Experience the Difference

What was your sporting pathway to becoming an endurance multi-sport athlete?

April 16th, 2019

Until now, very few athletes that now train and compete in endurance multi-sport, started out their sporting career and/or life with the goal of becoming a multi-sport athlete.

I am basing this statement on in excess of 40 years of observation and full-time coaching at various levels of many sports.

Mostly, I feel this is because none of the various multi-sport options are offered in primary schools and also that they are not ‘mainstream’ sports such as what we see on television every weekend to whet your appetite for and aspire to be like many other sporting ‘heroes’ and idols.

My definition of ‘multi-sport’ is any length of triathlon, off-road triathlon and all the differing types and lengths of adventure racing, or any sport that consists of 2 or more stages involving vastly different disciplines including duathlon, aquathon, aquabike etc

The avenue to endurance multi-sport for each athlete was likely paved by your school sport, coaches and/or your own family by engaging in completely different types of sports when you were a junior athlete or participant.

I have assisted many, many athletes and people (and continue to do so) right from the start of their endurance sporting life that are now training and competing in multi-sport that didn’t even start out as an endurance athlete, let alone a multi-sport athlete.

The path to becoming an endurance athlete was from many and varied sports.

The following here are just from my experience. I am sure there are many out there that had different sporting interests in their childhood every single one with varying degrees of success.

Team sports such as football of all differing kinds AFL, soccer, rugby league and union, from netball, softball, cricket, volleyball, hockey, basketball and water polo

From individual sports such as swimming, track running (don’t see many field athletes), cycling, mountain bike, cross country running, gymnastics, surf lifesaving.

Interestingly, there is no one previous sport that lends itself to almost guaranteeing that you may well become a good endurance athlete.

I have been surprised that even many sprint athletes (both running and cycling) went on to become exceptional endurance athletes.

Yes, there is always some degree of transfer-ability as you move from one sport to another but much more overall impact will be just how you were coached and treated in your previous sport or sports which goes a long way to what your personal belief factors are.

Your coach-ability and receptiveness to new strategies, disciplines and ideas along with a well-developed work ethic are key.

As a coach, and very frustratingly, some people have developed such ingrained ideas and beliefs that are so ‘rusted on’ that it makes it nigh on impossible for them to be coached into another sport, especially endurance sport with any degree of ongoing success.

When deciding on a ‘sport change’ and moving away from what you have been accustomed to for so long and becoming an endurance athlete is not always as easy as it may well seem.

The first thing to consider is what you want to achieve in your new sport.

Set realistic goals.

These goals should be both, a bit scary but exciting as well, but are key to keeping you focused and continually motivated to continually do what is required!

Next to consider is the mental approach to this new sport and everything that goes with it.

It is likely that in the past that you only needed to train a handful of times per week (or even less) and for a short time each session. This allows for much more of an opportunity for almost complete recovery between sessions.

Endurance multi-sport requires much more attention to detail on time management with regards to the very real possibility of the requirement to training more than once per day on some days and the recovery and nutritional requirements that are needed by the body to ensure ongoing progress in your new sport.

Then next consideration, how all of this will affect your home, social and work life.

This is all needs to be considered and discussed with your loved ones and work colleagues and your work superiors, even BEFORE you complete your first training session for your new sport.

So once you have chosen to try your hand at being an endurance athlete, then comes the all-important, you the athlete, requiring lots and lots of patience bit.

This is because one thing is a certainty, and that is that it will not be a perfectly smooth transition from one sport into another.

Any new movement pattern to the human body takes a long time to:

 1) Learn and

2) Be proficient at.

Consider being guided through this sport transition period by an experienced coach as they will be able to manage and control your workload, most likely better and using proven sports science principals than attempting this process on your own.

Not all coaches will have the skill-set to guide you into your new sport.

The most important skills that are required are to have a very clear understanding of both the bio-mechanics and energy systems that your previous sport counted on. Then, only with this intricate understanding will the transformation to endurance multi-sport be possible with the best possible outcome for you, the athlete.

People differ greatly at acquiring, grasping and executing new skills. What one person learns in 1 month may take 12 months or more for another and vice versa.

Learning and implementing the new skills well and with good technique from day one will go a long way to the level of performance that you eventually will compete at into the future.

So, take your time and learn the new techniques and skills really well early and you will likely go a lot further when you eventually start to test yourself against others that have been in the sport for a long time.

How much time will it take?

That is an ‘all day question’ as there is just so many variables, not least of which is who your parents are and what your natural physical attributes and the natural ability that you were born with.

What I do know is that if you are thinking that you want to be a good endurance athlete, coming from another sport in 6 or 8 months, then you are mistaken!

