I find many opportunities for growth and learning through endurance athletics, which is an ongoing passion of mine.
At the beginning of 2019, I decided to start running consistently. I decided to take this on as a challenge because I knew it would help me manage stress during my studies and teach me about the long-term payoff of perseverance and dedication. In the beginning, I commited to simply running several times a week. Once I got over the hurdle of running being an unpleasant experience, I became curious about the most effective ways to train so that I could build volume and speed into my running. Through my research I learnt about different types of training and how they affect different systems of the body such as heart rate and stroke volume, mitochondrial density, blood lactate clearance. Jack Daniels’ book “Daniels’ Running Formula” had a large influence on my theoretical understanding of the sport of running and general training principles for endurance athletics. Through experience I learnt about the importance of healthy living habits to support a rigorous training plan, like diet and musculoskeletal strengthening.
Within a year of my first run in January, I ran my first half marathon in 1:30:12 at a pace that seemed previously impossible, bought a road bike, and started swimming with the UVic triathlon club. I’m proud to say that in March, 2020 I did my first real triathlon: UBC Tri Du 2020 collegiate sprint. It was a major success finishing in 1:13:44 for an overall placement of 13/45.
I believe that endurance sports can teach us the virtues of patience and determination. The feeling of achieving a goal after months of preparation is difficult to replicate, but for me it’s the training that really pays dividends, bringing balance into my life every day. I continue to enjoy training, learning new things about human performance, and encouraging and helping others incorporate endurance athletics into their lifestyles.