The Tri Life’s Top 9 Motivational Tips

So I've been struggling with motivation a bit lately.  Not once I get going, but to literally get started. I figured there were other triathletes like me, so I have scanned the far reaches of the Internet and compiled my favorite motivational tips.  I hope these help and are useful to some of you!  Feel free to comment or reach out if you have other motivational tips that you think others would benefit from! I’ve added some of my own descriptions to help. 

Motivation Tip #1 - Write your Goal down

Being motivated to work out or go training, day in and day out, is tough! But one tip that will help is WRITING YOUR GOAL DOWN. The visual will serve as a good motivator and will remind you of why the hard work is important. Whether it's a list of races you plan to participate in on your desk at work, race splits you would like to hit on your dresser in your room, or a 140.6 sticker on your gear, this is sure to be an awesome mental motivator. Having these reminders in front of me help get me back to training each day! Tri it and let us know what you think!

Motivation Tip #2 - Chart your Progress

Writing down a goal is one way, but charting your progress along the journey is another great way to stay motivated to reach your goals. Keeping a daily or weekly log will remind you of your past accomplishments as well as what you’re trying to achieve. In addition, charting your progress can help excite you for your next workout and help give you the desire to push harder. I like to log my workouts from the previous day in the morning. This way I can see how much I accomplished the day before and get amped for the day’s training ahead.  Give it a shot and let us know what you think!

Motivation Tip #3 - Workout Partner

Finding a workout partner is a great motivational tip for many reasons. One is that partners help push you on those days you just don't feel like it. Having someone that also relies on you can create simultaneous motivation and accountability. Second, a workout partner is there to keep you from losing your mind by yourself. I've personally found it very hard to find one training partner. Instead, I try to reach out to friends, family, and anyone doing a similar workout for a day or two. Jumping in with them has a similar effect as a single training partner except none of the commitment!  Either option will help motivate you to get out there each and every day.

Motivation Tip #4 - Make it Fun

Woohoo! This is one of my favorites! Plus it works the best in my mind! Making triathlon training fun will pay dividends over your triathlon and athletic career. Things that aren't fun are chores or homework and we don't want our mind to make a negative association with the swim bike run lifestyle that we love. To combat that, making workouts fun will increase our motivation to work out and do it harder. For examples of making it fun, check out my post, "make it fun"!! (Coming soon)

Motivation Tip #5 - Make Smaller Mini Goals

Motivation comes in many forms and so do our goals.  Getting motivated can be easier when the goal is smaller or more easily attainable.  Instead of committing to an Ironman in one year and dreading the long training weeks, try breaking the training season into an ocean swim, long bike ride/race and a marathon.  This way you can more easily stay focused and it leads you toward your end goal of the Ironman race.  One tactic I really like using is making each week a new training target.  This way I feel the mileage I aim to hit is more attainable and within reach. 

Motivation Tip #6 – Reward Yourself

Another great tip for motivation is rewarding yourself.  You know you are working hard and don't want to lose focus on your goals, so how about motivation through reward when you reach that mini goal or make it through a tough training period? I've found that this can really help determination and drive. Whether it is a cheat meal, weekend off with the family, a few alcoholic beverages with friends, new shoes or a bike make sure you are clear to yourself about the rules and then reward yourself when you make it.  Just thinking right now about the opposite, punishing yourself for not reaching a goal, could potentially have a similar effect.  I might have to test this one. TBD.. 

Motivation Tip #7 - Never Skip Consecutive Days

While I don’t completely agree with how this is worded, I do agree with the message.  Life is busy and changes in your personal schedule can often change or eliminate a workout, but missing one workout gives our bodies a mentality that it’s okay to miss more.  In order to nip missing consecutive days, use this commitment as motivation to get back out there and triathlon train. Seems obvious, but going back to train after an unplanned day off is very tough.  Don’t get sucked up and dragged down by consecutive skips, it will go a long way in your training. 

Why I don’t like the wording is because I occasionally have consecutive days off pre planned.  That’s why I focus more on not skipping consecutive pre-planned training days.

Motivation Tip #8 - Make a Big Public Commitment

This is another great motivational tip! If you can’t hold yourself accountable to pursue your goal, why not feel the weight of everyone else holding you accountable.  Making a big public commitment or announcement derives motivation from our networks and social groups.  Whether it be right or wrong, knowing we might let people down or not accomplish what we committed to others can be a powerful motivator.  I know for myself, when it’s time I finally let people know I’m doing a certain race or targeting a certain goal, it becomes real.  That becomes “GO” time!

Motivation Tip #9 - Always think positive

My last motivational tip comes from my fellow triathlete and friend, Jeff @thetriumphproject. He posted a motivational post with the caption, “Positivity can be infectious.  Bring it always, in all ways,” while I was writing these tips so I had to make an ninth! Thinking negative thoughts does no one any good.  Creating doubt and negativity leads to unwelcomed results.  Instead, approach triathlon training and life in general with positivity.  You will be surprised by the way your feel.  It’s simple but true and I feel great motivation when I think positively!


That’s it! Those are my favorite motivational tips and I hope you all benefit from reading them.  These can be applied to not only triathlon training, but also life in general!  Stay tuned for more and continue crushing the Swim Bike Run lifestyle!

TRI Tip Tuesday – Open Water Swim Sighting

Even though it is typically the shortest discipline in a triathlon event, swimming is commonly considered the toughest.  However, this doesn’t have to be the case!  The Tri Life has a couple key tips for getting more comfortable in open water and getting you, the triathlete, to the finish of the swim course quicker!

Sighting!  This week’s swimming tip is sighting, that is the action of looking where you are going while swimming.  In a majority of races, lane lines and buoys will be few and far between.  Knowing how to properly sight the horizon and realign yourself will help you swim straighter and faster, while using less energy. Think: Less Zig-Zag, Less Distance, Less Energy!

It's easy to properly perform this technique, but like anything else, practice will be crucial to excelling at it.  The following steps are easy to follow, but if you want a video example, see the video below or check out our YouTube channel.

For Right Breathers
Step 1) Take 10 full freestyle strokes
Step 2) Reach out with your left arm
Step 3) Pick your head up straight
Step 4) Spot the landmark you are heading for and breathe
Step 5) Pull with left arm as you rotate your head right and then back down
Step 6) Finish the stroke accounting for the angle correction
Step 7) Swim at least 10 full strokes before your next sight

For Left Breathers
Step 1) Take 10 full freestyle strokes
Step 2) Reach out with your right arm
Step 3) Pick your head up straight
Step 4) Spot the landmark you are heading for and breathe
Step 5) Pull with right arm as you rotate your head left and then back down
Step 6) Finish the stroke accounting for the angle correction
Step 7) Swim at least 10 full strokes before your next sigh


The Tri Life Presents Tip Tuesday! Open Water Swim Sighting! 

Hope this quick step guide to sighting helps you on your next race!  Stay tuned for more tips and advice to come from The Tri Life.  If you have a question about this tip or another area of triathlon that you are struggling with, feel free to email us at

Crush it!