It is easy in January to be energized about the swim or triathlon season and set some ambitious goals. But we all benefit from being realistic. About now is the true test. Did you bite off more than is realistic given your life schedule only to now find yourself fading? If so, time to reset. Reset as in reset your fitness goals, or take a more realistic look at your life/work schedule. Not to just pace yourself in the pool, but in overall training/fitness plan.
Signs you are trying to do too much are: you’re fading in the motivation/inspiration department regarding training, you get a cold/sick because your immune system is compromised from too much (training, work, social, etc. but not enough rest/recovery), you are feeling mental stress of trying to fit it all in and be organized (did you forget to pick up the kids? did you forget you have kids?), your daily energy is dropping instead of building.
If this is you, it is time to reassess the situation. Allow time for your body to adapt to the extra hours of training-i.e. shoulders in swimming, knees for running, but also build into it mentally. Allow your mind to adapt along with your body by building your schedule, intensity and duration slowly, too. Let your mind wrap around all the changes that can come at the start of a new season.
Review your goals and season. Do you need to get in all 99 Fresh Free Practices by summer or can you stretch them out over the year? Do you have to train 6 miles of swimming a week or can 5 miles be good enough?
Review your weekly schedule. Is there a place where you can trim the swim by a few 100 yards to allow a little more breathing room-literally, or cut your run by 5 minutes? Take that extra few minutes and take a few deep breathes, as in look around to smell the roses? Slow down your mind.
Taking a little bit of time in each day can help make your life go slow. Pace yourself. This is a lifestyle.