Athletes that are just getting into endurance sports now are very lucky. There is so much great information out there and many great coaches that will help the athlete succeed faster in years before. See, we as coaches also learn fromour athletes and have not only the data and research guiding us but also the real world information from our successful athletes. But not every athlete is successful at every race and I could argue that we also learn more from the athletes who have tough races than the athletes whose races go swimmingly.
I believe there is one KEY area above all others that can yield the best results, pacing! Whether it is rowing, cycling, running or any endurance event, pacing is crucial to a successful race. Many times though athletes waste years not pacing effectively enough to see the resutls they want. Some athletes do not understand that if they are running a 5K and want to go under 24:00 they do not need to run the first mile in 6:00. Finding the right pace does take time and patience. As I mature as an athlete I find this is more true but it is not harder to be more patient. I see new athletes try to rush through there progress and get injured and frustrated and sometimes even quit the sport. These athletes expect too muh too soon and do not let themselves devlop physically or emotionally enough to see great results. Our high octane, full throttle society gives us so much so quickly with immediate gratification on so many levels. Multi sport is the opposite. Take triathlon for example. Three sports requiring developing three seperate sport specific systems plus the mental side need to be worked on. I can see one interesting aspect of triahtlon in this day and age; with so many races out there the odds of doing well even as a newbie are good. So you can get someone who is in there first year of the sport placing in there age group in the race and that makes them like the sport more then if they didn’t do well. SO they will stick to the sport. This is one of the cycles of the sport that has made it grow so rapidly over the years. For this type of athlete it is also important to measure the depth of the field and numbers at the race so they can truly gauge what type of athlete they are.
But back to patience. This will come in Pt. 2.