Last weekend, Caius, Carole, Liam and I ran a Triathlon.

Not an epic distance, we all picked distances that suited ourselves. I opted for Sprint, which consisted of 500m in the pool, 20k on the bike and 5k on foot.

I’m no stranger to sport. I coach fencing, have fenced competitively, play squash, climb and bike on a regular basis. But this was the first time I had approached an endurance event. This put me way, way, way out of my comfort zone and meant I had to look at training in a new light.

It also gave me a concrete, defined goal. Finish.

This was no joke. When I started, finish looked a long way off.

Concrete goals are great. They’re way better than just arbitrarily deciding “I want to lose weight”, or “I want to run 10k in four and a half minutes”. Things set in stone that you’re working towards have a nice push/pull effect. On one side, you can plan for it. See the deadline, set out milestones and make it happen. That’s the pull. The push is taking a days off, realising the event is still there and going “ohhhh, shiiiiiiii…..” just before putting your trainers back on and getting out there. When there’s no backing out of the goal, that push is a huge motivator on the down days.

Before I started, I could swim (badly), bike (reasonably) and run (poorly). I can now survive (I’d not call competence yet) 1km in the pool, my cycling has tidied up a bit and I can now run 10k. That’s quite a reasonable win. But now I’m at the other end, I’m looking for the next goal to set. I’m currently eyeing up a 10k run in November.

I managed my goal. Not only did I finish, I also did not come last. That’s a double win in my book.