• Doug Morris

11 Ways to Reach Triathloning Success in 2018

Updated: May 3, 2018

Ready for the triathlon season of your life? Not yet? Continue to read to learn about your first step to race readiness.


Age Group Winners at Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Take a calculated risk to go faster for the swim, bike, and run instead of hunkering down in your status quo race routine.

Don’t wait to step-up your effort and upgrade your race tactics when you see others over achieve. Commit yourself to start today on a challenging and successful triathlon journey. Here are 11 ways you will be a more competitive triathlete to earn success on your race specific goals.


  1. Train to a specific set of personalized triathlon workouts for your best ROI of time to performance results. Continuing to do the same activities will yield the same results. Make your changes starting now.

  2. Spend 80% of your effort to eliminate time sucks that impede progress towards your goals. These may include writing workouts, waiting on others to show up for training, analyzing meaningless metrics, eliminating worries that add no value and impair confidence, and other time wasting actions.

  3. Pre-exempt troubles, eliminate potential problem areas ahead of time: lack of endurance, untested nutrition choices, incomplete check-off lists, procrastinating on race entries, indecisiveness lodging arrangements, etc.

  4. Embrace downtime from work, sport, and social. Your body and mind rebounds stronger after dedicated rest, recovery, and rejuvenation. Breathe deep, exhale, and relax a bit too.

  5. Focus on doing new to progress toward your goals. You’re not fixing problems. Fixing is for pets. New workouts. New race tactics. Borrow extensively from successful triathletes further along in their journeys than you.

  6. Eliminate regression. Adopt polarity management in your training plan (reach out to me if you want more info on this process).

  7. Training should be a process mindset, not project. Let the sport become part of your lifestyle.

  8. Get people to follow you to your sweet spot. Don’t passively find yourself in a competitors’ sweet spot. Explore solutions for widening your sweet spots to other disciplines.

  9. Push through challenges. Gain with limited pain. Embrace opportunities to raise your pain threshold with difficult workouts that push you physically and mentally.

  10. Ensure you and your coach are in sync with training and race plans. Ensure you and your sigo are in sync with tri and social family plans! Communicate plans. Honor boundaries. Live up to commitments.

  11. Achieve and celebrate small wins along with your milestones of workouts, local races, and all-in family outings. Continue progress towards longer range goals too. Enjoy bigger achievements and celebrations as you earn greater successes.

Here’s an example of how I changed training plans from one year to the next. The physical training for a second Ironman triathlon tracked a similar seasonal path as the previous year. Unlike Ironman Utah when I approached the race like managing a project, the training commitment for Ironman Coeur d’Alene (CDA) didn’t consume my life, only training time. After all the mental effort of thinking about Ironman Utah from sign-up to race day, Ironman CDA flowed through my mind like just another triathlon.


Becoming an Ironman required following a process instead of managing a project. Workouts, part of the process. Motivation to complete the workouts and compete in the race, parts of the process. Swim workouts with a Masters group, competing against others, and support family; all parts of the process. Physically and mentally challenging my body were more components of the process.


I followed the previous year’s training template though added an extra swim day when possible and a mid-week, early morning 50-60 mile bike ride from the Arizona State University campus to Fountain Hills and back to get additional bike climbing in. Also added specific weight lifting exercises for arms, back, stomach, and legs. During the training timeline mileage increased, plateaued, and tapered. I did five races while ramping up training prior to Ironman CDA to gain some speed, build endurance, engage in actual pre-race mental preparation, and gain experience of coping with race day anxieties. I walked the talk of working the training plan of 13 weeks to Ironman.


Inventory your tool kit now. Purge any outdated tools and replace with new concepts. Specifically compare what you do now and could be doing differently based on the 11 items described above. Acquire needed behaviors to reach your full potential. Check your base physical condition. Challenge your full mental capabilities. Start building up for your season today.


What other changes are you doing for your 2018 race plans?



Doug Morris

Coach of Exceptional Outcomes

Palm Trees Ahead, LLC

Tel: 1.630.457.7889

dougmorris@palmtreesahead.com

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