Somewhere in May 2017 I started to think of beginning to swim. Even today if you ask me why I thought about it, I can’t give an answer. Anyway, on the 1st of July 2017 I jumped into the water for the first time to do some “swimming”. It was terrible… so terrible that when I returned home I immediately opened “YouTube” to look for videos about crawl swimming and improvement of technique. There I was now, cycling, running and swimming. What should be the next? Am I now a triathlete? To prove this I decided to participate in my first triathlon event. I signed up for Ironman 70.3 in Zell am See Austria. Happening by the end of August I had enough time to prepare myself and get better in swimming. Starting and finishing in Zell am See got me into the triathlon sport. Here I’m today still active and improving my skills and pushing myself as much as I can.
Competing in triathlon is a really demanding. Having three completely different sports, all of them with their own specifics in technique, speed, training methods, to race and be at the front at races needs a lot of dedication towards all three disciplines. To achieve the best out of yourself you have to drive a “non-bullshit-route”. Your training should be treated as individual race, most of the time you’re alone – you against the training which is given by your coach. Every interval what awaits you is your own personal challenge. I think the most important thing is to start the session. Everything else, what awaits you during the training session has to be treated as a challenge, a new obstacle for your body, pushing your limits over an edge which he used to be prior.
The most important key to success (success doesn’t mean to win, success means for me to be the best bad ass you) for me is hard work. I think that talent doesn’t exist. There is only hard work. When you give your body new challenges new impulses all the time, you will become a better you, push your limits further. This should be in the end of the day the motivation for your training. When you finish a session better than the last time (faster, stronger or even get a faster recovery then before) that is what you’re aiming for. There is one even more important message; the harder you go in your training, the easier the race will be. Your body is used to such kind of stress and in a race you can always remember in your mind what and how it was in some specific training session.
So how my day looks like in the moment: wake up at 5 am, start my first training session before 6 in the morning finish and go to work at 8:30 am. Usually I work 10-12 hours a day which takes out everything from my body in mental aspect. So I really enjoy by the end of the day to hit the second training session. It feels very good to push yourself again to the edge of your possibilities and break new barriers in your body. It’s obvious that it requires more than just a training plan and a self-motivation to compete in high levels. I have to mention that a key factor is for sure a strong support and commitment in your environment. Family, friends or partners are those factors which aren’t visible in the first moment, but those are these magic factors which for sure can’t make you win a race, but they can contribute to it a lot. Contribution and support is highly needed. How would it be possible to train up to 25 hours per week when your family isn’t supporting and encouraging you to complete your goals faster and better. By the end of the season for 2018, I drafted with my coach my race plan for 2019. Clear focus should be on two major events. First I need to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 world championship in Nice (this you can only reach if you’re in the first three in your age-group in a race prior to the championship), second should be my first full distance event. It means a lot to me to be healthy and feel vital before starting any project like this. Therefore, I waited one full year with the first full distance. In my opinion one of the most crucial objectives in doing sport is the health. Everybody, starting from recreatives to top athletes should be aim for health and steady development.
When the year 2019 started, running through a good preparation with a lot of new training methods, I was prepared enough to accomplish my first milestone for this year; the qualification for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice. I reached this with a third place in Thailand at the Ironman 70.3 Bangsaen. One done, the next challenge is coming and my mind is planning the next… Never stop and go beyond…
Reaching this milestone that early in the season meant a lot to me. I can now fully concentrate for my first timer as full distance athlete. But of course, till then – beginning of July – there will be a lot of sweat, pain and the edge between success and threats.
Author: Stefan Trost