“I got suckered into this!” That was my words when I hit the “register now button” on the New Orleans Half ironman event website. Coming up in April, I get the honor of performing my lil sister’s wedding in New Orleans.  It’s going to be an AMAZING party!  I was talking to my cousin Jason who lives there and is very much into the sport of triathlon and I simply said,  “I wish there was a Tri that we could do together”… His response made my heart sink a little. He told me that the weekend of my sisters wedding just so happened to be the weekend of the New Orleans 70.3 Half Ironman Event… He had me… I was in!

I immediately counted the days on the calendar and realized I only had 90 days to train and prepare my body for the hurt that is 70.3 miles of swimming (1.2), biking (56), and running (13.1).  This would only be my second half ironman and to do it in New Orleans was just icing on the cake. (no cake during training!)

I knew i needed a plan. I looked through my old plans and searched new plans and settled in on a 13 week training program.  I had been running here and there and a little biking so I was not starting from scratch but I knew the training would be tough for me right out of the gate.  However, Its the training and the plan that will prepare me for the day of my race.

Hebrews 12 comes to mind where Paul, who I believe wrote Hebrews, says “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.  So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.  Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”

You see a race this distance cannot be faked.  What I mean is, you cant just go out there and do it, you need to be prepared.  Nutrition, Strength, Mental, Physical, Emotional and Endurance every area of your training will be tested.

Shouldn’t we prepare even greater for the “Race of Life” that we strive to live each day.  The race that God intends for us to run.  The race and course that He has marked out for us.

Hebrews chapter 12 starts off by giving the analogy of a huge crowd of fans cheering us on in this race.  The one who is cheering the loudest for you is Jesus himself!  The training plan that God has given us is His Word.  It is not only a plan but also a map of the course, and it gives tips along the way.  It lets us know where the aid stations and where some of the dangers of the course might be.

You see a training plan alone will not get me ready, I must implement that plan and follow through with the plan.  I must put the time in and the effort to get the results.  God desires us to succeed and to win.  To win we must train.

1 Cor 9:24 says “So run this race to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”

So how is your training going?  Do you have a plan?  Are you putting into practice the very plan that God has laid out for you?  Lets open up the plan and lets get to work!!!