“The culture of the sport and its history has left most athletes chasing an unsustainable approach to performance. For many athletes, the barometer of success in training is based in the accumulation of hours or miles of training (overall volume). Success and “readiness” is measured by how many hours a week of training the athlete can cram into life, with most believing that more training equals a higher shot at success… It’s impossible to beat physiology. While you can be tough, you’re not invincible. The first step is recognition of the significant challenge long-course triathlon proposes, and adopt a pragmatic mindset in your approach to proper training. This begins with knowledge.” — Matt Dixon, Ironman Master Coach
Last training week, I mentioned about how triathlon-training is a huge learning curve with jargon, various training equipment, learning strategies/techniques and taking care of sleep and nutrition, on top of the actual physical training (and mental!).
So far I realize two things: 1) my initial idea and approach on training to be able to complete a triathlon is based on the overall volume of how many hours I trained and how many kilometers I covered, which is not necessarily the right approach at certain times and 2) I focus too much on the bigger races that I’m not paying attention to the smaller ones, which I should 😦 Why focus on bigger ones? Simply because I’m not familiar with them from outdoor biking with clip-in shoes to transitioning to eating/drinking on the go – or really with doing three sports consecutively for a longer duration.
As I’ve been struggling a bit, I thought I’d seek advice and inspiration from others who are more experienced. Alas! Found one of the past articles by Lisa Dolbear – a three-time Ironman finisher, a first-time mom, a fitness instructor as well as a triathlon coach specializing in mental skills training. I love her comparison of the time-taking nature of the training for a triathlon to a pilot prepping for take-off.
“Next time you board a plane, peek into the cockpit—there are notes to scan, dials to turn, switches to flick and dashboards to consult. Like triathletes, pilots have to make sure it’s “all systems good” before it’s “all systems go.” Neglecting that careful prep could result in a delayed schedule—or much worse.”” – Lisa Dolbear
Another excellent one I stumbled upon is by Matt Dixon, IRONMAN Master Coach. He noted that competing with the passion for triathlon and race results is hard work, as [the athletes] must balance family, relationships, travel, and other life and social commitments.
“Successful training for any athlete could be classified as the maximal training load you can absorb while facilitating positive adaptations. Always aim for positive adaptations, as these ensure we get fitter, stronger, and faster. “Negative” adaptations include aspects such as over-fatigue, illness, or other ailments such as chronic injury. A lot goes into crafting an approach to help create ongoing positive adaptations, including a smart training program that is properly executed, as well as a host of important supporting habits such as proper eating, sleeping, fueling, and recovery. In other words, execution that must come from the athlete.
You can excel in triathlon and thrive in other areas in life. In fact…, your IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 training should be a hugely important tool in improving your life in general. It’s going to take a fundamental shift in how you view and approach training; it will require that you take real ownership of your own journey, and that you commit to a practical and fresh mindset.” — Matt Dixon
Matt’s article really opens up my mind. I like the part where he noted successful training as having the capacity to execute with purpose and thriving across multiple channels.
Last but not least, the article I also appreciate and am learning so much from is on running by Laura Siddall – 6th fastest British woman of all time over the iron distance in 2016 and the Ironman Australia Champion in 2017. In the article, she made reference to IRONMAN Hawaii age-group champion, two-time Olympian and coach Chris Hauth who now exclusively runs his coaching program ‘AIMP,’ working with ultra swimmers, bikers or runners: his ultra endurance approach and mindset coaching is applied to athletes from solo-sailing to Nordic Olympic skiers, even military Special Forces and executives in the corporate world.
“The goal is to build time on the feet. Since the triathlete is also gaining aerobic conditioning in the pool and on the bike, the goal of an aerobic long run is as much physiological—to increase the density of mitochondria and increase in capillary beds to improve muscle and tendon strength.” — Chris Hauth
Aside from the continuous learning, my training week 14 was enjoyable with a beautiful sunny weekend (but cold). Got 1 longer distance ran done 🙂 Didn’t push myself too much but just enough that I was happy with the result, knowing I could do better next time. Last training week, I mentioned about a few things I wanted to achieve, so let’s review.
- Let me make the decision for me – not letting fear make the decision for me: I did make some decisions so I’m not rushing into things and can be clear-headed for what I really want and who I want to become. So far I’m happy I’m taking some time for me 🙂
- Beat my own brain to beat the bad habits: Didn’t want to go for a track run as it was raining and I was feeling a bit tired after work. Went anyways and somehow felt energetic and pretty good afterwards 🙂
- Develop the skill of knowing how to hear the inner wisdom: still ongoing but learning from others who are on the path also helps
This week goal – focus on biking especially if it can be done outdoor.
May I be peaceful and successful.
May all beings be peaceful and successful 🙂