In triathlon training and racing, you will either finish or your will fail, there really is no in between. One of the most intriguing items about triathlon is that some people do this sport for health, some for fun, and some competitively. For each person, they are really having a battle within themselves to see if they can finish or if they will fail. In all races, there is a finish line that comes after a swim, a bike, and a run. This finish line is the ultimate competitor. It can play with your mind about whether or not you will make it. It will mess with your soul to see if you are up to the challenge. It will play with your mind to see if you have what it takes. The finish will constantly pester you to see if you are good enough.
When I first began racing in triathlon, I truly was satisfied with just finishing. Most people find that finishing a race is so very exhilarating and it is! There is no one that can ever take the accomplishment of finishing a race away from you. If you are racing for health or just for fun, finding the finish line is the ultimate joy and reward. I have been in this position over the last 5 years and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I have finished all of my races and have not had a DNF (knock on wood). I really hope that this thing continues and I finish each race. I have now moved into another realm though with the 2016 season. I am now trying to be more competitive. Therefore, there is an added motive to the race as to whether I will finish in the top of my age group. This will introduce a whole new realm for me in terms of being able to assess whether I succeeded or not. I truly am not looking forward to crossing the finish line but having failed to be in the top of my age group. This will be a new challenge a new day.
The Race Behind the Race
There is another type of finish vs failure that is an everyday challenge. This is the finish of each and every workout that you schedule. Can you finish strong in a workout when you are tired? Can you push through the pain of a workout to finish on top or will you fail? I try to train like I am going to race. I want mental toughness and to be able to push through a training session. I do have to say though that some workouts are a failure. I end up stopping short of my goal. I do not hit a certain pace. I struggle to make it to the end of the workout. All of these failures in training lead to great finishes. See, if you fail in one training session then there is really no harm done. In fact, I have found when I fail at a training session that my next training session is even stronger. It is as if failure makes me stronger! I do see that these training failures lead to ultimate successes. You must monitor yourself though, because if you are failing at too many training sessions then you are probably tired and need a rest day or two. You can lead to critical injuries if you push through some of these failures in this way.
So are you going to finish or fail? We would love to hear about some of your finishes or failures.