Motivation: Finding the “Why”


Posted by Coach Liesl Begnaud

Celebrating my mother's life and raising money for cancer research became my “WHY” when I trained for my first marathon and started my endurance sports racing career.

In 2003, my mother passed away from melanoma cancer. Two months later I got an invitation in the mail to join Team in Training to train for my first marathon and raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I wanted to give back, I needed an outlet to grieve and I found training for my first marathon, with a bigger focus than just finishing, gave me great motivation. 

Since that first marathon, I raised money for two more Team in Training events, America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride century and a half marathon.  Two years ago, I raised money for St. Jude’s’ Research Hospital and ran a half marathon with friends. Next year, I plan to race the Challenged Athletes Foundation San Diego Triathlon Challenge and raise funds for others aspiring athletes.

As an athlete, I gained so much emotional support by training with others and from all of those who donated to the cause I was supporting for each race. I’ve also made some amazing friends along the way.

Motivation to exercise, train and race comes from many different places.  Motivation can be external and it can be internal. Each of us, athlete, coach, and Olympian toe the line every day for different reasons and the reasons change over the years.  Motivations comes from our fellow athletes and family.  Motivation comes from within when we desire to improve our own performance shaving off one minute at a time or learning how to clip into a pedal without falling over. 

Whatever is your WHY, whether it’s the swag and bling from the race, supporting a meaningful cause, spending time training with friends, or to qualify for a championship race, find your motivation. Claim it, define it and follow it to your next finish line.


Liesl Begnaud is a USA Triathlon Level 1 coach splitting her year living and training between Denver, CO and Clermont, FL. Liesl has been racing endurance sports for over 13 years which includes two Ironman finishes, numerous marathons, cycling events and multiple triathlon age group podium finishes. She has assisted with Team MPI Paratriathlon Camps and been active with multiple triathlon clubs and teams. Her coaching philosophy is based on creating a caring partnership while working together to meet the athlete's goals. She helps her athletes to develop skills and confidence by encouraging them to train hard, play hard, have fun, and stay healthy while enjoying a balanced life. Prior to joining Team MPI, Liesl worked as a social worker with persons with disabilities and special needs. She can be reached at

Share |

Keep up with the Blog with RSS.



Consistency and Variability: Two Key Ingredients for Successful Endurance Training

Posted by Coach David Bauerle on January 14, 2018

Testosterone and endurance exercise: the "exercise-hypogonadal male condition"

Posted by Coach Manuel Delgado Goana on January 14, 2018

Team MPI Celebrates 8th year of Excellence in Endurance Coaching and Coach Mentoring

Posted by admi on January 10, 2018

Training for your First Triathlon

Posted by Coach Liesl Begnaud on January 07, 2018

Mastering the Art of Choosing Our Reason "Why"

Posted by Coach Chris Palmquist on January 07, 2018

Triathlon is for Every BODY

Posted by Coach Adam Sczech on January 01, 2018

Watch Your AIM in 2018

Posted by Coach Mark Turner on January 01, 2018

Surviving the Holidays, One Bite at a Time

Posted by Coach April Corey on December 17, 2017

A “Heavy” Conversation

Posted by Coach Mark Sortino on December 10, 2017

The Revelations, The Risks, and the Rewards - Part 2

Posted by Coach Mandi Kowal on December 10, 2017


Full Blog Archive

Sign up for our Newsletter

Keep up with the latest tips, news, and events from Team MPI.