Note here that I have seen many more quite obviously talented athletes NOT make it in their chosen sport than actually DO make it.

Why is this? Most often it has been because they want ‘it’ all now and lack the patience to become an endurance athlete. Physical ability, yes, mental ability, no!

Talent does not ever, guarantee success! Nothing ‘guarantees’ success.

Being patient and implementing an ongoing commitment to the proven training processes will give you the best opportunity of achieving a degree of success that will always mirror your input.

What that is, is up to you! It is entirely your choice!

Now this conversion to another sport doesn’t always go to plan and you may well realise it is not for you and you decide to go back to your original sport which often can go really well following a bit of time away and doing something different. Time away is often good for the mind and the body.

The other thing that I have often seen to happen, is that many develop an affinity and love for one of the individual disciplines from their time in multi-sport (usually road cycling, MTB or running) and pursue that as an individual sport for the long term with great success.

Is ‘Doctor Google’ gradually being replaced by ‘Doctor Podcast’?

February 11th, 2019

To make my point, I go way back in time, prior to the internet and the ease of searching for ‘relevant’ information that the internet presents to all of us to when I commenced my craving to become a sports coach with my long term focus on high performance.

No-one to help or mentor me, my search for up to date information was primarily sourced from magazines that were in print at that time.

That was essentially all of the information that was available aside from a very few basic text books that I was able to ‘borrow’ from university libraries.

These magazine articles were usually just one persons’ opinion on a particular subject relating to (in my case) a particular sport or something on how the body will or should adapt to a very specific training style or method.

In hindsight, these magazines were comparable to our current ‘women’s magazines’ of the fitness and sporting industry. Much of the information was dubious at best and extremely contradictory. (Yep just like many of the women’s magazines of today}

Then came a proliferation of books, (mostly paperback) that were readily available from our local gym equipment retailers and even at many newsagents.

I believe I purchased every single one that was available over the next few years.

Because that was all that was available in those years, in my eagerness for information, I naturally assumed that what the author was saying was exact and had some degree of scientific basis to it.

The authors in those days were people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Pearl, Rich Gaspari, Lee Preist, but finally the one author that I finally gained most from was Ellington Darden.

It took me a long, long time of trial and lots of error  following many of these authors’ descriptions to the letter to eventually realise that most of what was being written was highly generic at best and could not, nor should be applied in its entirety if anything positive was to be the outcome from it.

Sound Familiar?

Sounds a lot like the early days of Google/internet searching doesn’t it? Correct, nothing has changed very much at all.

Podcasts are now becoming the modern day Google search.

Once Google searching for information was THE thing, it really did become a ‘minefield’ of dubious information.

For so long I would be bombarded by people and clients coming to me and ‘telling’ me that they were suffering from this or that affliction or this is how we need to train to attain better results.

When asked how they suddenly now know all of this information they tell me they searched for it on the internet, entered their symptoms or sporting goals and this is what came up, all of this ‘highly scientific’ information that ‘relates exactly to them’ and only them!

I didn’t mind this in the days when I was able to see clients and athletes face to face, especially on a very regular basis as it was a good way to broach subjects about health and training methodology.

Now, though, in the recent 2-3 years that I have much less face to face contact with many of my clients, I am forever being sent links to a podcast of someone talking about what I have been quietly going about for 40+ years and them talking about it on a podcast.

Oh my, listening to some of these takes me back to the 1970’s and 80’s when I followed articles written in magazines, books and then the internet.

I feel for the many out there that follow these authors to the letter, or should I say spoken word.

The authors of both, the written (as on Google/internet searches) and now the spoken as on the podcasts that abound now can sound very convincing and altogether plausible but I find that, at best this information is very generalised and very non-specific information in every way.

Many of the views are alternative and seemingly seeking our/your support and a degree of validation all whilst making unsupported and unfounded claims.

Many of these recent podcast authors have become so prolific in giving their opinions and thoughts on an such an array of differing subjects that I feel that they are using the ‘scatter gun effect’ meaning that if they say enough varying things, then surely there will be someone out there that will actually gain some value from what they say.

So firstly ask yourself this! How did that information appear on the internet?

Answer is, someone put it on there, just as I am putting this on the internet for anyone to read.

Very little, if any of the information on the internet and, even more specifically, these podcasts are pier reviewed (of course some are) as it is seemingly based on someone’s more often than not, very narrow experience about a particular subject as they see it.

It seems to me that it wasn’t until around 2015 that Google started to ‘roll out’ health information supported and authored by a team of doctors and up to date information with a degree of relevance.

