Mark’s Musings – Progress Not Perfection

As human beings we’re all flawed, we all have battles and challenges we need to overcome. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of triathlon can be a quest for perfection both during training and racing. Perfection is impossible to achieve; it should never be a goal.  

Leading into a major race, such as Cairns this weekend, thoughts of attaining perfection are only going to have an adverse effect on your race day performance. What we should be aiming for is progress, not perfection. As long as we have positive forward progress in training, we should feel comfortable that we are ready. 

For age group triathletes, there is far too much outside of training which requires our attention and focus. Whether it be family, work or other life commitments, sometimes our training will be compromised. This is OK and completely normal. I certainly find I race best when I have a balance in life and when I’m not singularly focused on an event. Once the race is over I am still a husband, father, son, brother, friend, and coach. In fact, I am all of those before I am triathlete. That doesn’t mean I don’t give it my absolute best in training and racing, but I have long realized a quest for perfection is a quest that is doomed.  

Many triathletes, being the successful people they are, often struggle with this concept. I can guarantee that they will never race to their potential as a result. So, as you look back and reflect on the training leading into a major race, don’t look for perfection but rather progress.