I’ve cramped, I’ve bled, I’ve suffered and I got dirty but why do I keep going back for more? The answer is quite simple: I like to challenge myself and see how far I can push my limits. Also I like to try new things. I’ve been racing for a bit now so it would be somewhat easy for me to go back to the same races and same distances with the only goal is to finish it. Don’t get me wrong, it is ok if you do races just to have that feeling of crossing the finish line, but each time I finish a race, it doesn’t take long before I’m trying to figure out how I can improve on my new results.
It can be changing the training routine, a different piece of equipment or changing something in my nutrition. Competing mostly in short distance event, every second counts so a slight change can affect whole day in a big way. In triathlon, on the training side I went from going out and do one of three sports to have a schedule and actually do some training sessions like hill repeats and intervals. From the equipment standpoint, the big change was getting a triathlon bike, and the smaller change was getting more aero stuff (helmet, trisuit, wheels, etc) to even smaller details like bottle placement and have the shoes tied to the bike before the race. On the nutrition side, I’m still playing around with what I have before and during the race but I know what works for me. By the way, for the after I’m usually on a “see food diet” but only for the day of the event though.
I love the feeling of finishing a training session, or a race, or even overcoming some new obstacle on the mountain bike, knowing that I gave it all and succeed to get better by pushing myself.