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I began doing triathlons in 1986, and I figured I was pretty much good to go. I was competing in both cross-country running and swimming in high school. The triathlon excited me because it seemed like a sport I would naturally be able to do. Swimming and running seemed like to only challenge. Afterall, everyone know how to ride a bike, right?
I’ve always said that you learn the most from your first triathlon. That was my experience at least. I was surprised how the swim and run were much harder than I expected. Oh, and I was clueless about generating any speed on the bike! Through brute force and volume I learned to race in triathlons confidently. It was difficult because I made it difficult, and figured that was the correct way to train. Eventually though I realized my training strategy was not getting me any further.
I thought about this recently when I spoke to an athlete that had figured out what he needed to get better at triathlon. He wanted help with swim technique, but not with his training. He said he got in all the bricks and other workouts that he needed to do. In our conversation it dawned on me that he thinks he know what he needs to do, but probably doesn’t. It’s easy to have blinders on and not see what is missing from your training to take your performance to the next level. I’ve been there. Hitting a wall in performance, and realizing you’ve exhausted every effort you can think of to reach your goals is humbling. I look back now and think what could have been if I had a coach earlier instead of committing years to doing it my own way.
What is holding you back in your performance? Do you even know? You might want to consider how much disappointment you might be avoiding by hiring an experienced coach.
Have you had personal experiences with a coach in triathlon or other sports that brought you to a new level of fitness and performance? Post your comments below.

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