Book Two Opener
Shortly, I'll be disappearing from the net for a couple of weeks. I won't be writing any Epic Camp updates this time (you've heard enough from me recently). Monica and I have been apart for two weeks and I'd rather hang out with her than write.
I'm sure that I'll come back from my third cyber-retreat recharged and full of ideas that I kicked around while getting crushed by Molina at Epic Camp. Frankly, I've been online too much these days. It all started when I broke my _routine_ in Brazil race week. Should have known that my discipline was limited!
In the meantime, here's my concept for my second book. Part Two is going to be a talk that I give at our Ironman Training Seminar, November 2nd to 4th in Colorado Springs.
I’m sitting at my desk on a summer’s morning and asking myself the question, “Why should you read this book?”
Thirteen years ago, a journey of personal transformation started when I decided to go for a walk. I was living in
This book isn’t about how I moved from the couch to elite athletics. While that might make an interesting read, athletic success is the least important aspect of our journey through sport. So what does matter?
Success is a process which can be replicated across many areas of our lives. This book lays out different approaches and considerations on the path towards breakthrough performance. As a coach, the technical knowledge that I offer is a small part of my role. Rather, the area where I am able to effect lasting change is helping my athletes create the structure and habits that lead towards personal excellence.
As a writer, I love books and have read a tremendous amount about all levels of athletics. My favorite titles are sorted by topic and listed at the end of this book. For my own athletics, the titles that have been most helpful are the ones that explain the process of achievement. These books document how an individual took themselves to a level far beyond what they thought possible.
Aside from the field of Sports Psychology, I’ve found a gap in the literature surrounding athletic performance. Many authors write about the skills, workouts and structure of their sports. This work is essential to provide a strong foundation for athletes and coaches. However, there are very few titles that discuss how the very best create an environment for success. Communicating the framework and approach necessary to take ourselves far beyond self-imposed limits is my goal for Breakthrough Endurance.
The story of Lance Armstrong is well-known. After reading this book, I’d encourage you to go back to Lance’s books. Consider the differentiating factors in his domination of the Tour de France over seven years. Consider the team, the support, the money, the experts and the time that goes into one man’s performance. Imagine what you could achieve by building a small business centered completely on your sporting achievement.
You might view Lance’s approach as impractical for yourself and, generally, you’d be right. However, in your athletic career you are competing against athletes with superior: funding, support, talent, skills, experience and/or training. Against that background, if you want to achieve your very best, can you afford not to do everything possible to succeed?
This book is split into four main sections. In Part One, we will review the fundamental aspects of performance that apply across all endurance sports. Our minds constantly seek short-cuts and we are often tempted to follow the easy way to athletic success. To counter these tendencies, it is worthwhile reviewing the basics. Part One focuses on key concepts rather than the fine details. I would encourage you to review your sport-specific approach in light of the concepts.
The heart of this book is explained in Part Two. In this section, the Elements of Breakthrough Performance will be presented and explained in detail. There is no magic formula for success. Daily, you will find yourself seeking to “guess wisely” on the back of imperfect and changing information. Incorporating the elements into your life will help you build a routine and support structure around yourself. If you are successful then you will find yourself in a virtuous circle where your training “lives” in an environment than sustains your efforts. This section will help you learn how to “work smart” over a long period of time.
Ensuring that our efforts are not derailed by common pitfalls is what we will consider in Part Three. In all areas, we have blind spots that can hinder, or end, our quest for performance. By discussing the most common road blocks, I hope to improve your odds for navigating around, and out of, these obstacles.
In the last section of the book, we will discuss concepts that may seem contrary to the theme of relentless dedication that runs through much of what you’ve just read. This is because there is a performance paradox that runs through every area of our lives. The paradox lies in the fact that we need to balance total commitment with low personal attachment. Meaningful achievement flows most easily from individuals that define themselves in light of what they do, rather than what they accomplish. Our ultimate performance flows from freeing our body to do what we’ve spent thousands of hours preparing it for. There comes a point when we must get out of our own way.
Above all else, persist.