There’s a trial in triathlon
By: Casey Arbenz, Hester Law Group
Along with RTB members Lance Hester and Brett Purtzer, I’m a trial lawyer for the Hester Law Group. We pride ourselves in fighting for clients who have been injured or are facing a criminal charge. Oftentimes, the matter is serious, time-consuming and overwhelmingly stressful. Sometimes, the case requires a jury trial.
A trial is a lot like a triathlon. Some are short, like sprint triathlons. Others last for weeks or months and resemble an ironman. Both have ups and downs and are inherently unpredictable. Both require lots of preparation and attention to nutrition (a trial requires a lot of coffee in the morning and beer at night 😊). Both are both mentally and physically exhausting. In the same way you learn something new after every triathlon, a trial is the same way. Every mistake becomes something to avoid the next time around.
This time last year I was training for the Oceanside 70.3 (I’m doing it again this year on April 7th). For the entire month of February I was also defending a client in a complex embezzlement case. The trial was stressful for several reasons. First, my client was innocent. Second, there were thousands of pages of documents to comb through. Third, the trial was in Seattle and I live in Gig Harbor – meaning I had to commute around 3 hours a day. Fourth, at the time my kids were one and two years old. Fifth and finally, I really wanted to PR the race in Oceanside.
While it could be argued that my triathlon training might need to take a back seat during that stressful month, I took the opposite approach. I decided to focus on time management, organization, proper nutrition (less beer), quality workouts and as much time as possible with my family. I avoided sitting in traffic as much as I could by taking the ferry to Seattle in the morning and putting in one solid hour of trial prep while on the boat. After trial, rather than go eat, drink or get on the road, I went straight to work out. As a YMCA member, I could use the Seattle facility. I swam in that pool and even made it to a couple 5:00 spin classes. I ran the Seattle waterfront and went up to Green Lake a couple times. By the time my workouts were over the I-5 traffic had usually dissipated enough for a faster drive home. I was able to eat with my kids and help put them to bed. I slept like a rock every night and woke up each morning ready to fight. I was in perfect trial mode; perfect triathlon mode!
Looking back on that month of my life, I was as disciplined as I’ve ever been. While I came up four minutes short of a PR, I still had a great race in Oceanside. I won my trial. I managed my stress during that busy time and somehow, despite all that was going on, I didn’t have to sacrifice too much family time. I learned a lot about being a trial lawyer and being a triathlete. I learned that for me, being good at one means being good at both.
A smattering of Survey Comments
The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to make a healthy fresh start. Most of us make resolutions for eating healthier, getting back into the gym or training for the next event. But it’s also important to remember your annual health screenings. This year, make sure scheduling your annual mammogram is at the top of your list.
You can now get your mammogram at Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI). You’ve known CDI as a medical imaging provider of MRIs and CTs, but with our recent partnership with Breast Diagnostic Center, we now offer a full range of women’s imaging services including 3D mammography, breast ultrasound, breast biopsy and bone density services.
Schedule your annual mammogram or other women’s imaging exam at our new CDI-Auburn Women’s Center or CDI-Federal Way Women’s Center by calling 253-735-1991. Information on all 11 CDI locations in western Washington can be found at myCDI.com/WA.
By Holly Pennington, DPT/Outpatient Physical Therapy
When the next race is 5 months away, the new season of This Is Us is finally here, and there is nowhere to park at the gym thanks to New Year’s resolutions of the masses, even the most committed triathletes can start to lose their motivation. Inspiring training quotes on Instagram may be enough to get you through the next workout, but what are the best ways to stay motivated through the long, dark days of the off-season?
For decades, health psychologists and exercise scientists have been trying to get to the bottom of what motivates people to exercise. While the magic bullet remains elusive, scientific inquiries into the mental game of training provide some answers to what works best when it comes to sticking to a training plan.
Not surprisingly, research points to enjoyment as a driving force of the most disciplined athletes. The human brain is wired for pleasure; if you enjoy a workout, you will most likely do it again. Most triathletes can check this box off – you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t love triathlons – but does enjoyment of your sport translate to your daily workouts? If not, driving an extra ten minutes to a scenic trail to run or playing a video game while you ride the stationary bike at the gym could be the difference between a workout and your couch.
In 2016, psychologists took the concept of workout pleasure a step farther and asked what specific factors contributed to positive emotions associated with training. Perceived competence – a sense of mastery or winning – was most strongly correlated with enjoyment. Believing that you are good at something makes it more fun. So, when you find yourself in a rut this winter, try zoning in on your technical skills in the pool or on the track. Hire a coach, do your own research or ask a friend for feedback on your form – the more proficient you feel in each sport, the more enjoyable it will be. And, bonus, the more motivated you will feel!
If focusing on fun isn’t your thing, the unexpected results of a recent study comparing social support with social comparison (in other words, competition) may give you some ideas. Researchers compared supportive online networks with competitive ones to find out which were most effective in motivating people to exercise. The results give a nod to tools like the CrossFit scoreboard, as competition came out on top. So, the next time your friends invite you on a 3-hour ride and you don’t feel like going, ask if they would be up for some friendly competition. And when your Facebook friend posts their Map My Run results for everyone to see, instead of rolling your eyes or unfriending them, think social comparison: sharing and comparing may be more self-care than self-obsession.
The off-season is not only a time to build a fitness foundation, it’s an opportunity to try new things with your training and learn about yourself. What motivates you? Find out by trying these research-backed techniques and remember to find the fun in your training, no matter what!
Therapists at Outpatient Physical Therapy love working with triathletes to keep you training pain-free. Call any of the seven locations to schedule a free consult (no referral needed). www.outpatientpt.com
Raise the Bar
Race reports, upcoming events, news, and more, from RTB.