Have You Bitten Off More Than You Can Chew?


Posted by Coach Becky Piper

Most people look at me with speculation and concern when I tell them that I have signed up for a half Ironman this coming season. Even my mother, who should be used to my insanity by now, said “What??  Oh no…”  And I get it. They have seen me at my worst, half paralyzed state.  A half Ironman will be the biggest comeback I can muster at the moment.  But it has even made me wonder, “Have I bitten off more than I can chew?”  “Am I in over my head?” 

As a triathlon coach, I have had athletes ask the same thing after signing up for a first race or a major race. Chances are, at least once in the process, their confidence will be shaken.  Maybe they had a bad run (which I like to call a learning experience run).  Perhaps they got sick and missed a couple training sessions. These are times that can be mentally challenging. 

It is in these times that, as triathletes, we have to take a step back and look at each individual workout as a singular entity.  If you are struggling and have a swim workout, instead of thinking about the entire upcoming big race, think only about the swim. If you have a run for that day, think about the form and the drills.  The time will come to think about the entire huge race, and at that time, you will be ready.

At that time, you may realize that when you initially signed up for that big race, you did indeed bite off more than you could chew.  But then you did chew it, simply as that. 

Have a wonderful racing year and don’t be afraid to bite off more than you can chew, as long as it's been logically discussed and properly planned for with supportive friends, a coach, or both!


Becky Piper is a Level I Certified Triathlon Coach and an up and coming paratriathlete and frequent podium finisher. She is currently training and living in Longmont, Colorado. She has competed in numerous triathlons as well as an XTERRA events - the latter which she qualified for the world championships. She has coached both beginner and advanced triathletes and is excited to work with athletes through Team MPI. Becky has many years of experience as both a personal trainer and exercise therapy specialist through the International Sports Sciences Association. Contact Coach Becky at Becky@TeamMPI.com

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