You Want Me to What?!
Earlier this morning as I was flipping through old photos I took during the 2006 ITU World Championships that were held in Lausanne, Switzerland, I fumbled across a photo I had of Andy Potts and put in on my Instagram. <---give me a follow while you're there!
Now most of us think of Andy Potts as a long course athlete, having won countless 70.3 races and finishing in the top five at Kona.
If you dig through the results of that 2006 World Championship, you’ll also see names like Don, Wellington, True, Bozzone, Gomez, Norden, Moffatt, Billington, Ryf, Blatchford, Brownlee, Duffy, Millward and Frodeno.
This brings me to two points:
*This is a race from TEN! years ago and you’re currently seeing many of these names dominating the highlights at races around the world, from the Olympics to the Kona podium. Some of these names were finishing in the bottom half of their fields ten years ago. If you have goals of one day being in a spot to qualify for Kona, ITU age group world championships, Ironman 70.3 World Championship, etc., please…..be patient. This sport takes time to develop most of the skills and fitness to be in a spot to earn one of these coveted spots. You wouldn’t believe the amount of emails I get from athletes saying that they would one day (ie: next year) like to qualify for Kona. This is generally not a sport in which you’re going to have overnight success and crushing races from the get-go. Be patient with yourself, your development, your coach and the process it takes to truly become an athlete that’s in a position to qualify for the biggest races in the sport.
*This event was an ITU race…meaning it was short course, Olympic distance racing. You see the names Ryf, Potts, Frodeno, Millward, etc. ALL having cut their teeth and developed their skills with racing short, fast distances. Now this certainly isn’t a declaration that you NEED to race short course in order to race well at long course, but it is certainly a good place to start. Personally, I didn’t race an Ironman until my sixth year in the sport.
I get many athletes saying they’re “too slow” to race short course and/or that it’s a waste of time to race short course when they have an Ironman at the end of the year. This is almost exactly why you should race more short course. The faster you get at short course racing, 5 and 10K running races, etc. the faster you’ll get at racing long course.
So before you start thinking and talking about Kona, dial it back a notch – take a look at the local short course racing opportunities, maybe put that Ironman on hold another year or two….but most of all, be patient.