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Success with Stamina - The How - 2

January 17, 2018

The philosophy behind how I work is arguably more important that what is done. To some this might be a strange statement. This is not to say that what is done is not important it is however, how we go about what we do that has a big effect on the quality of what is done. The better we do what we do, the better the outcome we can achieve.

 

This is the second of three blogs that will look at five key characteristics that I believe help develop not only a strong coach-athlete relationship but also contribute heavily to a strong performance in your chosen events. They are shown by me in the way that I work and the more you are able to show them in your attitude the better we are likely to be working together. 

 

Patience

 

What is it?

Where endurance sport is concerned, patience is the ability to accept without frustration, annoyance or anxiety, that improvements and race results don’t always arrive when you want them to, they will take time.

 

How is it shown?

 

Understanding, calmness and acceptance that this process will take time and it is by focusing on each individual step of the process that we can continue to move forwards towards the desired goal.

 

What makes it important to me?

There is clearly a difference between having a drive and desire to achieve something and sitting back and just waiting, hoping for it to be brought to you. If you want something then you need to go out and get it however, this process is not done and dusted in one day. Endurance improvements are generally slow and steady but they do come along. Sometimes it is even necessary to take a step back to then move forward again. When racing, particularly the longer events, the early stages of the race are for most athletes a bit of a waiting game and again patience is important. Soaking up the early stages of the race and preparing for the hurt that is likely to come along later is important to allow you to place your energy in the right place at the right time. For some athletes this can be hard to take but generally it is true. The best changes take time to appear so having patience and working on what is needed now will bring the best results in the long-term.

 

Creativity

 

What is it?

Creativity in triathlon is about producing the appropriate challenge for the appropriate athlete, at the appropriate time.

 

How is it shown?

Through discussions with the athlete, plans are made to balance the need for motivation, appropriate training stimuli and development of mental and physical elements required for the planned event.

 

What makes it important to me?

 

First; triathlon is a sport based on repetition. Broken down, the movements of swimming cycling and running are short, relatively simply but repeated many times in training and racing and therefore, repetition is a highly important part of triathlon. However, it is possible, when appropriate, to repeat these movements in different environments to allow for different training and mental stimuli.

 

Second; competing in triathlon often means the training/racing balance is heavily on the side of training and it means this training needs to be enjoyed otherwise, why do it?! 

 

This does not mean that every training session needs to be different but there needs to be enough creativity for an athlete to maintain motivation. I’m a big fan of completing sessions in a way that teach you the mental discipline required for a race. For many long distance athletes this means time spent alone working through sets that some would find mind-numbing such, as 40 x 100 in the pool or long rides on your own holding a TT position. However, these sessions need to be suitable to the athlete and need to present the right challenge at the right time for that athlete and this is where creativity comes in.

 

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