By: Alyssa Cheung

Since I got into running and dipped my feet in the triathlon world, I’ve noticed a great improvement in how I handled stressful situations especially in school! I think being an athlete offers some valuable skills that can be transferred to other aspects of our lives and especially busy students! Here are 5 ways training for a triathlon makes you a better student:

  1. Time Management – a very obvious one that any student wanting to succeed should master! Time management is very important especially when you need to balance 15 hours a week worth of classes, study time, keeping a job and training! Clearly, not much time left for Netflix! To help me manage my time better, I now schedule everything I need to do into every hour of the day! Time management is much easier when you have a schedule to follow!
  2. Performing Under Pressure – After spending 4 months training for 1 event there is no doubt you feel all sorts of butterflies and pressure. It’s no different when you sit in a room with over a thousand students writing an exam you’ve been studying endless hours for. The same techniques I use to calm myself before a big race, like counting my breath or steps, works just as well to calm my nerves before a big exam!
  3. Goal Oriented – We don’t wake up a week before a triathlon or marathon and decide we are going to race it! We decide months or even years in advance focusing and planning our days around how we will achieve that goal. Just like in sports, at school we have to set goals and be able to focus and see it all the way through to succeed. Everything we do is helping us get closer to that goal whether it is graduating university with honours or competing in your first triathlon.
  4. Attitude – Having the right attitude makes all the difference. Like in sport, not everything goes the way you want or anticipate. Being able to focus on the positive whether it is doing poorly on an exam or not performing as well as you would have hoped will help you refocus yourself to do better next time. Having learnt how to change my thinking and perspective when competing also has helped me change my attitude when things don’t go as planned at school.
  5. Improved Eating & Sleeping – When you know you have a training run, swim or bike after class you are less tempted to make poor eating choices! Eating nutritious foods not only helps you fuel your workout but also doesn’t drain your energy when you have a 3 hour lecture to sit through! I always plan ahead and pack all my meals especially on days I know I have to get from school straight to an evening of training.

Bonus: Stress Management – You hear it all the time that being active and fit helps you manage stress and I believe it! One of my rituals before any exam is getting a 15-20 minute run in before an exam. It helps me think clearer and jump-starts my brain after many hours of studying! Not to mention after a marathon of sitting and studying being able to get up and move my body doing something I love feels amazing!

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Follow Alyssa during her TTF training journey:

Twitter: @the_real_alyssa
Instagram: @the_real_alyssa

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