Jim Vance, head coach of Formula Endurance Coaching for youth triathlon, (formerly Tri-Juniors), an Elite Level Coach at Training Bible Coaching, and my former coach, wrote a really good blog I think you should read, if you’re reading this. http://www.coachvance.com/2014/03/stop-it-16-things-you-likely-do-and.html. It hits some simple and very important points.
Jim gives a brief and very succinct list of things that most triathletes, especially the pressed for time age-grouper, regularly do; Those common mistakes that are between you and your very achievable, yet elusive peak performance. I completely agree with all 16 things that Jim lists.
#5 – The effect of what you eat and drink 24 hours a day, 7/365 is more broad and profound in every aspect of your life now, and in the future, than you realize. I guarantee it. You can improve training and racing performance, without doing anything else at all, simply by eliminating foods that you don’t need, (and eating more of the ones you that you do). That may be a bigger portion of your food than you think. Have you had any chips and salsa, meat, flour tortillas, beer wine or booze, ice cream, pizza, bread or any refined grains, gluten (wheat or barley products of any sort), dairy products, sugared and processed anything, etc, lately? Would it surprise you to hear that you require none of those things to live well, thrive, and excel athletically?
# 6 – When will endurance athletes realize that how many miles, yards, hours that you do was is nowhere near as important as what you specifically do with those mile, yards, hours etc. Volume is, at best, a loose metric of how fit you are for your race, and it really matters most for IM. And IM athletes already know that.
#11- See my post here: http://gleasoncoaching.com/2010/04/23/return-on-investment-for-the-serious-triathlete/ that I wrote in 2011.
#16 – Cramps are not usually caused by a nutritional factor. Period. They are more likely caused by acute fatigue, resulting in a cascade of events, predominantly neuromuscular in nature, that result in muscle failure. In other words, not being fit enough for the job that you ask your muscles to complete that day. Yep, its most likely about your training, NOT how much Gatorade you got.
#17- This is borderline blasphemy, and I totally agree. I don’t believe that the full IM ought to be considered the Holy Grail of triathlon. Officially, an Olympic Gold medal ought to be.
Well done, Jim. I will add a few of my items to the list of things to stop:
#18- Stop thinking that strength training, even lifting weights, is not helpful. It is – for most triathletes. It can directly make you faster in the water and on the bike and, if done correctly, it will not hurt your run speed and it will increase your injury resistance significantly.
#19 – Stop believing that running performance is all about cadence. It’s not. Do the Brownlee brothers run better than most because their cadence is a little higher than everyone else?
#20 – Stop thinking that a bad race makes you a bad person, or that a good race makes you a better person. It’s only a game. ..A game we love.
#21 – Stop thinking that even though you never really were able to do it in training, that somehow on race day you will magically tap into a new power, and experience an astonishing new level of performance. It won’t happen. You pretty much race like you train. You’re just a little faster and more motivated race day.
#22 – Stop looking for the easy button. There isn’t one. Most athletes get out of their racing what they put into their training. In the immortal words of John Wooden, “There is no substitute for hard work.”
Seeing results from hard work is the essential gratification to be found in our sport, and it can change your life.
Do you know what you are capable of?