Discipline is the most important quality you can have when preparing for an IronMan and it can vary day by day. But the most disciplined will always have the best results.
That’s why I think it’s important to surround yourself with a good support network when you’re training for an IronMan. It isn’t that they are going to get you across the finish line. But that they will help you help yourself across the finish line.
I shared more about my personal Mental Challenges in training for an IronMan As a Mom in this blog post. Every day is a little different and working with the good and bad is an essential part of the process.
IRONMAN SUPPORT NETWORK AND DISCIPLINE
Your support network should help you stay focused throughout training.
Let me give you an example. This past Sunday I was supposed to bike 2 1/2 hours and then run 5 miles. Because of our family schedule I knew I was going to have to split those up and do them a few hours apart of each other.
I got the ride done first thing in the morning and then after a day full of family and activities it was a looming feeling of I still have to run 5 miles. Mike and I finally got Freddy to bed, and I watched is Mike ready to himself to sit down and relax for the evening.
I was filled with a lot of negative thoughts. So, I asked Mike… “I know you’re not big on pep talks but I could really use a pep talk right now”. He looked at me grinned ear to ear and said, “you are the one that signed up for the IRONMAN”.
Frozen. I was frozen. For half a second.
Then I was fired up.
Finally, I was out the door in under a minute.
Now depending on your personality that might sound supportive or mocking or combative even. But it did exactly what I needed it to do for me. It dug under my skin.
The combination of the smirk and the fact that he was right. I quickly changed my clothes, laced up my shoes and I was out the door. No more conversation.
I spent the first few miles running fast and hard fueled by the thought that I can’t believe I was considering skipping this work out when my biggest goal is to run the entire portion of the Iron Man.
I spent the next couple miles thinking to myself, “why did I try to run so fast the first couple of miles?”.
AND I spent the last mile thinking holy crap my legs feel like lead weights. It’s a dam good thing I’m out here on this run.
I shared full details on How To Use Interval Training For A Successful IronMan Run in this blog post. Time is precious for me and most people. Making the most of my workouts is absolutely necessary. That’s why I use interval training.
WHAT HELPS YOU BE DISCIPLINED ENOUGH FOR AN IRONMAN?
Everyone likes to be supported in different ways. But ultimately, it’s going to come down to your discipline if you cross that finish line or not.
Mike’s words were enough to get me out the door, but I could’ve quit running at any point in time. I appreciate his support (in his own twisted way) and reminding me that I am the one that signed up for this race. And I’m the only one that can put in the hours for the training.
Your support network will be unique to you. But I’m thankful to have Mike. I’m thankful to have a training partner in Kaite. And I’m thankful to have supports who put water out for me on hot days, who will swim with me and who, in general, think I am crazy but whole heartedly believe in me.
Of course, your support network will likely include people outside of friends and family. You should consider your coach, nutritionist, physical therapist, massage therapist and more as part of your support network. If anyone in that network doesn’t have your back replace them.
And, if you haven’t heard of the Enneagram personality assessment then you need to read this article and find out your type – Enneagram Types and Exercise: Finding What Your Type Means for Your Workout. Better understanding of your personality will help you build your discipline and improve your performance.
Don’t waste your time trying to convince someone you are going to do an IronMan. You’ll be convincing yourself plenty 🙃
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR DISCIPLINE TO FINISH AN IRONMAN
This is where I preach about mental training. I whole heartedly think that finishing an IronMan comes down to mental strength. You stayed strong during training. You put in the time to get to start line. Crossing the finish line is really about your ability to convince yourself you will.
I spend every training session fueling my self belief.
Trust the process – I say that to myself on the good days and the bad days.
I accept the crazy weather, the time, the discomfort, the exhaustion and so much more. Every minute, every step in training builds me up. Because allowing the opposite to happen would be self destruction.
But believe me when I say I have some exceptionally shitty training days. The ones that leave me hating myself to signing up. The ones that make starting the next workout the hardest choice. But I always end up at acceptance. It is all part of the process. I will cross the finish line, this time as a mom 🤍
Thanks for following along this crazy journey with me. Cheers to another week of training!
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