Even then, this information is still far from optimal and whilst it is useful for some very general and basic information, nothing will ever replace the individual specifics that face to face, correctly individualised treatment and training programs plans will give you.

Only your doctor, professional health practitioner or appropriately qualified and experienced coach can deliver this.

Really, it seemed that no sooner it was that the information on Google had improved in the quality of the ‘advice, in jumped many with their podcasts covering all of these subjects, all over again without very much qualified scrutiny, if any.

So, the point of this article is to explain to you all that here in 2019 compared to 1978, not much has changed, be very wary of everything you read or hear.

First it was magazines, then books, then internet searching, now podcasts.

Please be aware, if you are looking for relevant, up to date scientific information, check your source and be very vigilant in taking everything that you read or hear on the internet as having a scientific basis that has direct relevance to yourself. Because it doesn’t!

Coaches….they have a hand in everything, but control nothing!

November 4th, 2018

Disclaimer: This chapter is written purely from a ‘high performance’ athlete/coach viewpoint.

There is only 2 kinds of coaches! 1. Those that have been sacked. OR. 2. Those that will be sacked.

Whether you work for a club or you work for one or a number of individual athletes there will come a time that every one of those ‘employers’ will ask you to leave their employment.

My aim, as a long term high performance coach has been to continually re-invent myself as part of the process to help produce regular high performance results.

In order to preserve that consistency it is always a requirement to add young and talented athletes perpetually.

There, however, comes a point in time that an older coach, whilst they can still see everything that still needs to be executed by athletes to constantly produce exceptional results, that the generational gap between the coach and athlete will become too large.

After all the body hasn’t changed and the very things that worked before will continue to work but in this fast paced, ‘take away’, quick fix mentality, ever changing world, sport that requires patience and consistency for long term good results, the 2 just don’t go hand in hand.

Being an athlete is an arduous, slow, meandering and difficult process.

When doing my absolute best to explain to an athlete, sometimes 40-50 years younger than myself, it can become quickly apparent that we are speaking to glazed over eyes (for that fleeting moment that their eyes are lifted from the hand held screen that they are looking at).

This is very unlike the generally completely receptive athlete that we would have been enunciating with of a similar age 20 or more years previously as we do our best to deliver a plan that we know full well will work.

Chances are we/you are now on totally different wavelengths and the message that we know that the athlete needs to apply, just isn’t completely getting through any more.

When this scenario happens, it is not the fault of the athlete, it is the way that we are trying to install our older terminology on a new society and they don’t get it.

It is now that we need to reconsider our position and let these young, bright and highly talented athletes go to someone closer to their age that they can fully relate to that will ensure that they are coached in a method that makes sense to them.

After all, the goals and aspirations of the athlete is the number one priority. Do the right thing!

Having had the advantage and also the  benefit of observing and working with the head coaches of many professional sporting clubs in Australia, with myself as head of strength and conditioning has given me great ‘first hand’ insight on this subject.I worked for 8 years in the WAFL. (West Australian Football League), 3 years in the NRL (National Rugby League) and 6 years in the NBL (National Basketball League)

In those 17 years observing coaches and coaching methods I had the privilege of working with some really great coaches and some, well, not so great.

There was a constant though and this is irrespective of whether I thought of them as a great coach or not, and that was that their message routinely goes ‘stale’ in the eyes of the athlete, nowadays in as little as 2 years.

So just how many generations apart until it becomes too many?

Providing you, the coach understood that your delivery method needed continual tweaking and have evolved through time, it will still become nigh on impossible to keep pace with the changes in the generations to a point that it is now just too big a gap and the all-important message is now not as readily received as you wish that it was.

In coaching terms, the most difficult generation so far for me has been and still is the Y generation (those born since about 1984) but at the same time is been my most successful from a results point of view.

Why is this?

I recognised early that the generational gap between myself and the Y generation athletes was already too big and my message just wasn’t getting to where I needed it to as consistently as I would like.

At the time that the Y generation started to appear in my squad, the older generations were still around IE: last of the baby boomers and more especially the X generation and all still extremely strong, highly talented and regarded athletes.

I quickly recognised this void between myself and the Y generation so surreptitiously was able to use these ‘older’, senior athletes to mentor and drive the burgeoning Y generation athletes all with my backing.

These up and coming athletes relished that opportunity and fed off them and gained an enormous amount of strength, both physically and mentally just training alongside them.

The extraordinary results from these Y generation athletes continued for many years using this coaching strategy.

Further complications appeared later was when the baby boomer and X generation athletes finished up and the Y generation athletes became the ‘senior’ generation athletes to mentor and guide the later Y generation and moving into the millennials.

