A Little Healthy Competition
For those of you who have hit my Experience Triathlon masters swim classes at Central Park Lisle on Monday evening and Friday morning (shameless plug!), you’ll know that I like to combine fun with a good workout, and often times add a little dose of healthy competition to keep things interesting! Every 3-4 weeks I’ll line everyone up in the lanes and do sprints in order to mix things up a little and get the competitive juices flowing. I find that everyone just loves the experience of seeing how they stack up to their training partners and to measure their swimming progress, even if they claim to be “non-competitive”, and often times they’re surprised with the results!
I think for any adult, and especially those that have made the commitment to a healthy lifestyle, adding in a little competition helps one stay motivated, measure progress, and set goals. Those of us that are involved in endurance sports where performance is predominantly individual know how important it is to plan our training with an eye toward a race schedule, whether that race is a 5K or an Ironman. Imagine how it would feel to train all year with no ability to measure progress. Without setting a few concrete goals it would be difficult to continue training with any sense of purpose or motivation. In addition, participating in races is a great way to meet people who share your interest and enthusiasm in your sport of choice, and they’re just plain fun! If you’re in doubt, just check out some of the photos on the ET website. If the thought of signing up for a race is intimidating, check out some of the beginner-friendly events like our indoor triathlons or a fun run like Crazy Legs, which is coming up at the end of April. I guarantee that once you dip a toe into the competition pool you’ll come back again and again for more.
To close, I’ll tell you what I did this weekend, purely for fun! To give you some background, I was a competitive swimmer all the way up to college. After a hiatus of about 20 years, last year I decided to participate in competitive swimming again to mix up my triathlon off-season, and I have enjoyed every minute of it! This past weekend I participated in the Illinois Masters Swim Association state meet where I placed in the top 10 in my age group in the 100 breaststroke, and I made best times in two of the events I swam. It was a great experience swimming in the same pool with some very fast adult swimmers, but the thing that hit me more than the awesome times was the fact that everyone, from the beginners to the national qualifiers, were excited and happy to be there purely for love of a little healthy competition!
Coach Sue is a Swim Coach with Experience Triathlon Coaching Services. As leaders in the endurance coaching industry, Coach Sue and the Experience Triathlon coaching team help athletes of all ages and abilities achieve success in training, racing and life. Learn more about Coach Sue and Experience Triathlon at www.experiencetriathlon.com and www.ET-Youth.com