Similar to achieving any lofty goal in any area of your life, reaching your triathlon potential requires you to:
Set Both Big and Enabling Goals
What exactly do you want to achieve on race day and, more importantly, what critical metrics, or enabling goals, do you need to hit beforehand to enable the achievement of your goal? Examples of enabling goals might be body composition, watts per kilo, a specific 10k time, a swim time trial goal, or a weekly run mileage and run frequency target you are committed to achieving by #x weeks before your goal race.
During our initial conversations with new TeamEN athletes, we ask them to identify their race day goals and have discussions with them about setting enabling goals. And whenever possible we recommend our athletes train and race with power and pace, as these tools provide us with valuable objective metrics with which to measure their progress. Want to be come a faster runner? Perform initial testing, set pace training zones based on those test results. Train smartly with those paces, test, reset zones and repeat.
However, one often overlooked goal achievement tool is to set small, and BIG, intermediary goals — fun races and epic events spaced every 6-12 weeks in route to their AAA race. Having other events on the calendar helps them maintain a short(er) term focus and prevents the mental burnout that’s so common among athletes who focus on one race for months and months. Having a plan for conserving Mental Currency and Spousal Approval Units (SAUs) through effective season scheduling is sooo important!
Create a Process for Achieving the Goal
What are you going to accomplish, each day, towards the successful completion of your enabling goals? We do this for our athletes through our suite of over 50 training plans, improved every year since our founding in 2007. Quite simply, execute the training plan, and work closely with the coaches to solve friction points that may come up, and you’ll achieve your fitness-related enabling goals.
However, we also introduce our athletes to two other often overlooked processes:
- Improving Body Composition: we’ve developed a simple and easy to follow process for making safe and incremental body composition improvements utilizing a few mobile apps. We then encourage them to seek more detailed guidance, if desired, from recommended 3rd party providers.
- Race Execution: your fitness is only as good as your ability to drive it around the course via proven race execution processes. And no one teaches you how to race better than Endurance Nation, with detailed and proven plans and strategies that you’ll rehearse again and again before your race.
Create an Accountability System to Ensure Successful Daily Execution of the Process
Of course, any process is only as good as your ability to successfully do it. And in our experience, social accountability is a great and fun tool to help you work the process, day after day. Training partners, swimming, cycling, running, and triathlon clubs are all great accountability tools to plug yourself into.
In addition to these, we encourage our athletes to connect with either around their training in our forums, with specific spaces created for our November, December, and January OutSeason training groups, for example, as well as race-specific spaces where those conversations can continue as they shift focus towards their shared races. These connections are extended outside of our online community by encouraging our athletes to network on Strava, and social media, with everything coming together on race weekend when they, and we, get to connect with each other in the real world.
In fact, this social connection, created by a 10 year old community of athletes committed to helping each other be their best, is the most valuable and difficult to communicate aspect of Endurance Nation.