This is where it has become very much more difficult for me.

Unlike the more closed off baby boomer and X generations who kept their emotions much closer to their chest, these later generations are much more open with friends and team mates, they are less likely to keep things close to their chest and they generally have much less focus on long term stoic loyalty.

Why I feel that this openness becomes a problem in a team/coaching/training environment is the negative energy that the more constant verbal dissent and complaints creates is a serious issue from a squad synergy and energy point of view.

Whereas the earlier generations most likely had the very same feelings, they were less likely to verbalise their dissent and just got on with what needed to happen and ‘play their role’ as required.

Couple that with the fact that the later generations have little or no interest in hearing “in my day we did it like this” and are seemingly unimpressed and disinterested in history and tradition.

After all the reason that all athletes are training for and competing within their chosen sport now is 100% because of all the previous administrators and athletes that came before them.

If you are reading this and you are from the younger generations, the way I see it is that it is NOT your fault and I am not being critical of you.

I feel it is a combination of many things within your upbringing IE: parenting, educational system, and peers all accepting of mediocre.

You are all so much more capable than you think you are. You all have it in you to be so amazing. Patience and work ethic is key.

For so long, people had their addictive dopamine fix by hard training or alcohol or drugs or smoking and as a sports coach that was what we were dealing with every day of our coaching lives.

Nowadays that dopamine fix is also satisfied by social media and technology.

The fixation on technology is an addiction that is not going to go away so we need to find a way to work with it rather than against it. Easier said than done for someone my age.

So often now, the gaps I now see in post training data are generally not to fix a flat tyre or mechanical issue or a stop to have a drink, (as it most often was in the past) it is much more likely to have been a stop or pause to take a photo for a social media feed or update.

Then, if we relied on many peoples’ social media, post training updates to see how they are doing, you would be led to believe that ‘wow these athletes are amazing and so strong and fast’.

I know better though, that the only reason that session suddenly appeared on social media is that they are happy (no, ecstatic with it). All the other sessions (that don’t appear on social media) that are completed just how they should be, on point and on the schedule. And those are the sessions I like most because they are the ones that make the most positive changes in the long term.


The most effortless generation to coach for me was the X generation.

I can only assume that these athletes were the closest in age to me and because I was still older and supposedly wiser than they, I found them extremely receptive to new ideas and methods with respect to their sporting aspirations.


Not every athlete or coach can retire within the perfect scenario where they win their last event that they are involved with IE: when everything is rosy and at the top of our/their game.

It certainly can and does happen but more often than not, it doesn’t happen, many hang on longer than they should.

Regardless of the timing, that point to declare that your coaching or athletic career is over, pull up stumps and hand over to the younger athletes and coaches coming through will come and we/you need to recognise that time!

The elite have total belief in themselves. The average want others to believe in them!

October 11th, 2018

One of the things that I have experienced over a long time now, is that by the time that an athlete has progressed to being an elite athlete and have established their career, I have found them a dream to coach.

The elite athlete undeniable self-belief merely needs to be nurtured and supported and providing, as their coach I can keep a lid on their personal expectations and potentially artificially elevated ego, my job as their coach just got easier….for once.

Often, though this self-belief and confidence can be a little skewed and is in need of curtailing from time to time with a quick reality check and some external logical input but I would rather it that way than the opposite.

I rarely hear an elite athlete seeking continual approval for how they go about their training, recovery or competing.

There is so much self-belief in their pre-set processes that good results are merely a formality.

The elite are rarely going into an event in the hope that it will go well.

Instead they go into each event knowing that they will have a good event in the knowledge that every possible attention to detail has been enacted upon with regards to their overall preparation.

Their personal motivation to be consistent and ongoing in their commitment to being held to account to every single aspect of elitism is what sets them apart from the average.

There is an obvious personal empowerment that these athletes derive from knowing that they will almost always perform well because of their continued attention to detail is a refreshing change.

Every aspect of being the elite athlete needs to be personally important enough to make happen and not just the easy bit which is usually the actual training.

It has shown over the years that these ‘elite’ are certainly not always completely correct in their opinion and thoughts regarding their immediate requirements for their current event preparation but it is usually an easy conversation to have and point them to a more practical and productive path.

The most common issue here is that most will want to do exactly what worked before forgetting that it is highly likely that their prospective opposition are continually implementing fresh and new training and preparation strategies.

There is, however always the one that is of the belief they are completely different to every other human being on earth and truly believe that they can achieve highly by not adhering to the tried and tested.

