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I recently completed my third Triathlon and despite promising myself I would train more, service my equipment in advance and overall be better prepared – 7days before the gun that ‘oh crap’ sinking feeling crept in. During the gruelling process my mind wanders and as it did I found myself seeing an incredible amount of similarities between a triathlete and a start-up founder.
These are my reasons why:
A standard rookie error is to go as hard as humanly possibly on the swim and the suddenly realise halfway through that you’re burning out and therefore it makes the rest of the race painful, mentally challenging and a lot less productive. The key is to go hard but at a sustainable pace, give yourself rest breaks in order to ensure your peak performance or else risk complete burn out (This is a marathon, not a sprint). Look after your body and your mind and they will look after you in return
It goes without saying that in a triathlon you have to wear multiple different hats, you’ll need to deal with three very different activities, two change-overs and whatever obstacles the course wants to throw in your way from cramp to potholes. The key is your ability to deal with and react to uncertainty as well as rcognisingng your strengths and playing to them whilst equally recognising your weaknesses and bringing the appropriate resources in to fill the gap. For me, this was a knee brace for the run and a operations expert with attention to detail for DisruptSports.com
The 10year goal we have at DisruptSports.com of facilitating all of the worlds sport equipment manufacturing can be daunting to look at in one chunk, the same feeling came over me at the start of the race. You really have to break it down into key milestones and the smaller wins along the way 25% of swim complete, 50% of swim complete 75% of swim complete, 76% of swim complete – you get the picture. Focusing on the short term wins and utilizing this to build the long term direction is key.
Standing on the shoulders of giants
Surround yourself with good people in the race important, people that have completed the course before, that race regularly, that have been successful. These ‘giants’ help you keep pace, they offer you advice, you can learn from the lines they take & they will push you to your limit. They make you the best version of you. It’s ok to be vulnerable and not know everything, everyone is willing to help if you just swallow your pride and ask. There are people around you who have made all the mistakes and can talk from experience, learn from them and then when you’re in that position be sure to do the same for someone else
Execute with the tools you have.
Some people will be gifted with large feet or be fortunate enough to have a $10k carbon fiber frame, don’t complain about it, don’t blame your tools, they are incremental to your success not the definition of it.
It’s bloody hard but it gets easier with practice
The one thing I came to realise towards the end of the race is that this is really hard (I knew that at the start) but it gets easier. This race was less painful and quicker than the last, and the next will hopefully (with more training) be easier and faster than this one. The more you do, the more you learn, the easier they become. Whilst reading tips and getting advice does help boost you there is absolutely zero substitute for getting up and actually giving it a go time and time again.
Enjoy the journey as much as the result. Now back on your bike.