Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four-minute-mile barrier, talked about the purpose for which he ran in his autobiography, “Four Minute Mile.” He wrote that it “should become a striving to achieve more and more, not for purely selfish motives, but because of the recognition of some higher purpose.”
Bannister found the purpose for why he ran, and he changed his life and the world around him. You can do the same in triathlon training.
If you can find your purpose for competing in triathlons and train with that purpose in mind, you’ll not only be able to determine a motivation and method for your athletic pursuits, you’ll develop the strength and mental fortitude to accomplish them.
There are three primary reasons to train with purpose:
1. Purpose gives perspective
Having a concrete and well-defined purpose gives you an answer to the question, “Why?” Why do you spend so much time training? Why do you put yourself through such grueling workouts? Why do you suffer through such exhaustion? Your purpose provides sense to all these questions.
Dr. Mitchell Greene, a sport psychology consultant, explains the value of purpose in his article, “Clarifying Your Purpose,” where he states, “By purpose, I am referring to that inner sense of vitality, excitement, and connectedness that you experience as you train your body to perform at its best.” He adds that those without one are destined for ruin, claiming, “They lose sight of the value of the journey while becoming consumed by their destination.”
2. Purpose gives form
If you train with purpose, you’ll give form to your intentions. Depending on the size and scope of your purpose, your training will necessarily follow. If your purpose is to complete an IRONMAN, that will dictate the level, intensity, and amount of training required.
If your purpose is to compete at a nationally competitive level, your training regimen will reflect that higher level of purpose. The way you train, your nutritional needs, your sleep and down time, your work, and even your social calendar will all be affected. All because of your purpose.
3. Purpose gives motivation
When the road is tougher than you expected, the waters more troublesome than you thought, and the hill you’re climbing steeper than it looked, you’ll need to rely on more than your training, past successes, and desire. You’ll have to dig down and retrieve what’s necessary out of your body and soul.
If you identify, embrace, and train with purpose, your purpose will not only give you a reason and a path, it will give you the inner strength to accomplish your goals and dreams.
TriDot Takeaway: Without a purpose, you’re merely putting in training time. With a purpose, you’ve added perspective, form, and motivation to your triathlon pursuits.
Talk with TriDot: What’s your triathlon purpose?
“The Four-Minute Mile”
“Clarifying Your Purpose”