Something I believe is this:

‘If you do what you have always done in this sporting world, you are going backwards’

As an athlete you need to do what everyone else is doing, and especially your opposition but do it better than them.


On the other hand the developmental and average athletes spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to convince their coach, their friends and most importantly, themselves that they are doing everything perfectly and they are doing well.

All with a degree of insincerity that is so easy to see through.

The amount of times I have had to listen to an athlete doing their absolute best to explain to me in ‘exacting’ detail just how well they have trained, how great their nutrition is and how well they are looking after themselves is in the thousands.

Very often this long winded explanation is not supported by their data (and they know it).

The impassioned veracity that this explanation often takes and the detail to which these athletes can go to is extraordinary.

If only they approached their training and overall preparation with as much tenacity and doggedness.

The eyes and body language say it all.

I feel I can almost see each person’s entire life but most notably, their overall health and fitness directly through the eyes along with careful attention to their body language.

It is so easy to see when someone is expressing their thoughts with purpose rather than with conviction.


Most likely my responses will be one of these:

  1. If I don’t feel that you are completely ready for your next target event, then I won’t be letting you do it. Why? Because, regardless of them imploring that they are doing well. I will remind them about now too, that you are not just representing yourself when you compete, because you represent me, your coach, your training squad and your family meaning that if I feel that any part of you or your support network will be not suitably represented by your lack of preparedness, you are not on this time around.
  2. Or let them do the event. This will show yourself, myself and everyone else exactly how well you are going, regardless of your desire to convince me and all around you that you are doing everything to the letter and doing well.

We all know full well that it is not me that you are trying to convince that all is well with your own attention to detail, it is in fact yourself.

People can sound and look so, so convincing in this scenario.

I judge people by what they do rather than by what they say. Words are just that, ‘words’.

The human mind is a very powerful thing.

You/we all spend a long time in our own heads, I suggest you make that a nice place to spend a long time.

Please remember this, just because you think it, doesn’t make it so.

If enough time is spent on self-satisfying yourself and self-support and personal back slapping, then it is highly likely that it is possible to be totally incontrovertible to have yourself believe you are doing really well when the reality is that you are not.

From the outside looking in, that is not what I see.

That is a complicated way of saying, please don’t believe your own bullshit.

The result that you achieve in your next event will be an exact replica of your input and attention to your training whether you are a professional, elite, age group or ‘weekend warrior’ athlete.

After reading all of my thoughts here it is up to you now to decide which category you feel you fit into.

Are you the ‘elite’ or are you not quite in the elite category yet?

Commitment: ‘Either you do or you don’t, there is no in between’

August 6th, 2018

Prompted to think more deeply about this question by recent experiences, I am now more puzzled than ever about commitment and what it really is! So what is it?

I don’t believe that commitment can be only applied to just one aspect of one’s life such as sport because, in my experience, sport mirrors the remainder of life. So there is a fair chance that if you lack long term commitment to your sport, it is highly likely that you will also lack long term commitment to your work, your friends and your family.

The dictionary definition of commitment is pretty well summed up as:


  1. The act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
  2. A pledge, vow, undertaking or promise: obligation

I notice with interest that no dictionary definition specifies exactly how long that commitment needs to be consistently applied to satisfy the definition that you are committed!

From my point of view I believe this is where my confusion stems from in that every definition now seems ambiguous because there is no start and finish time.

Does one day of commitment classify you as committed? OR, does it require that you commit to an entire career to be classified as a committed person? I know which I think it is!

If there is a benefit of me now being in my 41st year of coaching, I have seen a lot of changes across the generations, and the generational diversity in the interpretation of ‘commitment’ is one of these changes that has been and continues to be an extreme challenge as a high performance coach.

Just like many of life’s many variables, the personal perception of commitment and what that very word ‘commitment’ means, seems to be extremely fickle and as such, different for each individual.

I have my own comprehension of commitment and just how that applies to every aspect of life. Accordingly, when applied to sport my definition seems vastly different from most others that I now come in contact with.

To find a potential athlete or indeed, an established athlete with the attitude to maximal personal commitment that mirrors my own, especially in these last few years is becoming less and less commonplace.

Some appear capable of remaining ‘committed’ for a day, a week, a month or even multiple months, in fact some shock me with their enthusiastic ‘commitment’ for that short while in the early stages of training, only to just ‘ghost’ away without a trace or message or any contact in any way.

Many people ‘commit’ to an event sometime into the near or not so near future by either qualifying for, and/or simply paying the registration fee.

To me, that very action of registering for an event should be the ultimate catalyst to total commitment for the preparation to that event with a desire to be in the absolute best possible shape come event day.

