Thursday, January 28, 2016

Millimeters

by Sue Aquila

A few years back, I insisted the production side of our business move to measuring in the metric system. Why? Accuracy. There is a reason drug dealers measure in grams.

If you follow me on Twitter, you will notice I have been hash marking some of my tweets with #millimeters. This is my eighth season in triathlon. I have made huge gains over the last eight years. I have moved from the back of the pack to winning my age group twice in two different Ironmans.

I have loved every moment of it. Even the suffering moments. What continues to drive me? The thought of one day standing on the podium at a world championship. I am excited that we may have two of them soon.

I am at the point in my journey where the big leaps are gone. Everything now is about finding millimeters of improvement. Where am I looking for my millimeters?

  • Nutrition - I am working with a sports nutritionist and periodizing my nutrition based on the type of training and time of year.

  • Strength - I have been lifting since college. I understand how important it is for me to get strong in the winter. The Endurance Corner Big Steel Challenge motivates me to go from scrawny to brawny!

  • Swimming - More lessons. With a Ukranian Olympian. I feel like the Eastern Block approach is working. If nothing else, the accent is motivating.

  • Training - My load has increased over eight years. As I reach my load limits, intensity becomes the edge of my development.

  • Recovery - I do it all now. Year round. Specific post-training foods, naps, hot tub, rest, and more. Every day.

  • Equipment - I have literally found millimeters of improvement on the bike with a yearly fitting. I now ride rollers and love it.

  • Mind-set - I have always had the ability to focus. My next step is to learn to push beyond my barrier of self-preservation, but not too far beyond it. There is a fine line between health and self-destruction.

Finding millimeters applies in all areas of my life, not just my health and activity level. In my business life, I am always asking my customers what I can do improve. In my personal life, my spouse and I have a quarterly State of the Union. We discuss every area of our life from physical to financial. We grade each other and discuss how we want to improve.

Most people measure themselves against ridiculous standards, often external and material. Get quiet, look within and ask yourself, what are you measuring?


Sue started her triathlon journey with a 50 pound weight loss and continues as a multiple Kona qualifier. In 2013, she was named the Overall Ironman All World Athlete Champion in her age group and in 2014 won her age group at Ironman Texas. As a successful entrepreneur, she believes that, “You can run your business like your training and your training like your business!” As a coach (USAT Certified), she helps athletes to develop success in all areas of their lives: family, health and work. She blogs regularly at fewoman.com. You can find her on Twitter @fewoman.
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