12 Days of Christmas 12 Lessons Learned

Another Thursday blog brought to you by our 2014 title Sponsor...Ashworth Awards.

Day 1– Don’t try in a race what you haven’t tried in training. Race as you train...to avoid a negative statement.

Day 2 – Meet a new person at each race. You’ll likely see them again, and it is always good to have people to hang out with after races. Some of our better friends that we've made through triathlons are those that we met at some of our earliest races.

Day 3 – Train with faster people. Whether it is swimming, biking, or running, faster people will push you to new limits. It doesn’t have to be an all time thing, but as a some time thing it can definitely help.

Day 4 – A focused off season working on your weakness might be just what you need to limit that weakness. It likely will remain a bit of a weakness, but it will make you more of a well rounded athlete.

Day 5 – Help out with a training group or mentor another athlete. It can really help you reflect on why you train and race the way you do or at least let you share your experience with a new athlete. Technique tips are not limited to the swim…run and bike cadence as well as pedaling technique are two other common areas that triathletes can work on.

Day 6 – Focus on technique, especially swimming. Even after being successful triathletes and swimmers, technique refinements have helped both of us swim just about as fast as ever on less yardage and less training.

Day 7 – All the training in the world might not make for a good Ironman if you don’t have and follow a sound nutritional plan. Work on your nutrition in each and every one of your long training rides, race-preparation brick workouts, and stick to what has worked on race day.

Day 8 – Volunteer at a race. To fully understand what goes into race production, put yourself in the race directors shoes. You will likely earn more respect for the volunteers and the race directors and appreciate the races even more.

Day 9 – Try a variety of races. A Cyclecross race might just turn you on to a new sport or give you a skill set that just might help your road triathlon. A duathlon might help elevate your running to a new level, or a triathlon just might help balance out your run and/or bike legs with some upper body work.

Day 10 – Travel to a different country to do a race if you are able. After looking back on some of our travels the experience was not only well worth it, but one that we will never forget.

Day 11 - Know thy course. It always has been and always will be the responsibility of the athlete to know the course. A wrong turn can not only cost you precious seconds or minutes, but it can also cause you to be disqualified. Race directors should have maps and clear markings, but it ultimately comes down to the athlete to know the course.

Day 12 – In the end it all comes down to fun. Make sure that triathlon is your escape, your sanity, your way to avoid the day to day grind. When triathlon becomes another stressor, it might be time to take a step back and think about why you are in the sport.

Happy Holidays from Team-Marsh!