Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ironman necessary for motivation?

Last week my friend Tim and I were talking on the phone. We haven't talked in a while and haven't trained together in even longer a while. Both of raced Ironman Florida last November and both of us seem to be having a hard time getting back into training. Sure, life is getting in the way but our conversation turned into pondering if we need an Ironman on our schedule to get us motivated?

I have a lot of cycling on the calender and some triathlons (including a HIM). Tim has races coming up too. Why isn't this enough? Why can't we focus on racing shorter distances faster? Why is an Ironman so significant and why are other options not so significant in our minds? We jointly didn't know.

The conversation quickly turned into which one. Tim (and others) are lobbying for Placid 2013. Placid is still not the right race for me with the climbing but I could rationalize it as 30 minutes for transitions, 90 minute or less for the swim, slot 8 hours for the bike, leaving 7 hours for the run. This means that I would have to actually run the run but that is a subject for another day. There is another bunch of friends positioning themselves for IMCDA in 2013. I think the logistics of that race, the time of the year being earlier and hard training time overlapping anticipated key kid requirements make that race not ideal. The best IM branded race for me (besides IMFL which isn't an option) is probably IMAZ but that will be 3 days before my 20th anniversary with the Mrs - the danger of even mentioning this as an option is too high to consider.

Tim felt a non IM branded race, while an option, probably isn't the right choice. There are a limited number of Ironman races in our future and I may even be beyond my limit remembering that my family dubbed IMFL the Highlander Ironman (there can be only one).

But do we need one for motivation? If so, why? What can we do to change that? Most importantly, should we?

PS: Tim is volunteering at Placid 2012. So is Fran. I'm not..


Kate Geisen said...

You know, I tend to need something epic on the horizon to "scare" me into training (my epic being slightly less than an ironman!!), and I'm floundering a little right now with nothing big on the horizon. Good luck making the decision (I guess a 20th anniversary AZ trip post-IM wouldn't fly?)

Unknown said...

While I don't think IM is always necessary, a lot of us need something that we consider big. After doing an ironman, I think it can be difficult to find something else as challenging.

I don't really know the answer for you. I'm still working towards my first ironman (in 2 years), and I don't know where I'll be after.

Unknown said...

I like to have an Ironman on the schedule because I like to do them. I am weird in the fact that I actually enjoy the training more then racing. Love the long rides on rural farm roads and the long runs with my buddies, bullshitting about politics, sports and life. Heck, even enjoy the 3500M masters swim classes at 5am.

Guess my point is that I really do not need the races as motivation anymore as training/triathlon has become a lifestyle BUT, anytime I need a kick in the butt I just look at the bike elevation chart for Mont-Tremblant. So Guess my point is not really a point because that bike scares the heck out of me!

Jason said...

I can't really comment on this as I have not done the IM yet but its funny because today I thought to myself:

Am I a trainer or a racer? Which do I like more?

Never came up with an answer but I know I love to race the HIM distance. In 7 weeks I will let you know if I love to race the IM distance as well.

Unknown said...

Motivation is such an individual thing. Having an IM on the horizon can be motivating for sure, but when one factors family, work and priorities, well... that can start chipping away from the motivation. I think folks with strong family values will always struggle balancing training and family time.

Kathleen said...

I saw this post on Facebook and told myself, "I need to read this one!" I don't know what the answer is, all I know is that I have been struggling with motivation and I have an IM on the calendar! I also am volunteering for IM Wisconsin in Sept to do that race in 2013. I have not signed up for a lot of races this year.. can't find the desire to do so. Not sure what it is all about and this sure doesn't answer any questions but just thought I would let you know that I know where you are coming from.
IMCDA has some VERY cold water!!! IMAZ is certainly a very spectator friendly race but it sounds like the timing might not be right. What about Wisconsin? With the challenging bike and run course it might give you the spark you need. I am definately going to have to get my act in gear for that race.
I am rambling..