Sweat it out, together! A New Year’s Resolution.
Studies that have shown that the behavior of others can strongly influence our own behavior. We tend to adopt the behaviors, attitudes, lifestyle and habits of those that surround you. That’s why they say, surround yourself with the people you want be like, those that inspire you and build you up to be a better person. In my experience, it’s nothing but the truth.
One of the best training tips I can give is find a crew, or even one awesome friend/teammate/significant other to workout with. Not only will you find more dedication, motivation and influence, you might just inspire others, find new levels within yourself that you never thought possible and achieve those big goals you’d only previously dreamed about.
Whether it’s a group class, a walk in the woods, an indoor spin or Zwift workout, one of the best kept ‘secrets’ is working out with and supporting others in their endeavors. As a professional athlete, I find myself at training camps a few times of the year - totally immersed in training with a few like-minded individuals for an intense few weeks… and find those experiences extremely motivated. But that type of intensity is not required (or even necessarily desired) for ongoing motivation and fulfillment. That’s why I decided to branch out and reach more of the community by founding, IRACELIKEAGIRL - a women’s endurance community and team.
I’ll flashback to 2016.
I was going through a big transition in life: Divorce. Injury. I felt hurt and lonely most of the time and had little motivation to even get on a bike…much less get in shape to race. I was sitting alone with my sidekick Zoe (the cutest little Yorkie, you’ve ever seen) against the beautiful landscape in Boulder, Colorado one day when I finally knew I had to make a change. I needed to reconnect with my sense of purpose and belonging in this world.
That is where the idea for IRACELIKEAGIRL was born. I knew I wanted to create something bigger than just racing as a pro in the triathlon world. I wanted to help others become the best version of themselves and frankly, I needed to connect myself to something more significant. Our online community is now over 200 members worldwide. I’ve made some great friends and have been able to connect with an amazing group of women that, not only support each other, but inspire. It’s been an amazing last two years, and I can’t wait to start the new year with new and familiar faces at team events, meet ups, and races.
It’s an amazing feeling being part of another athlete’s goals in the sport. Seeing members of our team achieve their goals, fight mental barriers, push themselves in races and inspire each other with their efforts is pretty damn exciting.
I know that when I’m out racing, I’m racing for our team. I know I’m reaching at least one person. That one person is likely reaching another. It’s the Butterfly Effect in FULL effect. There’s a bond that is created online that can be as strong as the one in the real world. I get excited when I’m racing with another team member or the chance to meet a member at races and events. When I wear something that says IRACELIKEAGIRL I’m part of something… a group of women redefining to the world what it means to race like one!
This community is now an integral part of who I am as a person, an athlete, a coach, a friend, and a supporter. It has truly changed how I view triathlon and reaffirmed that our community is so special and unique within this sport.
So…getting back to training with a group. What are the benefits? MANY!
There’s a commitment and accountability when you workout with others. You can’t ‘drop out’ without being noticed. Skipping workouts become a hard thing to do when people are depending on you to be there!
Finding partners in crime makes you push harder. Have you ever gone to an indoor time trial or FTP test? Doing a 20-min all-out effort on a trainer is hard enough… but never am I able to push myself as hard as alone as I find myself able to in a group effort.
Have you ridden with Zwift? It’s the same idea. The online indoor cycling platform is an opportunity to ride with people around the world! I find myself going hard for the next round, pushing up the hills, searching for a new jersey. It’s highly motivating and really taps into my inner competitiveness.
For a least a few workouts a week, opting for a group setting, meeting a friend, waking up your significant other for that morning run, may help you get to new levels for 2019. Mental barriers that may be holding you back will be realized as you find yourself challenged more, and the positivity of everyone working toward a goal creates an atmosphere that is both fun and motivating!
So go ahead…Sweat it out, together!
Angela Naeth, Professional Triathlete
Founder of IRACELIKEAGIRL
To find a triathlon tribe, here are some great resources: