What Triathlon Training has taught me about Financial Freedom

Justin WallerNews

For a little background on me: I am a six-time Ironman finisher, having finished most of my races in the top 1/3rd of my age group. While I have been physically active throughout my life, triathlon was my first endeavor into endurance athletics. I picked up swimming in college, but if you swam for more than 16 minutes straight, you were doing something wrong.

After I finished Ironman Arizona in my best time (10:08), I realized that I was still some 56 minutes away from qualifying for Kona. I had worked my way up to the top 10 percent of my age group, but it simply was not enough. 

I had been working hard for years, but in spite of my best efforts, my goal of racing Kona seemed unattainable. I had bought as much speed as I could and after a couple more years of training, an unfortunate accident, and some emotional challenges, I decided to hang up the wetsuit for a while.  

Enjoy What You Do

In hindsight, my goal of qualifying for Kona had sucked the fun out of training. I realized that while I used to enjoy group training rides, the gnawing issues of starting late, taking longer than needed, and going either way too slow or way too fast eroded the joy out of participating in a sport I loved. 

Group LSD runs were high-jacked by sets of 10-mile repeats or worse, which made it difficult to want to keep going.

You have to enjoy the journey. If you can’t have fun along the way, what is the point?  

Any of us could get hit by a bus tomorrow and the journey would end right then and there. I remember several winters when I wouldn’t go snowboarding with friends anymore for fear that I would fall and hurt myself, thus losing all the benefits of the training I had put in.

Set Goals

Setting a goal for your training is one of the most important aspects of triathlon preparation. If you set your goal too high, you could end up feeling frustrated or unqualified for the sport. 

Alternatively, if you set your goal too low, you might get bored or miss out on some great opportunities. 

Having goals is good; being clear about those goals and balancing them with the rest of your life is even better. In order to do this, you must be really honest with yourself. Examine your life, your needs, and your skills to understand how best to proceed. 

More importantly, recognize when your goals are bad for you and adjust them accordingly.

Find Balance in Your Life

As a triathlete, training for the triathlon is extremely important, but it shouldn’t be all-consuming. If you notice that your training is taking up an excessive portion of your life, you may need to step back and try to find more efficient ways to train. 

Training shouldn’t take away from your work or family life. You should always find time to prioritize the most important aspects of your life and love the ones close to you.

At the end of the day, training for triathlon is a hobby for all but a very select few of us. While it requires more dedication, commitment, and perseverance than most other hobbies, it is still a voluntary activity that is meant to be enjoyable and rewarding. 

Never let your hobbies get in the way of your life. Enjoy the journey.

Training and Financial Freedom

The pursuit of Financial Independence can be similar to triathlon training. Just as some people never even start a fitness regime that works for them, some people never start a functional financial plan. 

They end up working as long as they are physically able, only to have whatever they had accumulated by accident.

Folks on the other end of the spectrum might develop a financial strategy they think will help them be financially independent by age 30. If your goal is to be Financially Independent as quickly as possible, you can make good money and save every penny possible. You can live in a friend’s basement without paying rent while surviving on rice and beans until you have amassed the financial resources you need. 

That said, if your goal is too lofty and you don’t pay attention to what you are doing, you could be on the road to burnout.  

Focus on the things that are important to you and that which you can control. Focus Enable Balance.

If you could benefit from a financial coach that can help you navigate the triathlon of your financial life, we should talk! Click here to schedule a 30-minute (virtual) conversation to discuss your unique situation, learn more about Waller Financial and determine if we’re a good match.