A long while ago I was reading an article by Alwyn Cosgrove, who is one of the heavy hitters in the fitness industry and an expert on fat loss. Alwyn was answering the question: Is losing weight easy? His answer included the title above. It’s SIMPLE, but not easy.
That got me thinking about our endurance endeavors; Are getting great results in Ironman or ultra running or that granfondo easy? You may guess the answer because of the title and that is, yes it’s pretty simple, but it’s not easy.
When it comes to performance enhancement we all pretty much know what to do, and how to do it. But what trips most of us up is putting it all together. Let’s have a look at some of the most important but simple things.
Nutrition: Undeniably, the less weight you have to carry around, the faster you are going to go. Period. All the high tech gadgetry in the world is not going to help you if you’re lugging around excess body fat. If you fill your diet with fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, good fats, and only consume sugars and starches during and immediately after training, it’s going to have a profound impact on your health and triathlon results. That’s fairly simple, but it’s not easy!
Body maintenance: I have written about this in the past, as I believe this is the most underutilized area of improvement. There are enormous benefits to consistently sleeping 7-8 hours a night and looking after your muscle tissue health through regular massage or self-massage with any of the many tools available. Again simple, but not easy.
Training: Ah yes, you need to train to get results. That’s simple right? Yes, it is but definitely not easy when you’re and stressed and tired from work and there are family and social commitments, not to mention the little voice in your head saying “it’s not going to hurt to just miss one session”. As coach and friend Vinnie Santana once mentioned “After coaching for a number of years, it is clear that if the athlete has done the training, he/she will perform well at a race. End of story.” But there is more to it than just logging the miles! It’s how you train, especially when those stressors start to add up.
Turning down the noise: There’s tons of it out there, from all the adverts for the latest and greatest gadgets, what your mates are doing, what the social media guru is telling you, and even more so, the paralysis of understanding what the data spitting out from your heart rate, power, GPS gizmos are telling you. The idea of turning down the noise is really simple. Shutting it out and turning it off may not be that easy, however, it is well worth it when you do. It clears your mind and allows you to focus on the training when you do and develop an intuitive pacing sense.
Consistently putting all the above together is what it WILL take to start seeing greater improvement in your results. And something many athletes miss is the plateau of latent potential as discussed by James Clear in his book ‘Atomic Habits’.
It’s fairly SIMPLE but it’s NOT always EASY. It’s going to take discipline, it’s going to take a great deal of focus, it takes some will power and it certainly takes effort over time.
But when it’s all said and done, the PROCESS is SIMPLE.
So go on and become the BEST you can be… We can help you like we have many others.