Upon qualifying or registering for the upcoming event, these are some questions that you should ask yourself that will assist you in the lead up to that event.

  1. What to expect as far as required physical attributes, (IE: skill set, speed, strength endurance or whatever your chosen sports’ demands are)?
  2. What you need to do and who can help you best prepare (be it a coach and/or who to train with during this entire preparation)?
  3. And how to go about applying all of those into your current life and lifestyle?
  4. Is it going to require some adjustments to your current lifestyle?

This upcoming event should trigger the utmost commitment to yourself, your coach, your teammates that you should be able to rely upon to further your sporting dream.

In this scenario, commitment becomes a two way street, you committed to them because you need them to improve, and them committed to you as by them helping you, you improve, and in turn, your commitment to them helps them improve.

My own take on this is simple, IE: if you are committed to the process, then you are obliged to remain so until the event is completed or if you are a long term athlete, you remain committed until the end of your career and you are now retired from the sport.

So to be a better athlete than you currently are you need the following list of commitments:

Commitment to the exact training as required

Commitment to your nutrition

Commitment to your rest and recovery processes between sessions

Commitment to your squad (if you have one)

Commitment to your coach (if you have one)

Commitment to your family and friends because you will need them when things get a bit tough from time to time.

By committing to all of these processes, you give yourself the best possible opportunity of success and that will be your commitment to excellence.

Without this level of commitment your results are likely to be very irregular at best.

If, however you happen to be that type of person/athlete that is only capable of committing to something for that short time, then you may need to line that short attention span of yours up with upcoming events that are close by in terms of calendar.

Then be happy with the likely sub optimal results based on the fact that your lead into that event was far shorter and less focused than the many long term fully committed athletes that you are likely to compete against.

Continued commitment breeds respect, so if respect is something you desire in your life, I suggest you remain steadfastly committed to everything that is important to you.

Your Sporting Career, it’s OVER before you know it !

June 30th, 2018

The best days in your sport will come and go more quickly than you expect and when it does end, you will realise that it only took up such a small percentage of your entire life, so I urge you to make the most of your most productive and competitive days while you can, when you can because it will be gone very quickly, and likely never to return.

And just like that, it’s gone!

Now in my 41st year of being a high performance coach, something I have never adjusted to over time is seeing obviously talented athletes that have completed their all-important first couple of years of involvement into their chosen sport suddenly choose to give it away and very often just as they are about to seemingly realise their sporting potential.

From what I could foresee with many of them, both with athletes that I had coached and just as many that I didn’t coach, so many of those athletes clearly had the sporting world at their feet but for reasons only known to them, chose to quit the sport and in most cases, never to be seen again in the sport.

This actually upsets me to see this. I know just how hard it is to attain that level of output and performance, then to let it go just like that is so disappointing.

So, take it from me, if you are intending to be your absolute best in your chosen sport, please do it now if you possibly can because you only get one good shot at it in each person’s lifetime. It is one hell of a long way back if you stop training.

Of course many just fall out of love with their sport and that is reason enough to give it up, talented or not, if you don’t love it, it won’t happen.

Then, I have seen ever so many good athletes not make it to the top of their sport because of a variety of reasons but primarily because there is many that thought, ‘no worries I am young and right now I want to join my friends, have a bit of fun, travel, party, stay up late and so on now and I will get back and pick up my sport later when it suits me’.

When that small number of them do make the attempt to return they quickly discover that the motivation and work ethic to return doesn’t very often mirror the sports’ requirements AND if you do come back later, remember this, that the athletes that did continue in the sport are now much further ahead of you than they were because they have had the time to continually gain strength and speed while you had been away ‘living it up’.

Now you aren’t as close to them as you were before or were hoping to be after a short time training again.

When you are young…ish it is easy to get caught up thinking that how you feel right now is how you will always feel and that it will be easy to pick up at a similar level to where you are currently at and move forward from there again as you are inclined.

It is no mean feat to once again to commence the re-conditioning, fitness, strength and speed development after a prolonged lay off, and the discipline required to make all of that happen doesn’t come easily.

There is obviously things out of your control that may require that you take weeks, months or even years away from your sport and that is just how life is at times.

  • Family is the primary factor here where it could all be back on you to lend support to a family member or members for illnesses, sicknesses or other factors out of their control and as you will know I have a ‘family first’ focus at all times so when placed in that position, it is totally unavoidable that your sporting aspirations will need to go on hold in this situation.
  • Injury is something that can seriously impede your progress and many times this is used as the excuse/reason for stopping their sport altogether.

Most injuries seem like the end of the world at the time but from my experience, don’t last as long as it seems that it will and in fact offer up the positive opportunity to work on other aspects in your sport that you wouldn’t normally do.

