Motivation and swimming training x IRONMAN 70.3
Obviously, MyFitness trainers are motivated enough to participate in IRONMAN 70.3 both as a team and as an individual. However, it is also necessary to take into account the long training period, when the athlete’s desire for development can suffer a mental or physical block and stall for a while. We will talk a little about how to restore and maintain motivation, and also pay attention to the swimming stage of the competition.
What is motivation?
Motivation is a combination of our internal and external motives, which creates and maintains the desire to act in various situations. Whether your goal is to run a half marathon, swim 100 meters freestyle, or do 5 push-ups, it’s the pursuit of your best possible performance that really drives you. In the field of sports and competitions, the energy of the environment and competitors has a strong influence. A positive atmosphere and inspiring competitors ultimately provide a favourable environment, while a negative environment and hostility can hurt a performance. Therefore, during the training period, it is important to pay attention to psychological preparation in addition to physical one.
“As soon as I found out that I was running for the Ironman team, I thought about my training and how to become even faster and better. I feel that there is more pressure in the team to be in the best shape, because you are part of the team and feel a certain responsibility towards you teammates. That’s what motivates me the most – the responsibility to give 101% to the team and of course to feel proud of myself when I cross the finish line,” admits Keiu. “I see a goal in front of me, and this will surely help me.”
Laura-Lotte also sees goals as important: “I thought about Ironman for years because I wanted to move from swimming to the world of triathlon – it didn’t happen. I’ve been attending Ironman as a spectator for several years now and have always wanted to be a part of it. It seems to me that being on a team is exactly the first push you need to one day complete Ironman as an individual. I think that high and cool goals are very motivating.”
Laura-Lisa, how is your motivation?
Motivation is a very strange thing. One moment it comes and pushes you into something crazy. The next moment, it decides to leave you alone. Then it suddenly comes back and kicks you, forcing you to move on, and leaves you again for a while. You can’t rely on motivation. It also has its own moods and feelings. What you can be sure of is routine, self-discipline and consistency during preparation. In my opinion, these are the three most necessary ingredients to get to the finish line. The training is non-linear. There will be failures, mental fatigue and monotonous training, and sometimes life will simply intervene. If the chain is broken, you should sit down for a while and analyze how bad the situation really is. It is necessary to determine whether this is a temporary emotion due to a long preparation or if you are really burned out, and your body and spirit really cannot stand it. I have experienced both routine downturns and complete burnout. In the case of the former, a little internal conversation and a reminder that I myself chose this path always helped. It doesn’t have to be bright and sparkling all the time, and the job has to be done even if you don’t feel like it at times. At such moments, I just stop my thoughts, put on sportswear and force myself to move. I got a lot of help from my friends who travelled the same path, and from my pals from the triathlon club with whom we trained together.
At some point, when I simply did not have any strength left, I had no other choice but to hit the pause for a while. You can’t go ahead with an empty tank, and looking back, it was one of the wisest decisions at that time. The essence of this triathlon is precisely that you, in a sense, build your life around it, create new habits and priorities. In the end, you either adapt to this lifestyle or you don’t. I can only say one thing: the path to Ironman is amazing! Sometimes it’s hard and difficult, but it’s still great, you meet very interesting people and for sure you step out of your comfort zone.
Swim, little fish…
Swimmers can look forward for 1.9 km of strong strokes in Lake Harku. At this time, the water temperature can be around 18 degrees and wetsuits will be announced 1 hour before the start of the swim, as they are only required if the water temperature is 15.9°C or lower.
“I just needed to take up swimming and remember the past skills, because I have been doing it for almost 12 years. In training, I focused mainly on building volume and self-confidence, so Ironman does not scare me yet. I recently swam from Käsmu to Võsu, confirming my current shape. Swimming in a wetsuit was scary, because before I swam only in a swimsuit. In addition, I am also afraid of cramps or possible injury due to open water swimming, but I believe and feel that I can handle the Ironman,” Laura-Lotte assures.
“Swimming requires frequency and a routine week after week. You immediately feel a long break in training, because the water feels completely different. In the autumn-winter period, a lot of emphasis is placed on technical training in the pool, and as soon as the temperature allows, I switch from the pool to open water as soon as possible. This year I put on a wetsuit for the first time in early June and Männiku has become a great friend to me. Before Ironman, I recommend that you also visit amateur sports events, where you can test your form and get used to the washing machine,” explains Laura-Lisa.
This is a triathlon expression that describes the hustle and bustle at the start. The water froths and squirts, arms and legs intertwine, and rivals swim on the sides, above and below you. The risk of injury is high, and the main advice is to try to get out of this whirlpool.
“I expect a good result … However, by and large it doesn’t matter, and the main goal is to reach the finish line!”
“In the beginning, you should definitely take it easy and stay out of the crowd. It is necessary to evaluate and take into account your own skills, and a complete beginner can safely ask for help. Bicycling and running are much simpler – just get in and do it. Swimming is more difficult, because you can pay dearly if you start to go crazy and lose your breath or forget about the technique. The swimming race actually makes up a small percentage of the entire race, so I recommend starting off calmly. In the end, if you feel good, have strength left and are confident, you can comfortably pick up speed,” advises Peter.
And now we will briefly say goodbye to our iron men and women and meet them again on the streets of Tallinn, where we are waiting for everyone who wants to cheer for our brave ones! IRONMAN Tallinn and IRONMAN 70.3 Tallinn are waiting for you on August 6–7.