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Are you backing up your words with action?

27 March 2014 No Comment


We’ve all heard, “good intentions are no substitute for action”. How many New Years resolutions are still being practised in March or April?

I’ve met a lot of athletes who have dreamt big, told me what they want to achieve, but when we get a couple of months into the program they find little things to fit into their lives which handicap them. The goals are not my goals, they choose them. Dreaming big is great, but we have to back it up with action. In fact the ones who hold their goal, and do all the important small things are rare animals.

Triathlon is only part of life, it’s not life. A lot of athletes are never going to be totally committed, and they don’t have to be. But if we look at age group results, the guys and girls taking the prizes are training and living like pros. They don’t book a holiday in the middle of a twelve week build to an important race.

They don’t schedule appointments early on the couple of days in the week when their key workouts are scheduled. They don’t roll into squad sessions ten minutes late, or skip sessions often. In fact the winners I’ve known are there early for most sessions.

Now I’m not saying neglect your job, or neglect your family. What I’m suggesting is maybe you could use your time more efficiently. We all have the same amount of time available. Some use it more effectively than others. Some mean what they say when they express their goals. It’s not just empty words, it’s coming from the heart.

Taking short cuts in preparation will haunt you on race day. There’s part of you that is very aware of how honest you’ve been with yourself. That part of you needs you to treat it well, treat it with respect. When you’re half way through the run, that little voice inside you is either “on your side” or working against you.

Don’t do it for me, do it for that little voice inside you. It’s the same force which seems to speed up the count down app on your phone once you get into the last ten weeks. Those days and hours do seem to go down fast.

Maybe that same little voice inside you is the one that drives you when you really know what you want. I’ve known some very good athletes who have made the decision that even though they’re racing a qualifying race, they will not be accepting their Hawaii spot this year for personal reasons. What’s interesting is that when they really don’t want the spot, they don’t get one. They have the speed, the fitness, but if that definite purpose is not there, they lack whatever it is that has driven them in the past.

Be very aware that this sport is less physical than mental. You must have a strong purpose to give you that energy to jump out of a warm bed on a rainy morning. That purpose is with you in every session, it’s there on race morning, and it’ll be there when the critical decisions are made during the day.

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