Having the occasional injury isn’t always the catastrophe that it appears to be when that injury is sustained.

  • Employment and especially work location are also potential impediments to having that required tunnel visioned approach to your sport that high level output depends upon.

Trying to work quality training into obscure work hours can be difficult but not insurmountable.

Whereas trying to fit quality training into your day when you work remotely and/or travel often into big cities does, however does create much more of a quality training problem.

  • Financial constraints are a dominant excuse that is used for giving sport away. Sport of any kind requires an enormous financial investment and without some external support can prove very difficult.

Event entry, travel, equipment purchase and ongoing repairs, recovery procedures, treatments, coaching fees are just some of the ongoing costs to being an athlete but if you can find your way around these issues and remain in the sport it is so worth it.

So, if high level sport is your chosen thing, then please leave no stone unturned to stay in the sport as long as you can, you will be so pleased you did.

If it is important enough, you WILL find a way.

Do it now, while you are able.

Dont Fear Mistakes

June 23rd, 2018

Don’t Fear Mistakes

(Aberration, Blunder, Faux Pas, Bungle, Misconception, Delusion) call it what you like but if you did any of these means the same thing…..YOU have stuffed up!

I would always rather coach someone who makes mistakes along the way because that is a good sign that they challenge themselves and making mistakes gives learning/growing opportunities, more so than someone that ‘plays it safe’ and won’t test themselves and is happy to remain at that ‘safe’ level.

Every time you have an adverse result or lose or a bad training session you are presented with an opportunity to learn and to grow as a person and as an athlete.

It is really only a dumb mistake if you mess something up more than once the same way and you didn’t learn from it.

There is no-one that has never made mistakes along the way, be it in life, business or sport. I should know, I have made plenty.

When applied to the sporting environment there is many ways where it could be considered that an athlete has ‘made a mistake’.

By not attending to even just one of the following WILL affect your future results, guaranteed.

So if you mess up on any of the following it could easily be described as a ‘mistake’ in your sport.

  1. Not adhering to the set training program is a classic mistake. The most common ways that athletes get this wrong are they don’t get the entire session done (do too little), or Do significantly more than the session that is set (do too much). or Do more intensity or speed than is set. OR go too slow. As a coach I have the back of the athletes I coach and I expect the same from them to me. Complete the sessions as set as that makes your next week easy to plan and set.
  2. Seeing your weekly training program and only choosing and completing the sessions that you will ‘like’. Remember, the sessions that are uncomfortable to complete will likely give you the best long term outcome.
  3. Not eating correctly……every meal. The single most uncomplicated thing you will ever do in your life whether you are an athlete or not is eat correctly. It is not hard to have the right things in your fridge and pantry and know what and when to eat based on your training and sleeping regime. Eating correctly requires you to be organised, just as you would as you plan your training sessions.
  4. Not attending to your recovery regime. This is entirely up to you. Eating, drinking, stretching, foam rolling, self-massage, the occasional professional massage, and adequate rest, all ongoing, do it before you think you need it, not just when something feels tight or sore or you feel unhealthy.
  5. Racing underprepared….and being surprised by the result. One thing I always say to people I have coached over the past 40+ years is that you should never be surprised by your event result. Your result will always mirror your current training input and output. The only things that can impact on this is equipment failure that can’t be planned for.
  6. Focusing totally on numbers in your training and your racing. Sure data has a place but it is a mistake to solely focus on data as this will likely give you very variable results. Heart rate and perceived exertion and current effort level are just as important, even more so than data on event day when you are required to go with the winning move or break or you will be left behind. If you have done the work, you should be there or thereabouts.
  7. Thinking that ‘near enough is good enough’. I sound like a cracked record (those of you who know what a record is these days) to my squad because I bang on about this all of the time. Attention to detail at all costs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that near enough is good, because it is not.
  8. Not factoring in enough family, relationship, friend time. You need your support network around forever so nurture the people that are part of your life 24/7. All work and no play will likely wear thin on your loved ones and the tension and negative energy that this will likely create in and around your home will hamper your recovery and general long term enjoyment of your chosen sport.
  9. And the number one biggest mistake is to expect others to do all or many of these important things for you.

Every one of these things is YOUR individual responsibly.

YOU do the required training, at the required time and intensity, YOU prepare and consume the correct nutrition, YOU attend to your recovery, and YOU attend to the minutest details that are required every session, every meal, and every day.

If you are not making mistakes, you are simply not trying, don’t fear making mistakes, but don’t keep making them.

