Can you learn it or are you born with it? It was the first assignment in my university degree. Nature versus nurture. A perplexing question that still ignites debate today.
What is the ideal mix for athletic success? Is it the endless delivery of science, carbon, wind tunnels and cash laced praise and endorsement. Or is it desire and the raw genetics of your heart and lungs.
As an 18 year old with no coach, no finances and no support, I would routinely run a set of three one kilometre efforts at 2min 48sec pace on my own. I didn't know that it was good, no one told me that it was good, I just did it. Why? Well I don't know, I just wanted to emulate my heroes so I went max effort. I brought the effort, in cheap shoes and with no gadgets.
Now 25 years later I coach athletes,and the opportunities seem endless. Ten grand bikes, garmin watches, power meters, slick helmets and tri suits. These items save watts and time but are no substitute for desire. Success comes in this sport from relentless desire and the stacking of effort from week to week. Make no mistake, you can't fake, if its image your after you will be found out and thats what I love about triathlon. Work ethic will prevail.
So put your war face on in season 2016/17, line up, race, make no excuses and if you get beat make no accusations, shake thy foes hand and plot your next battle. Simple. Bring the effort, stack the effort week after week and you will improve........guaranteed!!....XO The Wombat.