Monday, February 1, 2016

Essential Ingredients

by Gordo Byrn

Most athletes are at the end of their seasons and many are thinking about how they can break through in 2014. Now is the time of year where we often hear conversations about:

  • Race distance focus
  • Coaching changes
  • Equipment tweaks
  • Training protocol breakthroughs
  • Data analysis

While these discussions can be interesting, I find them to be a distraction for most athletes seeking a breakthrough.

What really matters?

I’ve found four essential ingredients towards success:

An unreasonable joy from exercise. Joy is the purest form of motivation and can’t be coached. You can muscle through a few months but, absent an emotional return, you’re unlikely to stick-it-out for the multiple seasons required to get close to your potential.

A willingness to see, then address, errors. The purpose of all our gizmos is to teach, rather than to count. Learn, and apply, the fundamental principles of pace. Most people can’t handle the trust. An honest self-inventory, combined with a willingness to change, is what’s required to improve.

An ability to control your schedule. Freedom is the most valuable aspect of my life. The most valuable type of freedom is the ability to schedule myself to get stuff done. Controlling our schedules requires us to maintain routine and learn how to say “no,” frequently.

Create silent space for recovery. The most important space for this is inside our heads!

If you haven’t achieved the above, then let go of the search for complexity.

If you have the above, then relax, stick to what’s working and know that you’re heading the right direction.

Simple, not easy.

Gordo is the founder of Endurance Corner. You can find his personal blog at

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