Make the Most of an Unexpected Poor Performance


Posted by Coach Allen Stanfield

If you subscribe to this newsletter you might have picked up on the fact that I race a lot!  One of the caveats of racing a lot is that you have a number of chances for things to go both really poorly and/or really well.

I put a lot of eggs in one basket earlier this year when I committed to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Austria. There are a lot of variables in long course triathlon, and unfortunately I got sick the week of that race (a cross Atlantic flight with a head cold is a miserable experience by the way) and really wasn't able to put out the effort I'd trained and expected to do. 

Immediately after that race I was ready to take the rest of the season off and be done for the year.  I enjoyed the rest of my trip off from training, and realized the fact that I wasn't able to put in a hard effort left me physically fresh. Mentally I was not quite there but I spent the next few weeks focusing on my nutrition, doing high-quality workouts, reflecting on past performances, and avoiding longer efforts. I really reduced my volume to stay mentally interested and trusted the fact that the work that I'd done for Worlds would carry over.

Having signed up for IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta prior to qualifying for the World Championships this year, I hadn't really focused on it after making Worlds my "A" race, but I was able to make the most out of the opportunity by doing the following:

  • Let go -  don't dwell on what you can't control or focus on your mistakes
  • Remember the good experiences - if it's not enjoyable then don't do it, remember you do this because it's fun!
  • Get the motivation back - reduce training load and allow both mental and physical recovery
  • Make nutrition a key workout - this is ALWAYS a variable that you can control, keep it as a focus!
  • Look back at past performances - be objective to learn and benefit from the situation.

See you in Australia for the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships!

~ Coach Allen Stanfield

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