How to pass the "suck threshold" in triathlon. ( or anything )

I was working on a methodology in the IT industry on capability and maturing.

"The only thing standing between repeating-again and again & improving constantly is dedication."

At first this quote kind of pushed my thinking in the wrong direction. Why? Because while I consider myself dedicated to triathlon, I don't consider myself an expert. I especially don't consider myself an "expert" athlete. So I got this feeling that they might be (indirectly) suggesting that I wasn't dedicated enough. (We'll look at how much dedication is needed later.)

Before I mention anything more about the methodolgy. It is really interesting to see the three different paths or choices they offer on time vs. ability. The choices are:

a. "give up" - but if you can get past the frustrastion you may be able to make it past the "suck threshold"

b. "I'm ok, so I'll continue this way" - in which you remain an amateur as time passes on, never passing the "kicking ass threshold"

c. "push myself, because there is always a better way" - you may finally pass the "kicking ass threshold" and become an expert.

There were a few things that stood out to me about those who make the choice to continue working towards being an expert. Those people tend to do these things:

1. They find new ways to get better. There is always some way to get that little edge.

2. They work on their weaknesses, even if it isn't fun.

3. They are willing to pay the cost, whatever that cost might be in order to not suck.

So what does it take to pass the "suck threshold" in triathlon?

This is a very good question that I ask myself on a daily basis. This half year I made the decision to focus on Ironman. This decision has meant that I have been running a lot more than normal (I am trying actually swimmingmore too) and getting ready to bike a lot. So maybe I'm on my way to passing the suck threshold by working on my weaknesses, but what about passing the kicking ass threshold.

one of the characteristics of those that don't suck was dedication. It is hard to extrapolate what amount of dedication someone has by seeing a finishing time.

I'll share a couple things that point out the amount of committment or dedication that might be involved:

1. You need to train more! The average training volume for a 25-29 year old male was approximately 800 annual hours. It was around 840 annual hours across all age groups. (As a comparison, last year I trained 678 hours...

2. You need to be consistent! The training was consistent throughout the prior year, even during the off season they would have their volumes at 20-40% of peak volumes. At six months out, their volumes were at 60% (bike) to 80% (swim and run) of peak volume.

A few training ideas came from this data that shows what those-that-don't-suck do for their training. The biggest one is that they have big bike volumes, especially within the 19 weeks leading up to the race. The second variable that correlated to race performance was run volume over the year. Even as these triathletes biked and ran a lot, guess what - they still swam! In other words, if you want to be a good triathlete that passes the suck threshold you need to bike a lot (especially the last 6 months), run a lot and don't forget to swim regularly.

at Wednesday, June 20, 2007  


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