Post-It Wars and the Importance of Accountability in Training

December 24, 2008 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

post-it-note

The Great Post-It War of 2008-2009 was set off by a single act last week shortly after I arrived to work when I decided to have a little fun with one of my co-workers by posting my workout from the previous day.  Two simple entries, Swim-1:15/Bike:1:00, set three grown men into a training competition that has been played out via post-it notes and blackberry messages ever since.

I guess I should give some context to this story:  Throughout the firm I work for, there are four triathletes, including myself.  One of these individuals resides on the fourth floor and isn’t too serious about it due to injuries.  The other three, including myself, are within a twenty foot radius of each other on the second floor and we’re all in training for IM’s in 2009 (they’re both doing Coeur d’Alene).  One of them, Bob, hasn’t done an IM for several years but has done several before, and the other, Tim, did his first last year, but wasn’t happy with the result due to his run.

We had been going back and forth for the past month in pretty much the same manner: I talk about what I’ve been doing (i.e. training quite a bit) and they both talk about how they wish they had the time to train like that.  Admittedly, they both have families with small children and I’m single and have none, so I have an unfair advantage in the free time category, but I’d still been having fun razzing them (particularly Bob because he was pretty serious about it for a number of years and his dad was a pro at one point) about not being on the horse yet.  Even after Tim had started training a little more consistently, he couldn’t convince Bob to jump on the horse (more excuses).

In the end, all it took was a single post-it note from me to awaken the “Tri-Bear” within Bob.  Since that single posting we’ve been going back and forth with the post-it notes outside Bob’s office and, on the weekends or when we’re out of the office, via blackberry messages.  It has been fun going back and forth trading barbs with each other about what we did the night before even though I know that this is a competition that I’m not going to lose (I already do virtual post-it notes with my coach every day…only those post-it notes can’t inflate the volume or increase the speed with which the activities were done).

The moral of the story is that having some type of accountability to someone else will help dramatically with your consistency in training.  For me, having a coach not only helps me with scheduling my training, but it also helps inspire me get out there on those days when I’d really rather just lie in bed in the morning or grab a beer after work rather than diving into the pool  or pounding the pavement.  For Bob and Tim, it was a little intra-office competition that is bringing out the best in both of them, even over the holidays.  No matter how you choose to do it, finding a way to make yourself accountable will go a long way to improving the consistency in your training and keep you from making those little, silent bargains with yourself when the alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. (e.g. I’ll sleep in today and I’ll do double in the pool tomorrow!  Yeah, right….)

Happy Holidays and Happy Training!

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