Reflecting on Small Changes


Posted by Coach Becky Piper

“Isn’t it funny how day to day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.”   ~C.S. Lewis

As the season winds down, it is time to reflect on the past season, be thankful for the improvements that we made, and look at what we can improve for next season.  For me, that is being thankful for the HUGE improvements in time that I made (including a late-season 12 minute PR), being able to run more efficiently off the bike, and being able to make my half-paralyzed right side listen to what I wanted it to do in the swim. I had success swimming from buoy to buoy without getting completely off course in between. I found that often small changes resulted in improvements. 

At this past weekend's Oktoberfest Triathlon, I was asked what simple improvements a triathlete could make to improve their time. After asking a few further questions, I learned that transitions are this triathlete’s weakness. In order to practice transitions, I suggested brick workouts and organizational skills. 

First and foremost, brick workouts, or running right after a bike workout, can be incorporated into your everyday workout regimes quite easily.  Repeatedly practicing what you do in transition makes it seem like second nature.  When that transition feels like muscle memory and does not raise your heart rate at all, you have trained your transition well. 

Secondly, I cannot stress organization enough.  Because of my paralysis, I need quite a few braces, a chair (although I am working on eliminating that), and other unusual paraphernalia in my transition area.  Trying to keep everything organized in one small area requires some creative multi-layering skills. Even my bike handles are used. For this reason, everything has its own designated space. 

Reflecting back on this season, it only took small changes, like practicing and fine-tuning transitions, to make big improvements. As you move into the off-season, take some time to reflect on where you made the most improvements as well as where the next season can go.

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