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Ironman? Lazyman? Or Crazyman?

July 21, 2014

Help! I’ve slacked off and I can’t get back!

Ok sports fans…I need some help. I’m in a training funk right now and can’t seem to shake it. Any advice is more than welcomed. 

State of the athlete: I’m 17ish weeks out from my first full Ironman in Arizona. I’ve done two half-distance triathlons in the past. One I trained for. One I didn’t. Finished them both. One with a smile. One with a not-so-happy face. Can you guess which one? Work is taking up 50ish hours per week. Summer travels are killing my consistency with training. I’ve been traveling the past three weeks and am traveling the next three weeks. One day in town in six weeks. 

Issue at hand: First off, I’m the classic Type-A, overachieving, never satisfied with status quo, “Brittain’s never quit,” kind of guy. Hard charging. Owner, not a victim. “Excuses are what you find when you take your eye off the goal,” dude. While that’s really nice at work. It’s really taxing when the stress of training for an Ironman starts to take it’s toll on the psyche. Not to mention, being a father of three awesome teenage sons and husband to my wife of 19 years. Just as much is going on at home as there is at work. 

My training is starting to get REAL. Multiple hour workouts seven days per week. I’ve got a great coach that I work with. 

Real issue at hand: I’m overwhelmed, sensing depression symptoms and super stressed about getting these workouts in. You know how (maybe you don’t know how) you get when you have so much to do, you feel paralyzed and lethargic about doing any of it? That’s my entire life right now. But, I’m wired to my core that I can’t quit anything. Right now, I want to tell the Ironman sayonara and focus on shorter distance triathlons or even just a marathon. I’ve told scores of people that I’m training for an Ironman. Plus, I’ve dropped some coin on the race. I don’t want to tell them why I couldn’t do it.

In my head, I knew it would be tough. But, I had no idea how much of a lifestyle that Ironman training is. If you’re considering one, please heed my advice and make sure you have capacity to take on the necessary training for one. As they say where I’m from in NC, “It ain’t no joke…”

Am I just going through a phase? Is this the wall that I need to push through? Will it get better? I know it won’t get easier. But, I want to wake up and be excited about training for it. Not wake up and have the dark cloud of my daily workout raining on my parade from the moment I put my feet on the floor. 

I’m working on strategies…ones like: Get up early and do my workouts before work. Find an accountability partner. Set really small frequency goals to get to where I actually do all seven workouts in a week. It’s actually 10 workouts counting three two-a-days I do with the gym. Focus on the positives and successes that I have right now. I shouldn’t complain about being able to swim 2400yds, ride 50 miles and run 10 miles (not all at once). I’m just burned out. 

Maybe this journey includes period of being a Lazyman. I know I’m already a Crazyman for signing up for an Ironman. But, this race doesn’t define me as a Man. There are much more important things in life that define that. 

Any advice or experiences are appreciated. I’ve got to get over this hump! Thanks everyone!

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