How to make your season in your off season

May 16th, 2017

As the racing season for many age group athletes nears an end and temperatures dip it is hard to maintain motivation to keep a consistent training regime. With no races in sight and the warmth of bed seeming so much more appealing then diving head first into a pool at 5am many triathletes fall off the bandwagon, let their bike gather dust and trade their running shoes for slippers. However, the off season is the most critical time for triathletes to reset, reflect, refocus and set goals for the next season. To ensure their goals are met when the new season rolls around it is important to begin building their base through the off season.   

End of season self-analysis and next season planning

With the completion of the Straddie Salute triathlon festival on North Stradbroke Island, Saturday 20th April and for you in WA the Busselton 70.3 7th May, it has signified the end of the triathlon season in southern Australia.

Although off season for some signifies a time to hide your swim gear in the back of the cupboard behind the brooms and umbrellas, forget about your tyre pressure and charging you Garmin before the mornings ride and retiring your runners it is actually an opportunity for all athletes to reflect on their season’s performance. All you triathletes out there have now been handed the opportunity to self-analyse your own performances and review your development throughout the season just completed. It’s critical to let your body and mind have a break to freshen up. Within that time decide what you need to do in order to improve, or change in your training, mindset and technique and in turn output, by the commencement of the new 2017/18 season.

The off season is THE time to make some subtle changes to everything you did in the past in order to make you a more rounded athlete that will give you better results into the next season.

The list of things to consider are:


Overall health

If you desire to be a better athlete than you currently are, then you will need to address you overall health as this will ultimately determine how well you recover from training and racing and long term, how long you will remain in the sport.  Analyse just when it is that leads into the time that you seem to break down, get sick or simply lose that desire to do what is required.


Swim strength/speed

What specifically is affecting your performance? Technique or fitness or is it your lack of love of swimming? If you can identify what is holding you back in swimming what can you do to work towards changing your mindset and skill level around swimming? Most local pools will run an adult squad alongside their junior squads which are run by swim coaches. Not only can this be a fantastic may to improve your swim technique, strength and speed but it can be a great source of motivation to make those 5:30am dive ins more pleasurable and make you accountable for your swims.


Bike skills and strength

Do you know how much time can be saved with better bike skills? Cornering, gearing choices, remaining as aero as possible for as long as possible. Think of this, if you are in an event that has 20 corners in it on the bike leg and you improve your corning technique you can expect to save at least 1 second (or more) each and every corner, you have just improved your bike time by at least 20 seconds with no extra effort.


Bike fit

Having a professional bike fit WILL give you the most effective ‘bang for your buck’ as far as comfort and strength and then, being able to run off the bike much more efficiently than anything else. Bike fit alone will save you time and make you more comfortable in every aspect of cycling and/or triathlon. EliteSportz uses the world renowned Retul 3D bike fit technology system to place you in the best possible position based on all of your personal anatomical variables that are unique to you.


Run speed and technique

What hurts when you run and do you know why? All aspects of endurance sport are improved with consistency of training with a purpose and progression plan, no more so than with the run. Without a very clear and precise progression plan, it is the run that will likely give you the most injuries in the first few years of training but with attention to your technique and strength over time the run will likely be the most enjoyable for many years to come.


Transition training

I cannot count the amount of times I have seen an athlete miss a podium spot by 30 seconds or less. Then later I look at the race splits and see that that same athlete spent longer in transition than the others in their race.  Work on your transitions and you will gain some ‘free’ time in your next race.


Race planning

The importance of choosing races that suit your physiology and level of fitness should not be underestimated. By now you should know what length of race suits you best and enjoy most. Keep in mind all of the other variables as well, terrain, type of swim, time of year as all of these will affect the conditions that you will be racing in.


Race scheduling

It is important to always remember that racing too often makes you slower and offers no opportunity to work towards increasing strength and speed primarily because you are continually recovering from a race only then to be preparing and tapering for your next race. Look at allowing time between events to continually improve the things that you have identified as the areas of your sport to continually pay attention to.


Race skills

Swim and run drafting, bike pacing, surging – do you know what to do and when to apply these important aspects of a race? Mental work, where and when do you drift in a race? Are you able to re-focus quickly? Are you putting into practice being able to ‘stay in the moment’ with ease?

Every one of the points above requires specific training just as you would swim, ride and run practice, so too do you need to pay specific attention to all of these ‘one percenters’ that go into creating that athlete that always seems to go well on any given day.

Please feel free to get in touch with EliteSportz Specialist whilst you have this personal review/ down time, lets work on what you feel is letting you down, and lets get prepared and plug the gaps so next season is as much fun, with the results you are wanting to achieve?