So You Wanna Be Fast?
by Marilyn McDonald
This month’s theme on EC is what it takes to be fast. Because my husband, most of my close friends and I all train full-time to try to win races, I have close exposure every day to what it takes to be fast.
We've all seen them, those infomercials that yell out, “Just do this machine for 20 minutes, three times per week and you'll lose 100lbs,” “Take this magical formula and whammo, you'll be 60lbs lighter without changing anything you eat,” or, “If you rub this lotion on or wear this garment you'll have the tightest butt in the world.”
As humans today we love those options: get to where we want to go with no effort, as quickly as possible. Everything is a touch this, click that, do it for you gadget. We barely even need to think anymore or ever consider being creative; it's all done for us.
But here’s the beauty of sport, and especially a sport as hard as triathlon:
THERE IS NO SECRET TO BEING FAST!
I grew up as a bit of farm girl and as a teen I could always go to the town party… as soon as I cleaned the entire cow pen by hand with a shovel and wheelbarrow. I never made it to the party; by the time I was done I was too tired.
I believe in hard work. I believe in discipline. I believe that if you sacrifice for the goals you want, when you achieve them, the reward is great.
So you want to be fast...
If an athlete comes to me and says, “I want to win, I want to go to Kona, I want to go fast,” we talk about some things to see if he or she really wants to be fast, or if the person is just interested in the lifestyle of saying, “I’m fast.”
Some of the questions we discuss:
This is the basic structure of starting a plan to go fast. These fundamentals are more important than any one session.
When people who want to win show up at the start line they all have similar talent level and similar fitness levels. They are ready to race to win. They’ve all done their homework.
What separates the top performances from the rest are they had the focus and discipline all year, for a number of years, to do all the work required to be great: survive the lows, accept the boredom and stay disciplined.
If you want to be fast, always remember that there is no infomercial in triathlon selling an easy way.
Get off the couch and out the door everyday!
See you on the podium!