Monday, October 4, 2010

Getting the work done (reprint)

Jonnyo “invented” that expression: “Getting the work done”. And slowly but surely, the expression and the attitude behind it was adopted by everyone in the posse. I use the word attitude because there really is an attitude behind “getting the work done”.

“Getting the work done" is about trusting what you are doing and focusing all your energy into execution, both in training and racing. The sport of triathlon is full of overthinkers. They overthink everything: nutrition, equipment and of course training. Proof of the existence of these overthinkers is the popularity of triathlon forums, with their endless pages of often pointless discussion. What makes overthinking an issue is that when athletes overthink, they lose focus. Focus on the truly important things: consistency, patience, long-term approach to development. This is a problem for many athletes, but I see it worse when coaches suffer from it. Too many coaches out there overthink their processes and “infect” their athletes with superfluous questioning of every step of the training process. The bottom line is that overthinking is synonym with underachieving.

“Getting the work done” is about consistency. Every athlete has days where it is hard to get out the door for the next workout. Most of the times this is a mental issue that is experienced by athletes at every level. One way of helping the athlete with these issues is to build the schedule around training sessions that do not need a lot of mental energy to accomplish. I like to call them “bread-and-butter” sessions. They are usually short in duration and low-intensity, but are still a very important part of the overall training program. They do not ask much from the athlete in terms of mental commitment and all he/she needs to do is to go out and get the work done.

“Getting the work done” is about expanding your personal boundaries. In order to do that, you have to go to your limit and then past it. You will be in a place where fatigue will cause you to doubt everything you are doing. And you are at that point, the only way is up and for that you need to get the work done.

Finally, “getting the work done” is about commitment to your goals. A lot of people have very lofty goals but hesitate when it is time to do the work that will allow them to accomplish those goals. For the large majority of athletes, what keeps them from achieving their goals is to get the work done.

Now get out there and just… get the work done!

1 comment:

Jason said...

Great post. It is very true and in thinking about the training program my coach has me on I can say that I now do see the same sessions on there and those are the ones that are to get 'get the work done.'

Thanks for posting.