Tips beyond training by Luis Vargas

Tips beyond training Kona Swim

Recently the folks at Slowtwitch made a list of things that can help triathletes acheive their goals and I felt there was some missing. Here are some tips that have nothing to do with the training plan.

1. Stay motivated. Motivation can be a result of externals things such as is finishing your first triathlon or getting a podium award or perhaps earning a Kona slot along with the admiration of your peers. We refer to this as extrinsic motivation. However in a sport like triathlon the motivation to train day in and day and outlast all the challenges also requires a certain amount of internal or intrinsic motivation. This is the kind of motivation that comes from within and due to the pure enjoyment of the challenge and journey without regards to the outcome.It is the pure enjoyment of swimming, cycling and running. If you begin to lose motivation start thinking about the reasons you started in the sport to begin with and see if you can get back to having a good mindset for training again.

2. Face your fears. Most fears can be overcome, it may not be easy and facing them may put you in an uncomfortable situation. However it has been my experience that many fears also prevents us from becoming better at triathlon and often times prevent us from achieving our goals. The two most common ones is open water swimming and group training with more advance athletes where we may be seen as less than adequate. There are other ones I am sure but do not be afraid to face your own fears. Overcoming these may be your ticket to success.

3. Full disclosure. If you have a coach let your coach help you. In order for your coach to help you it is important to have full disclosure. Coaches are not clairvoyants and are not magicians. But athletes often fail to inform the coach of very important facts that affect training or racing performance. Things like taking medications, illnesses, injuries, missing training or not performing training or racing plans as instructed. All these things should be conveyed to the coach in order to properly access how to go forward.

4. Set goals. Goal setting is very important as it can provide that intrinsic motivation I mentioned above. However be flexible and set different goal levels. Have your pie in the sky goal but also have that much lower goal which if achieved you can still be satisfied with.

5. Stay on task. Once you have your goals and you have your training plan or race plan it will be important that you set out to execute it and concentrate on the task at hand instead of the outcome. Try to ignore outcome which is often times uncontrollable and is the number one cause of pre-race jitters and stress. Trust your preparation and execute.