Training Isn’t Hard

Training Isn’t Hard

tucson1I’ve been extremely fortunate to live and train alongside champion athletes. While they may say that training is “hard” — when I watch them in action, it sure looks like a lot of fun.

I’ve observed that athletes that get the most performance from a given amount of potential are not particularly hard. They are committed and really, really like working.

The hardest people I know are typically under-performers on race day. They may be great people, solid advisers and outstanding training partners but they struggle to fully achieve their potential within their own lives.

The greats have the ability to make a habit of things that we find difficult. They demonstrate three areas where it’s worth being a little tough on yourself: consistency, control and saying no.

Showing up when tired – If you can consistently dive into a cold pool, in the morning, in winter, when it was dark all the way to the aquatic center… then the rest of your day is going to seem pretty straightforward. This one habit is why swimmers have great work ethics. They created the habit of doing something that most of us are unwilling to do.

Exercising control when stressed – We are not wired to maintain control when excited, agitated or stressed. Train yourself to exercise control in training. Whether your day job is sales, investment management, parenting, teaching, aviation — you name it — learning the subtleties of athletic pacing will deepen your capacity to compete and control all areas of your life. Learn to control your ego and you are less likely to beat yourself.

Choosing not to do – Pacing is choosing not to go faster, or not to go slower. Related to this capacity to chose is being able to make a conscious decision not to take action — not to respond, not to train more, not to add further fatigue. This tip is tough to get right and where a trusted advisor can offer perspective. High performers know that work is the key to results so recovery does not come easily. My advice: schedule recovery in advance and create opportunities for independent confirmation when “more” ceases to work.

When work becomes hard, step back and consider if you might be limited by one of the items above.

Ups and downs are normal but there should be a sustainable harmony to our daily routine.

Train smart.

Categories: Lifestyle

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