5 Keys for Successful Triathletes (How I do/don’t do on that list)

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     Being really good at something really tests whether I’ve got the stuff. It’s never a walk in the park….and occasionally it’s a bit like whistling past the graveyard.
In coaching triathletes, I can honestly only expect from someone no more effort than I’m willing to exert myself. So this great article in Triathlon Magazine by Ben Griffin pretty well lays out the simple recipe, that strikes home like da bomb.
First one, CONSISTENCY. Stick to the process day in and day out. Just tick off the assignment, every day, even if you’re training under significant fatigue. If it feels awful on a particular day, it makes the ‘up’ days more productive. I rank pretty close to 100% on this one.
Next, DISCIPLINE. When your coach is around you really dig in, but when training alone you back off. That’s being a good Performer; doesn’t cut it. For me, about 90%.
HARD WORK. Duh, LIFE is hard work, right? Sure, but trying to manage three disciplines takes time away from obligations and we need to have a life, too. So, for example, slowing down to go faster (long slow distance) is easier than the assigned five heart rate level 4 intervals. Maybe 80-90%, although I really, honestly feel like my suffering is darn high.
GRIT, yup, my favorite among them all, or Mental Toughness. People have different tolerance levels at different times. On a bad day, my grit is lousy and internally I’m whining, but I plow along through the workout anyway, and that’s what counts. I think on a grit scale I go anywhere from 70 to 95%…well, best during an actual race where the rubber meets the road.
COMPETITIVENESS is king or queen. When you’re nice and fresh you can really put it all out there and feel like you’re gonna beat everyone; but when you’ve been pushing hard and are fatigued, and still have the beans to grind out the energy to pass whoever is in front of you, that’s competitiveness. It’s an amazingly personal thing; sometimes I’ve amazed myself, and occasionally I just can’t generate the stuff….can’t or won’t…not sure about that. But I don’t feel quite as good if I didn’t overcome that part of me, just then. Mumbling “Damn! Next time!” (looking forward to it!)

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