It never fails. Motivation is high at the beginning of your training cycle, and every workout is looked forward to as a fresh challenge for yourself. Eventually, a few months later, the aches and pains start to add up and life gets in the way. It is extraordinarily tough to get out of bed at 5:30 a.m. on an overcast Saturday morning and run 20 miles in the rain when your quads are sore from yesterday’s two-hour bike workout. It helps tremendously to know that there’s someone out there who will call you out if you don’t do your job. When I started out I simply Googled “triathlon coach Athens GA” and got very lucky with a great local coach and teammates who helped me throughout my training.
If hiring a coach is not an option, at the very least find a friend or training partner who can hold you accountable during the low times, because there will be low times. Pick someone who will hold you to your training plan and yell at you when you skip a day. While my wife is a great source of support during my training, she is too kind-hearted to serve this role. I know if I lay in bed and moan that I’m too sore to do my long run today, she will give in and make me chicken soup. This is not what you need. You need someone who will kick your ass if you don’t do your job. In the absence of a dedicated coach or training partner, longtime friends and older siblings tend to relish this role.
If you are training without a coach, most large cities have local triathlon groups, and triathletes are some of the most friendly, generous, and helpful people you are likely to meet. Go to a meeting and start chatting. You are likely to find group runs and bike rides at your pace, no matter what that may be.