything else triathlon-related.
I found the next two videos interesting. Taren discusses the best luxury purchases and worst things to spend your money on as a triathlete. Some I agree with and some I disagree with.
The first thing discussed in this video of the best luxury purchases is the Magic 5 goggles. https://themagic5.com/ These were discussed in the previous video as well. If you are having trouble with goggles leaking or can't find a comfortable pair, I would recommend it. I'm happy with my goggles at the moment so for me this is a no right now.
The next thing discussed is Heart Rate Variability. While this can be a valuable tool for the advanced athlete, there are so many other data numbers you can look at when you are starting to learn the sport. I would skip this one unless you are having trouble improving your speed or not recovering properly.
Shoes are an endless discussion. There are so many brands out there. Did you get fit right the first time? Does the shoe have enough cushion for you? Now there are "super shoes" that cost at least $200. Are they worth it if they are your fit? Absolutely. Are there comfortable shoes for a lower price? Yes. Go to a running store, get a gait analysis, and find the shoe for you. If these shoes will work for you and you want to spend the money, go for it.
Strength Training. We all need more of it. There are so many discussions about it, and we whine. We're tired after our bike run or swim. I don't wanna do it today. Having things at home to strength train is great. As discussed in the video, kettlebells are wonderful. If you don't want to spend that much money, I do a full-body workout with a set of dumbbells and a medicine ball.
The next thing discussed is something that I very strongly agree with. This is a proper bike fit. Sometimes the parts that come on a stock bike are not for everyone. A proper bike fit at the time you purchase the bike will help your performance and enjoy cycling more. If you have invested in a bike and are committing to the sport, invest in the fit and help yourself love getting on your bike.
In Florida, we are lucky to be able to ride outside year-round. Many of us don't have a bike trainer or own a super cheap bike trainer for the rare days we can't ride outside. I have begun to learn the benefits of training on a bike trainer, and am upgrading my trainer soon. If you are somewhere where the weather prevents you from riding outside all year, a proper trainer setup is essential to continue on your cycling journey. Make it fun, comfortable, and somewhere that you will enjoy it.
Proper rest is essential in many aspects of health. Don't be cheap on your bed. I recommend having an adjustable base. It's nice to be able to get the perfect sleeping position and to be able to elevate your legs while you are recovering after a workout.
The Master Swim Spa ( https://www.masterspas.com/swim-spas ) is interesting. I love the concept and Taren's gains when using it are quite impressive. My concern for myself is I would get bored. Most of my swim practices are with my triathlon group. We swim hard, we say hi and encourage each other. It makes for a fun hour. If you want a pool for your house though, you may as well get one you can train in. If I ever decide on a pool, this would be the first place I would look.
Now that we have done the best luxury purchases, Taren discusses the worst things to spend your money on. He states he is not saying to not ever purchase these things, but there is no proof it helps your performance.
First on the list is compression gear. Do you need this? No, but how much other stuff out there don't we need? It may be mental, but I like compression gear. I have sleeves, socks, and my favorite thing, Air Relax Recovery Boots. ( https://www.air-relax.com/ ) I discovered these at a fitness expo after a hard workout and fell in love with them. While you don't need these my legs feel so refreshed after. Yes, as said in the video, it may be because I sit still or fall asleep with them on, but it helps me, plus who doesn't enjoy a massage from the comfort of your couch?
Next up is lab tests. I agree with this. If you are just getting into the sport, there are far better things to spend your money on than VO2 max and sweat tests. Spend this money on swim lessons or a bike.
I'm about to contradict myself but the next thing discussed is a super expensive triathlon bike. Do you need to spend more than $10,000 on a bike? No. Could most people make improvements and be fast on an entry-level triathlon bike? Yes. Is the luxury bike more fun? Yes. My best advice is to work your way up from an entry-level bike to a high-end bike. You will appreciate the ride much more and the higher-end components. I started with an aluminum eight-speed road bike and currently ride a 12-speed high-end triathlon bike. I have great stories and memories of all of my bikes. I fully admit that I am one of the people that gets passed on my expensive bike but it makes me happy. Continuing with the bike discussion is after-market bike storage. If you are getting an aerodynamic bike, keep it aerodynamic. My bicycle setup is very similar to what Taren discusses. Where's my flat kit you ask? It's in one of my water bottles. If you are training for an Ironman, you have to plan to have a spot to refill your bottles. This can be a gas station, your car if you are doing loops, your house or anywhere else you can think of. When it comes to bike storage, remember to keep it simple.
Nutrition is a very personal thing, especially when it comes to races. Many companies are coming out with these all-in-one nutrition products. It may not work for you. Use your training to try many different products. The Feed ( https://thefeed.com/ ) is a great place to explore nutrition options and order individual packs of various nutrition products until you can dial in the perfect nutrition for race day.
Last but not least is high-end gadgets. Taren discusses watches, but this can also go for bike computers. You just need something that can do pace, time, and distance. The other data is fun and interesting to look at but you don't need it.
Coaches are the last thing discussed. Finding a good coach is difficult. I am a coached athlete and am happy with my coach. I did the sport for a decade before I decided to do personal coaching. There are so many plans online, and apps you can use that you don't need personal coaching. My coach analyzes my swim with an in-person session every week. We have multiple discussions through text and phone calls weekly. For me, it is 100% worth it, but if the coach is not available and not meeting your needs it is a waste of money.
This last video is one to think about. Over the last few months, I have been training for a half marathon. On non-run days, my coach had me on the trainer working on my bike cadence. It massively improved when I rode outdoors last week from just two months ago. That is a short amount of time for such an improvement. This experience made me realize the benefit of indoor bike training, and I am planning to upgrade my trainer. At Kona this year, Lucy finally won her championship in Kona after coming in second four times. She didn't give up. This video discusses that she did the majority of her training in the last few months before Kona indoors. I found it interesting and gives you something to think about.
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