The secrets of successful endurance athletes: #3

Ruzafa Weiss Bike XTERRA Worlds

Patience, patience, patience.

Patience might sound like an odd quality to value in an athlete. But I think it's very important. As endurance athletes, we tend to place great pride in our actions, results and data. Rest days are an annoyance to be endured with good grace if possible. The action is where it's at: we're never happier than when we're sweating it out, pushing through barriers, or chasing PBs.

So where does patience come into it? After all, patience sounds very calm, serene, and....… boring.

Without patience, your best efforts aren't likely to bring results. In endurance sport, you need to be committed for the long-haul, whether that means a 12-week training plan or decades of training and racing, with all the accompanying highs and lows.

Progress, fitness and strength come slowly (sometimes frustratingly so), and we can be our own worst critics, failing to spot small successes and instead focusing on how others are doing.

A patient, calm and methodical mindset will place you amongst those who enjoy true success in endurance sport… whatever that personally means to you.

These things are what underpin my coaching advice and guidance. Without them, the fitness training, nutrition advice and race-specific coaching can only ever get someone so far.

Do you agree with our three key characteristics of successful athletes (check out number 1 and number 2)? What would you add to the list?