A refreshing list of reminders on how to stay present, committed, and awesome every day.
by Marni Sumbal
Endurance athletes are constantly on the hunt for ways to up their game or get to the next level. Unfortunately, there's no formula for gaining a competitive edge. Consistent training, pushing your body, and building endurance are key, but remember, the human body can only tolerate so much physiological and mental stress before a physical, mental, or health-related issue springs up.
Many times, the path that you are on right now with your development is the right path for you, but without the right athletic qualities, you will struggle to get to that next level.
If you're looking to take your fitness to that next level, simply training harder or longer is not the magic answer (surprise surprise!) Whether it’s qualifying for a big race, championship, hitting the top of the podium, or achieving a personal best, nurturing the following athletic qualities will help you unlock your potential and reach athletic excellence on race day.
1. Always keep an open mind. You (and your coach!) don’t know everything.
2. Maintain a healthy relationship with food and your body.
3. Focus on your journey to get to your final destination.
4. To get faster, be great at not slowing down.
5. Be willing to be uncomfortable in training and on race day.
6. Build a team of professionals (i.e: a sport psychologist, PT, massage therapist, sport dietitian, coach) to assist in your journey. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
7. Be patient and persistent.
8. There are no quick fixes or short cuts.
9. Accept (and expect) adversity, obstacles, setbacks, and challenges.
10. Train with intense motivation, discipline, and commitment.
11. Stay consistent. Every day matters.
12. Fall in love with the journey of self-improvement.
13. Integrate your sport into your lifestyle, but don’t make sport your life.
14. Create a strong support system of friends and family.
15. Surround yourself with people who give you energy, not take it away.
16. Never underestimate the value of restful sleep.
17. Keep your easy days easy.
18. You are never too good to work on your skills.
19. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
20. Don’t be afraid to stretch your comfort zone.
21. Never lose the fun in your sport, especially on race day.
22. Quality over quantity.
23. You can’t buy speed.
24. Listen to your body. No one knows your body better than you.
25. Don’t train and race for a body image.
26. Discover the race distance that works best for you, right now in your life.
27. Stay process-driven, not outcome-focused.
28. Join a club or team to keep training fun, motivating and exciting.
30. Remember to work on your mental skills and toughness.
31. Learn as much as you can about good fueling, sport nutrition, and nutrient timing.
32. Beware of the mindset "all or nothing."
33. Self-discipline and removing unnecessary distractions will take you far.
34. Dream big and work hard for your goals.
35. Integrity over ego.
36. Train and race with tenacity and grit.
37. Listen to your body. If you question yourself, that one workout or race is probably not worth it.
38. Don’t chase the 1 percent advantage. Do the 99 percent well.
39. Accept advice, feedback and constructive criticism with a teachable spirit.
40. Believe in your own abilities.
41. Be generous with gratitude for your support system.
42. Never let performance come before your health. Always maintain healthy lifestyle habits.
43. Nail the basics.
44. Winning isn’t everything.
45. Stay present and proactive in training and racing.
46. Don’t fear failure.
47. Never give up on yourself.
48. Be grateful for what you can do.
49. Save your best performance for race day.
50. Remember that anything is possible!
Marni Sumbal is a top age-group triathlete, coach, and nutritionist. Visit her website at trimarnicoach.com.