The secrets of successful endurance athletes: #3

Ruzafa Weiss Bike XTERRA Worlds

Patience, patience, patience.

Patience might sound like an odd quality to value in an athlete. But I think it's very important. As endurance athletes, we tend to place great pride in our actions, results and data. Rest days are an annoyance to be endured with good grace if possible. The action is where it's at: we're never happier than when we're sweating it out, pushing through barriers, or chasing PBs.

So where does patience come into it? After all, patience sounds very calm, serene, and....… boring.

Without patience, your best efforts aren't likely to bring results. In endurance sport, you need to be committed for the long-haul, whether that means a 12-week training plan or decades of training and racing, with all the accompanying highs and lows.

Progress, fitness and strength come slowly (sometimes frustratingly so), and we can be our own worst critics, failing to spot small successes and instead focusing on how others are doing.

A patient, calm and methodical mindset will place you amongst those who enjoy true success in endurance sport… whatever that personally means to you.

These things are what underpin my coaching advice and guidance. Without them, the fitness training, nutrition advice and race-specific coaching can only ever get someone so far.

Do you agree with our three key characteristics of successful athletes (check out number 1 and number 2)? What would you add to the list?

Playing the long game

Sweaty RunnerPlaying the long game: Many beginner and novice triathletes look at triathlon racing as a project, something they've thought about doing for a long time and are now taking the plunge. But remember, like many projects, good things take time; sometimes weeks, months, or even years to accomplish. Depending on your athletic background it can take 2 to 12 years to unleash your full potential in triathlon. However, it is possible to make great progress in a much shorter time, and in reality, the biggest jumps will happen in the early days of your training. Unfortunately, to reach your full potential it takes much more time than most people think.

Playing the long game: So there is no reason to rush. Be patient. Race a little........race a lot. You learn the most when you're in the trenches, doing it, figuring out what works and what doesn't work. Maybe sign up to race some shorter distance races, recover quickly and do it all again, gaining race experience.........whilst playing the long game.  

The secrets of successful endurance athletes: #2

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Progression, progression, progression.

Our second secret of endurance sport success is progression. You absolutely must be making progress, no matter how small, if you want to improve speed, fitness, strength and race times. Progress needs to be planned, measured and tracked.

To build progression into your training, look at training stimulus. Training should build, layer on layer, by applying the correct load at the right time. Volume, distance, speed, endurance, pace and technique can all add layers to your training. Once you adapt, add another layer, to keep the progress coming. This is where it really helps to work with a coach in your sport.

Be honest and rigorous in asking yourself: is my training progressing?

Team WhittleFit racing roundup - 4th March 2018

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Unfortunately the Beast from the East put paid to the mjority of this weekends racing, and unsurprisingly the only event that had a WhittleFit athlete racing in was an indoor event! 

  • Welsh Masters Swim Champs: this weekend Andrew 'Pops' Martin raced a number of events at the Welsh Masters Swim Champs. Andrew has raced well at these events in the past, so we had high hopes for this years event. He had 4 events planned, including the 200m IM, 200m fly, 400m freestyle and 1500m freestyle and raced extremely well and smashed all of them, well done Andrew!!! 
    • 200m IM - Gold
    • 200m fly - Gold, PB and new Welsh record
    • 400m freestyle - Gold and PB
    • 1500m - Gold, PB and new Welsh record

The secrets of successful endurance athletes: #1

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Consistency, consistency, consistency.

The most perfect training plan in the world is little use unless you stick with it. Going at your endurance training too fast, too hard, too soon, will lead to burn out (and possible injury). And under-committing will leave you falling short of your fitness goals, too.

Mainy of our coached athletes will have heard me say that the key to reaching your endurance sport potential is consistency. Trust your training plan, commit to the process and then sit with it for as long as it takes. Ultimately, it’s the small details, everyday habits, and ongoing process carried out consistently and calmly which will build the bigger picture. Consistency is king!