Make Small Changes, See Big Gains In Your Triathlon Training

  • By Julia Polloreno
  • Published Sep 26, 2013
  • Updated Jan 15, 2016 at 1:38 PM UTC
Illustration by Matt Collins.

Lesley Paterson
Xterra World Champion

The smallest change that’s yielded the largest benefit has been a psychological one. It has revolutionized how I deal with training on a day-to-day basis. My husband, Simon (who has a sports psychology background), helped me with this one. In the past, when I was having a bad day (body feeling tired, poor mental attitude), I would get very negative and see the session or race as a failure. Simon expressed to me that I should see those days or moments as gifts to truly learn about myself and develop techniques to help deal with them. That way, those “bad days” are actually good days because you’re learning how to cope with the challenges that will come along. One technique he came up with was creating a character for myself that I become when I train and race—like a superhero character. Mine is called Paddy McGuinty (Celtic badass). She is a fighter to the bitter end. Never give up no matter where you think you’re going to finish or how the session might pan out. … That’s where my Braveheart comes in!

RELATED: Lesley Paterson’s Mountain Bike Tips

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FILED UNDER: Race Tips / Training

Julia Polloreno

Julia Polloreno

Julia Polloreno is the editor at large of Triathlete magazine. A Stanford University graduate with an award-winning track record in publishing, Polloreno is a two-time Ironman finisher and has been a competitive triathlete for more than a decade.

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