Tej Thaker Age-Group Blog: marginal gains

10th April 2017

Torn muscles, glandular fever, crutches, hospital admissions, tendonitis, slipped disc, ear infections… blah blah blah. Enough with the excuses.

I haven’t raced properly for nearly 2 years, but I’m back on track. Soon, I will be in the best shape of my life… and I will have my vengeance (sorry, got carried away).

I’ve always worked hard, in sport, work and life.

After reading Iron War a few years ago (which I highly recommend) it only confirmed to me that I should train like the first 6-time Ironman World Champion, Dave Scott. Endure more pain than others, to win. Outwork your competition and build a strength of will that no other triathlete can match.

His nemesis Mark Allen (also 6-time Ironman World Champion) practiced a method which was the stark opposite. He often took days off, was very spiritual, and trained under his mentor’s philosophy “Go slow to get faster”.

I have always imbibed the Dave Scott way; if my competition is up at 6, I’m up at 5; they work out 20hrs/week, I do 25. Note: figure of speech – no CCTV or live tracking of competition was ever in place!

I’ve come a long way using this method; from my exhausting 50m pool sessions (yes, total distance swum per session: 50m).

However, I’ve been analysing my results and making some changes to my approach. In short, this means training smarter; dropping the need to feel a near death experience during/after every session to feel like I’ve achieved something, resting appropriately, cutting out irrelevant weights sessions (bulging biceps isn’t going to get me to my triathlon goal), and getting advice from someone who is amongst the best triathletes in the country.

Supplementing my physical training, I’ve been reading books about the mind, how to control it and use it to my advantage. Those chaps who can walk on fire and glass aren’t able to do so because they flog their feet in training, they control their mind. The ideal result therefore, is being able to push my body further and harder than I previously could. I never thought I’d say anything like this, let alone write it (it was always a little too spiritual and “la dee da” for me), but this is a tried, tested and successful method. The best on the planet use it across all sports and business.

Why not combine the best of both?

Marginal Gains? How about Significant Gains (sounds like Alberto Salazar’s sales slogan)?

The start of the season beckons.