After coaching so many people with different objectives over the years at VO2 we have reflected on some of the conversations we have had with our athletes. We found that there were some common themes that have run through the years.
Here is some simple advice we have regularly given:
Set new goals each year.
Keep things fresh and exciting by setting yourself new goals each year. From training to improve your swimming, setting PBs to maybe focusing on reaching ideal race weight at the correct time – whatever it may be – make sure you set a realistic long-term goal to work towards.
Set Mini-Goals Along the way
If you set a goal that is 12 months away it might feel tough to stay that motivated so set mini goals along the way. Stepping stone goals set regularly will help keep you motivated and help you track improvements.
Never miss training (unless you are ill or see below)
We all know that sometimes life gets in the way of training and our ethos at VO2 is that family and earning a living are top of the list in terms of priority. However, if you have hired a coach to guide you towards a triathlon goal then we figure you want to take your sport quite seriously. If you are committed to your goal it will become a priority and ‘things’ won’t get in the way meaning you will hit every training session that you can, and you will improve at the rate you want to.
Everyone takes advise differently but learning to be coach-able is a big advantage. This doesn’t always mean the coach is always right, but it means you are prepared to work with a coach to develop what works for you. A coach will also help you work on the things you wouldn’t train yourself as generally if we write our own training we do the things we like and not necessarily need.
Take a rest
One of the best sayings a coach taught us was ‘fatigue covers form’ so if you are training and not improving there will be a reason for this. It could be that the programme is not correct, and you are taking on too much (in which case an honest conversation with feedback with your coach should address this) or you are simply tired from combining training (and this can be quite impacting for novice athletes) and daily life. Do not be afraid to take a rest to refresh and rejuvenate tired bodies and minds.