I really think Santa Claus is a triathlete. He shows all the signs, to my way of thinking:
- He is a bit obsessive compulsive – he’s making a list, he’s checking it twice
- He gives instructions to the kids at the Aid Station about his intended nutrition plan – look at those regular small intakes of biscuits and milk when he is running around on Christmas Eve
- He favours a two piece race suits because the one piece shows off his belly too much
But in all seriousness, triathletes can perhaps learn something from his race preparation.
Santa is well prepared.
He knows his A race and focusses on getting everything prepared well in advance. No nasty surprises when it comes time for action!
Santa is part of a club
He involves other people in his race prep (the elves) but ultimately he knows he is completely responsible for the result.
Santa keeps it simple
He knows we live in an “information overload” world, but he only listens to reliable sources of information, so that he can either class each kid as “naughty” or “nice”. There is beauty in simplicity, and so if it is good enough for the big fella, then perhaps we triathletes can simplify our outcomes to focus on only 2, or at the most 3 goals (Santa Claus says 2 goals, Warren Buffet says 3 goals but both are very successful gentlemen).
Come race day we are then able to have a clear mind for what we DO want (those 2 or 3 very clear goals) and drop everything that has a DONT want attached to it. Those goals work nicely if we have numbers (time, pace, power) associated with them.
With thorough preparation, clear and specific goals brings a freedom from anxiety and clutter in our minds, so that we can allow ourselves to perform to the best of our ability (and in so doing, most likely enjoy our race day).
Merry Christmas, and thanks to Santa for the mentorship in being a triathlete.
Contributed by Ian Hainsworth – club secretary, Ironman veteran and all-round nice guy.