I previously wrote about genetics and mental strength being two key components to success as a triathlete. But, of course, there are other components.

Dedication and consistency go somewhat hand in hand. In my experience you have to be fairly obsessed with the sport (golfers are  the same) to reach your potential. 

You are not going to go through the suffering of long months of training if you are not dedicated. 

Consistency, both in getting the training done and approach, is something I have always placed a great emphasis on. It is hard to be consistent with work, family, injury and sickness, travel or miserable weather but those triathletes who “find a way” to get the training in, reap huge benefits in the long term.  

I recall one Xmas Day morning many years ago driving down Harbour Road in torrential rain and wind and saw a triathlete riding past. I subsequently was not surprised to find out that it was Greg Hopkins as he was, and still is, the master of consistency. I believe that this consistency was a key reason why he became one of the world’s leading amateur triathletes.

Making sacrifices

Greg has always been equally consistent with his diet and sleep; it doesn’t just apply to getting the miles in. We all like the glory but are we prepared to do the hard work and make the sacrifices?

Organisation and planning are often overlooked components. After each season you should be looking to plan your year ahead, including your race goal or goals ( sometimes a major goal and other secondary goals) and then plan your blocks of training and weekly sessions taking into account other commitments and what time you can realistically dedicate to the sport. 

Be ambitious but also realistic. In this way you can build so as to be ready for your race goals, adapting your schedule as necessary but without compromising consistency. 

A coach, if you can afford one, is a great help but there are good training programmes online and tools (such as a Garmin) to help you. Next week I will discuss the final key components. 

In the meantime, good luck to everyone racing in the AON National Sprint Championships this weekend and to Flora Duffy who takes on the very best at the ITU World Series Triathlon Chicago.