New Year’s Resolutions

I love rules. It’s a handy trait to have when it comes to training. My life is dictated by a timetable. If I didn’t enjoy the structure and knowing what I should be doing at any given time I’d go insane. Strictly speaking I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions because I’ve been planning the goals for the next year for ages. Even so, for the past few years New Year’s Eve has been a convenient time to write down some aims. A short while back I put up the sporting goals for 2009 and then followed it with far too much detail on the training I’ll be doing. Today it’s all about where this is all going.

The truth of the matter is I don’t really have a clue! The whole thing has evolved so much over the past few months it doesn’t really bear that much relation to where I started from. Though I didn’t write it down at the time as 2008 started I was making plans for this trip. The original idea was something along the lines of a full year in Australia. Training, racing and travelling a bit with the training being the main aim. I planned to do all sorts of races of varying distances rather than the focus just on Ironman. I planned to spend some time developing my climbing and to fit in some mountaineering at some point in the year. A few months out here and a bit of reality and 2009 is all about focussing on Ironman racing.

It’s as I reach the end of 2009 things become a bit of a grey area. Funding will be a little bit tight and the life of an athlete may have to come to an end for a while. This is really where the question of where this is all going comes in. Right now it’s easy to say it’s all about doing the best Ironman races I can, but this isn’t a self-supporting set-up. I’ve stated one of my goals is to race Ironman as a Pro, but even then we’re not talking about a steady income. Race winnings for all but the top pros don’t amount to an annual income to speak of. I want to race Pro for the personal satisfaction of achieving that level of triathlon performance. Were any of this about money I’d have stayed with my job!

What I do know is that I am enjoying the lifestyle I currently live. I don’t specifically mean not working, but the structured training and the focus on improving myself. So I can make the vaguest of resolutions which is to find ways to sustain this kind of lifestyle. I certainly have some options, freelance work in IT is out there even with a tougher economy. It would be possible to look into working a few months to set-up funds for training a few months at a time. Done right, maintaining fitness whilst working and building fitness in between could work.

As this is all about ideals and dreams let’s put the perfect solution out there. The perfect situation for me would be to earn enough from sponsorships and racing to continue training 100% of the time. With the income in this sport and my performance not even being close to the top (yet!) that’s not even slightly realistic. Injecting a little reality I’d like to find work that enabled me to continue a training regime similar to now and provide a reasonable income to support it. Some kind of sports related work appeals, though I suspect my capacity to earn is better elsewhere. I’m open to suggestions!

A lot of waffle for a first post in the New Year. To sum up the main resolution for the coming year outside of my very detailing training plans is to develop this into a sustainable, training focussed lifestyle. I think a few years of training and racing would be fun, it’d be good to see how far I can take it in that time. After that, then maybe I need to start considering a real job and something that’ll keep me going in old age! I’ll save that for the 2015 New Year’s Resolution post though.

I did make one other sort of resolution. Sort of in the sense I’m not sure how much I’ll stick to it or what it exactly means. For 2009 I’m going to be more honest! Not to say I’m a liar, but I intend to be more direct and say what I think. This could all go hideously wrong and be very offensive, but I think part of the trick is learning how to get away with it. Could be interesting!


  • Ross

    Enjoying the blog. Good luck in 2009.

  • Russ,
    Here I am thinking about my next blog entry all about goals for next year and by way of putting it off I have a look at your latest ! Ironman is seriously addictive. Like you i’ve found my plans changing – part time at work, then stopping work (not out of choice !) and now selling up everything to prolong full time training further.
    The idea of some contract work interspersed with training seemed like a good idea to me. I’d thought perhaps work 6 months, train 6 months.
    Anyway – hope you get it sorted so u can live the life you want.
    See you in a matter of weeks for Epic NZ !

  • Epic NZ has come round so quick. Still a couple of weeks to get things in shape before the start though. I’m feeling pretty good right now I have to say.

    You’re right about the addictive nature of Ironman. I never started down this path intending to be in Oz training full time. The 6 month on/off plan is certainly one I’ve thought about. Maintain fitness in some form whilst you work, then build it whilst you train. Definitely appeals as a sustainable approach to the lifestyle.

    See you in a few weeks and we can discuss all this and more in person.


  • Oh! And I should add thanks to Ross. Glad you’re enjoying the blog.



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