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  • Writer's pictureDoug Morris

5 Steps to Your Perfect Tri Practices

Lack of natural talent is irrelevant in triathlons and everything else in the world if your choice is to achieve exceptional outcomes to greatness.

No one was born as an Ironman Champion in Kona. Everyone who attained that honor practiced long hours and earned their achievements. Same for all other triathletes in their triathlon competitions.

No one came out of the womb with an M-dot tattoo on their leg.

We tend to learn quicker when kids, adolescence, and into adulthood for new activities. Think of a steep but fast paced progression along a learning curve for new subjects. You learn quickly, progress tapers, then it usually stops. To maximize your actual performance requires investments of time, enduring pain, and adopting perfect triathlon practices as an on-going adventure. Greatness can be earned along your journey but it takes your best work, not a natural gift of triathlons skills.

The secret to exceptional athletic outcomes is not intelligence, motivation or your personality. Your best performances result simply from the repetitiveness of proper execution in regular workouts. Yes, it’s hard work, but your efforts will outperform others’ natural talent while delivering a payout to match your goals.

Here are 5 quick hits to adopt in your triathlon practices:

  1. Perform each critical task with an explicit goal to maximize your tri abilities.

  2. During your task, seek awareness of what's happening and why you're doing it the way you are.

  3. Compare target metrics to actual metrics for feedback. Seek additional feedback from a coach and others. Modify your behavior for continuous improvement.

  4. Develop mental maps of your actions to reach optimal skills. Expand your world of inter-relating tasks, skills, and disciplines to reach targeted results.

  5. Schedule time for these steps for repetitive regularity. Ad hoc frequencies will not perfect your triathlon skills or race results.

Focus on the process as the most important aspect to perfect your triathlon skills. Best results will come from your ability to perform triathlon skills.

Test triathletes devote more hours on what experts coined, “deliberate practice.” Their time is focused on tasks to maximize their capabilities on performance sectors. They understand why each task is practiced. They set specific performance standards to measure progress. They also understand how tasks’ content are developed over time through repetitiveness and sustainability.

For example, simply running is not deliberate practice. If you always run the same, then you won’t improve beyond that level. But running to different targets: time, speed, and form; across different settings of hills, flats, and rollers; and over different surfaces of roads, paths, and tracks over your training season, then you followed deliberate practice for improvement. Along the way, compare to different target metrics and make appropriate adjustments. A tri coach is the best way to get professional feedback in your effort. By not receiving adequate feedback, or worse, avoiding it, is like a relationship without honest emotion with an interest to change to be the best partner you can be to each other.

Perform tasks in workouts with repetitive regularity. The best musicians, actors, doctors, business people, speakers, and especially athletes; train every day to be better. They do this to be the best they choose to be in their profession and hobbies.

So you think you’re no Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, or LeBron James? Probably, but there are more people you can think of from your past that were the smartest classmates, best athletes, best musicians, and funniest people from grade school to college that you wonder where they are now? Why did others make it big and your past stellar acquaintances remain in your memory? A big difference? They never scheduled time for deliberate practice to reach their full potential. They coasted through early life on easy to learn and use talents. Then stalled out and dropped out to only talk about their glory days.

Not every triathlete is going to reach greatness but for those that do want to earn greatness, they’re not competing against someone with natural talent, they’re competing against others who are practicing to perfection. Just like how you should train.

All triathlon tasks are improvable skills. Check out this link How to Go Faster to see 14 different categories of triathlon performance categories. When you improve these tasks, you’ll improve your triathlon performance outcomes. Enjoy your Perfect Tri Practices!

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