Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The First Two (of 5,000) Triathlon Secrets

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Photo: Kona Morning
So where do we begin?  Let's start with two triathlon secrets from the more than 5,000 secrets I've learned about this sport in the last decade:  
Photo: Mitch Thrower Running in Ha
1. By taking control of your thoughts when training and when racing, you can improve your performance by 25% or more.  Think about it.  What are you thinking about right now? Consider everything that pops into your mind as you read this.  
It would be safe to say that if you are like most people, you ride your thoughts throughout the day rather than DRIVE your thoughts throughout the day.  Have you ever asked yourself, "What should I think about now?" and what should I spend time considering?  What about before a workout?

Disciplined thought and asking yourself the right questions while working out, like "What are the most enjoyable and memorable parts of my life?" or "How can I be faster right now?" are questions you can choose. But, again, if you are like most people, when you go for a run, you'll see a road sign with a name of someone you know, then you'll remember you need to call that person when you get back to the office, and then you'll think of his last email to you, and then you'll think of his cousin who also reached out to you and was looking for a job, and then you'll remember you wanted to update your resume, then you'll think you need a raise, etc. Take control. Don't let your mind float.

When I do mental prep for an Ironman, or any triathlon, I think through the race itself and I also think through the questions I'll ask myself during the race.  Try this when you are racing and training, and also try it when you're just going about life, outside of the sport.

Lesson: Pay attention to what you are choosing to pay attention to.  Choose wisely.

2. Sign up for more races than ones you actually want to do.  Why?  I have learned that life presents us with temporal challenges.  

Time commitments will overflow into your race weekends and injuries are unpredictable. The seasonal cycle of our sport and of training and racing mean that several windows will open and close for you to perform at your best.  

Because so many races sell out so quickly, it's always a good idea to have back-up plans and registrations at events that can serve as a second chance at a peak performance or exciting travel weekend.  

It may be expensive, but so is insurance and if you've been in the sport long enough, you know that you just never really know what can happen.  I've said before you can take Ironman's tagline in a positive or negative direction, read the following, thinking good then bad...  "Anything is possible." - or - "Anything is possible."   

Lesson: Register for a few back-up races so you have options.

Train Smart,


The Island of Hawaii

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