This is my January article for Finishline-Multisport.com, on this time of year I call the Triathlon Honeymoon.
It's the new year, and there is no doubt the honeymoon phase of the sport is once again beginning. For those in southern California, it is clearly starting with the nice weather, but for those in the colder climates the excitement increases with longer daylight hours and increasing temperatures each day.
Athletes will spend their time thinking about the great upcoming races, and are chomping at the bit to get out and get competing, hammering out the sessions. In fact, athletes don't tend to need to do much to see improvements in their fitness during the honeymoon phase, as just getting out the door consistently does this for them. They are motivated, and the sessions are high in quality.
In years of watching athletes train, no one cares about improvement until it isn't happening anymore. When this time hits, the honeymoon is over! Once it becomes a chore, or requires discipline, changing of routine, or some mysterious twist in training, athletes tend to get frustrated and things begin to go down hill. It happens nearly every season, to many, if not most athletes.