Friday, August 16, 2013

Retirement and Training

After the longest hiatus between races that Amber has had all season, with the exception of little old Top Notch, Amber will be racing this Sunday up in Gilford, NH at Timberman 70.3. This race will be a great indicator of how well her training has increased her fitness and will be a great prep race for the 70.3 World Championships a mere three weeks later. The more I think about it, triathlon is a lot like life and, in particular, like saving for retirement. There are usually two types of people in regards to retirement: the live like each day could be your last and the delayed gratification people who would rather not spend now so that they have enough money for later.

The first group has the more obvious problem of typically not having enough money to retire safely and happily. In respect to triathletes, I fit this mold-finding plenty of things other than training that prevents me from ever acruing enough fitness to get the desired race outcome. My lack of training is obvious but what is less obvious but just as nefarious is the frequent withdrawers. You know the type. They race every weekend which is fun and could be used to build fitness but usually does the opposite as it nevers allows for enough fitness to build to reap the benefits that training affords. Just like if you save for retirement but frequently withdraw from your 401k to make short-term purchases.

The second group is usually the one that people aspire to become and why not, right? If you can put off making any withdrawals now, you can have plenty of fun later, right? The problem with this for retirement is that you are a)missing out on a lot of good times now and b) may not be able to do the things you love to do by the time you retire. Similarly, if you never ever race except for that one big A race of the year, you may run into problems because you haven't worked out all the kinks, haven't necessarily prepped your body to go hard, and haven't gone head to head with your competitors. And just like in retirement with a recession, you may find things out of your control like the swim being canceled that may prevent you from enjoying the one and only race that you have prepared for. An almost bigger problem though isn't the snafu's you may run into, but rather the investment strategies in place. If you put aside all your money into Gold and it deprecates in value, you aren't any better than if you haven't saved. Same with training: only do long, slow runs and preparing to run a fast marathon off the bike? Well your investment strategy is not meshing with your plans and I wouldn't expect a great outcome.

Therefore, for life and for triathlon, I would recommend a compromise between the two ends of this spectrum. Put aside money(training) for races or retirement(financial specialists recommend a minimum of 15% of your salary) but still take time to enjoy your life day to day with retirement previews, like a fun trip somewhere (or a smaller and less important race). If you dread your work or training, you're missing the point. This is our only chance to live this life and we might as well make it as enjoyable as possible while still staying responsible so we can meet our goals. If you can have small little goals that help do this, you may come back to your work(or training) feeling invigorated and ready to perform better than ever.

Amber has certainly been doing a good job saving for the 70.3 World Championships and I think she's ready now to make a small deposit for Timberman this weekend. If you're in the neighborhood, swing by and cheer her on. I know she'll appreciate it.

Up Next: Timberman 70.3 -August 18th.

No comments:

Post a Comment