— By Daryl Flacks
“It’s not how fast you go but how long you go fast.” No one knows this better than endurance athletes. The ability to maintain speed over the longer distances requires consistency…. draining the reserves and then going beyond. It’s not uncommon in a hard training session to puke a little, shed some tears and have self-doubt. We strive to go faster, it’s all about speed. But is it really? I’m often asked, “does it get easier the longer you are in the sport?” The answer is simply “No”.
“It never gets easier; you just go faster” – Greg LeMond
Endurance sport requires a huge commitment but the satisfaction of completing your FIRST event is like no other. The hours dedicated to training, the new-found aches and pains, the highs and the lows…it became your normal. Your friends encouraged your sanity, in awe of your dedication and craziness – enjoy, you’ve earned it!
Too often our goal focused dispositions have us immediately analyzing our results. We want to go faster, race smarter and ultimately become better at our craft. We log longer training runs, buy more expensive equipment, analyze data and count calories. We train in less than ideal conditions and hunker down in the basement watching Netflix while putting in hours of training on the dreaded treadmill or bike trainer. The result if we’re lucky, is a brand new shiny Personal Best Time and the process starts all over. In a lot of instances, this is almost immediate.
Truthfully, many athletes have more bad days than good days. Training sessions that are less than fulfilling and races that don’t go as planned. Many second guess their training, are plagued with injuries have work commitments, family responsibilities and the inevitable…just simply getting older.
I speak from experience, seeing my fastest days are behind me. My training logs are filled with big mileage weeks – back to back and months on end. Times got faster but I was never satisfied. I was always chasing the next faster time, never appreciating the times I had worked so hard to achieve.
So, promise yourself to take a moment and relish your accomplishment. New to the sport? You just earned your first Personal Best Time. Remember, it’s never just a 5k, or “oh, I just did the Sprint distance.” You trained, you put in the effort and you worked hard for that result. There’s no guarantees in life. Take the time to enjoy each and everyone of your accomplishments because it never gets easier and there’s no guarantee we go faster. Enjoy the training, your new-found friends, health and the fact that you’ve achieved something many will never experience. You are a MultiSport Athlete!