For the beginner cyclist or beginner triathlete, this might sound familiar:
“I just signed up for my first century ride/my first triathlon, and I haven’t got a clue how to get started! What on Earth am I getting myself into?”
Or, perhaps you’re already a “convert to the Church of Triathlon”. Here you are, lying in bed sleepless and tormented, dreading the insane commitment you made today. You just forked over more than $500 and signed up for your first Ironman!
How do you get over that formidable hurdle – training for your very first event?
It’s OK! I went from my first road bike to my first century ride in less than 4 months. At the same time, I went from my first triathlon to Hawaii Ironman in less than 11 months. I accomplished this without a coach or a training program.
I can assist you in your journey through the exhilarating, yet daunting landscape of beginner cyclist or beginner triathlete. You may feel like you are standing on a precipice, hoping you don’t fall off...
That’s where you get the best view – right at the edge! Instead of looking down, look out around you!
Start at the beginning. Start with your head.
As a beginner triathlete or beginner cyclist, you feel vulnerable – your mind is like a blank canvas. Who can you trust to help you make the first brush strokes on that pristine, virgin canvas? The first person you need to trust is yourself.
I’ve set out on many new endeavors in my 50+ years. I know all about vulnerability and humility. Each time I have faced these feelings, it’s been well worth it!
Eagle Scout, leading actor in high school plays, principal dancer with two dance companies, Artist-In Residence at a university, director/producer/performer/editor for small film and video productions, silviculturist for a forest management company, forest firefighter and helicopter manager with the US Forest Service, tree nursery manager, coffee farmer, reggae bass player, grant writer and assistant director for an International Forestry Conference, Pilates and yoga instructor, author... the list goes on.
When I started each of these endeavors, I started as a blank canvas – humble and naïve.
Nobody likes to feel vulnerable or ignorant, but it’s a necessary and valuable condition for the start of any journey – even as a beginner cyclist or a beginner triathlete. Don’t be afraid of humility and naivety.
When you feel humble and naïve, your senses are razor sharp and your awareness is piqued. You can’t hide behind knowledge and expertise, so you have to arm yourself with curiosity, intuition and creativity. These are the most valuable navigational aides on your path of discovery and accomplishment.
Learn to trust your own senses and your gut feeling – these are your closest allies as you strive for the finish line.
Choosing guides, mentors, coaches and teachers can certainly accelerate your progress as a beginner triathlete or beginner cyclist, and help you to avoid pitfalls along the path. However, they cannot replace the brilliance of your own senses and your gut feeling, or the feeling of aliveness that arises as you engage these faculties. These are free, available to you 24/7, and their potential has no limits.
Not sure how to awaken and use your curiosity, intuition and creativity as your most trusted “GPS”?
Here is the secret: Each time you train – each time you get on your bike, jump in the pool, or lace up your running shoes:
- Pretend it is the very first time in your life you have ever done this activity. Now your curiosity is piqued!
- Pretend it is the very last time in your life that you will ever have the opportunity to do this activity.
- Now you are devoting your full attention to this workout.
The materials I have produced for the Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide will guide you in getting maximum value out of each training session – especially with your cycling workouts.
As a beginner triathlete or beginner cyclist, when you accomplish the goal and reach the finish line, you look back and see that it was well worth the effort – well worth feeling vulnerable and humble. And you’re ready to do it again! The finish line was pretty good, but the journey was great!
The feeling of empowerment is what unites us all – last or first, fast or slow.
I am honored to share with you my experiences as I began my pursuit of athletic excellence and my quest for velo (cycling) mastery.
It all started with a “Turkey Tri”. In “Turkey Tri” My First Sprint Triathlon, I share my first triathlon experience and how it inspired me to aim for Hawaii Ironman – just eleven months later.
As a beginner triathlete and beginner cyclist, I just figured long distance cycling was supposed to be miserable. Enjoy Long Distance Cycling identifies three elements you should address to assure both comfort and performance.
In Training for Triathlon: Chronic Adrenal Fatigue I share my biggest blunder on my 11-month “Road To Kona”. This includes a list of warning signs. Be vigilant for these and you can respond promptly and intelligently.
Indoor cycling is not a seasonally-induced penance! It’s a very effective way to improve your performance and comfort. Improve Cycling Technique: Create an Indoor Cycling Studio provides guidance for getting the most out of your indoor cycling sessions.
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