How to keep going when the triathlon training gets tough.

Almost all endurance sports reward consistency, getting out the door, practicing a routine, adapting and improving. Triathlon is no different. But to be consistent, you have to be motivated, and that's the key. 

When training gets tough and your next event is still months away, it’s all too easy to get de-motivated. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Follow these six tips to keep your training motivation topped up at all times, and make sure you go into your next triathlon in the best shape possible.

1. Have a goal

The most important thing when trying to keep motivated is having a goal in the first place. Without this there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s hard to see a reward or something to measure your achievements by. So whatever you want to achieve, have a goal in mind. As always, make sure your goal is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).

2. Treat yourself

When you're trying to be consistent, quite often you might become de-motivated with the same old routine.

Especially in bad weather or when you're already tired. However there are many ways to trick yourself and sometimes the hardest thing is just getting out the door in the first place! So I always have a treat lined up for myself when I finish a hard morning. Normally something simple like a coffee in town with my wife or I'll have the ingredients for an incredible breakfast lined up!

3. Take it easy

If you're really struggling, say to yourself that you're going to start your morning run as easily as it’s humanly possible to run. I guarantee you that within 10 minutes you'll have found the motivation you need, and you’ll finish up running as fast at the end as you would do on any old training day!

4. Stick to the plan

If you have a coach or a plan, stick to it! It's hard to see the big picture sometimes from where you’re standing, but if you over-cook yourself by doing extra training, then I guarantee you'll end up over-tired, lost and de-motivated!

5. Be flexible

That said, and I don't want to sound like I'm contradicting myself here, it's also not a big deal to change your plan around weather. If you have a long bike ride planned but it's raining on Sunday and you can't bear the thought of it, then swap it with a long run. Be a bit flexible because there’s nothing worse for motivation then soldiering on in the rain.

6. Join a club

No matter what kind of triathlon you’re training for, or what ability level you’re at, I'd always recommend that you find yourself like minded people to go through it with. If you're a triathlete, go and join the local Triathlon Club, jump in on their group sessions when you can and use everyone else to make you faster. It can be very lonely out there but if you have people with you, it can be much more enjoyable.