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Coaches Blog

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles… Endurance Sports Style

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

One of the very first articles I ever published with USA Triathlon dealt with the life-work balance and what we say no to versus what we say yes to. The line between yes and no is an extremely thin line for driven people (you know, the types of people who live and breathe the endurance sports world). After all, we can do not just anything but everything. And really, all at the same time! Of course we can. We are endurance athletes!

Until we are not.

As we come back to racing and the reopening of our world in 2022, I encourage us all to think more carefully about those thoughts we had sitting in our backyards in 2020. You know the thoughts that we had when we said, "You know, maybe when things open back up, we should go a little slower. Maybe this time here in the backyard at home is as good a time as any other. Or even better."

As the year opened and races started happening, I know of folks who, because of deferrals and compressed schedules, have raced IRONMAN distances just a couple of weeks apart because, "Hey, let's see what happens." Most of what has happened has not been very healthy for anyone.

As I'm writing, I stand about as guilty as charged as can be on this. None of us can really do well, "all of it." Taking stock, I realize that at the end of the year, between March and the first week of December of 2021, I will have been on the road for extended trips 22 times. Basically half of each month, two weeks away from home and family. That was not the backyard 2020 plan. I am not saying I won't say yes to things in 2022. I am saying that I--we-- need to go back to a level of reason in what we do say yes to.

Saying no to some things is still saying yes to other things, and sometimes those things are the most important. If anything I have shared here resonates with you, let's covenant together for a better 2022.

Here is to a healthier 2022 for all of us. Whether you're traveling by plane or train, or automobile, pick the things that will actually bless you and those around you. Remember those times in the backyard. Don't let go of their value again.

Don't let the excitement of and for the perceived moment rob you of the life you were meant to have. Sometimes staying home is the absolute best choice.


Mark Turner (aka Coach MarkT) is a Houston, Texas Metro area based Coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II and Paratriathlon Certified Coach, IRONMAN University Certified Coach,VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and Mental Strengths Performance Coach. Coach MarkT absolutely loves coaching and helping the athletes achieve their dreams. MarkT is also a US Veteran having served in the United States Marine Corps. He is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. In addition to endurance sports, his interests include history, science fiction, and cooking. He can be reached at



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