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Habits of successful athletes. How you can apply them to yourself in any situation!

Timing is Everything It’s time to make the most of it. Today we will follow up on "the time manifesto" Blog post, and see how we can apply some of what we spoke about to real life situations and how you can make the most out of it for performance gains. So... to follow a similar structure to the blog;

Start small.... or big?

Don't just think about the 1% gains until you've taken care of the other 99... Marginal gains is a big topic, in professional sport, and don't get me wrong, they are very important. But if you haven't taken care of all of the big gains, by doing the simple things well, then you're fighting a losing battle. So, start small... start on the easy things such as getting out for a swim, bike, or run... Don't run before you can walk...Spend your currency wisely... if your currency is time, spend it on the things that matter most. At the end of the day that's doing the activity that you're intending to excel in!

Again, start small... get out of that door... simplify things as much as possible, strip it to the bare bones. Don't over complicate things and spend your time wisely on the things that will make the most change.

The 2 minute rule

I use this a lot. Whether it be sending an email or updating training peaks... if it takes less than two minutes be sure to do it there and then. That way it is out of the way and not dwelling at the back of your mind. A couple of simple applications of the two minute rule that I find helps me on a day to day:

  • Setting out clothing for the next day / packing it.

  • Laying out trainers / shoes / clothes for the next session so that its easy to get ready

  • ... Get changed for a session

  • Prepare breakfast for the following day

  • Reply to emails

  • Send a sponsor request

  • Daily to do list

And that's all before breakfast itself...

The 10 minute rule

Do the first 10 minutes of something before you sack it off... In a similar vain... This can also be applied to training. If you’re struggling to get out the door the first thing you want to do is apply the 2 minute rule... Get dressed and put on your shoes.

Then apply the 10 minute rule. Get out the door and do the first ten minutes. See how you feel. If its not happening... you always have the option of turning back.I use these two rules to play tricks on the mind and get me to do things when I'm feeling a little fatigued... It happens believe it or not!


Whilst the blog talks about how to be in the moment throughout the day, try being in the moment within a session. What are you feeling, what is the Relative perceived effort... the better idea you get of your body within the activity the better you'll be able to gauge efforts when racing or don't have equipment to tell you how your body is performing. It's a tough thing to do an I'm only just getting good at it... Some people are better than others. The more you can be in the moment and be AWARE of what is happening within activities then the better idea you'll have of what it's doing to your body, and you'll get more satisfaction this way also! Take some time within the session to be present and think about what you are doing, how you are feeling, take in your surroundings, how is your body responding to certain efforts etc. It'll be worth it.

Stop Trying to do everything perfectly.

If you are set a session by your coach or similar don't worry if you don't complete it or do it as planned. Sometimes it's important to be flexible and adaptive... That being said, if you are working well with your coach you should be able to work a program and routine out that works well for you and you shouldn't have to change much at all... but at the end of the day, no one is perfect... we can strive for perfection, but that doesn't mean we are all able to get there.

Stop trying to do everything full stop.

"Today I’m going to achieve! ..."

Yes, maybe you will... but set your standards as a realistic goal. Don’t try and do everything at once... again... its stressful and unnecessary. Prioritise!!

On that note.

Take time to put your feet up. Mental and physical rest are essential... after all, you don't make improvements in training. Training gives the opportunity for the body to make gains, gains are made during rest and recovery.

Put it within your ‘Today List’ ... schedule it in.

Meticulous planning... In an athletes sense, this is seen in Training Peaks... but also day to day.

My Training peaks is meticulously planned weeks and even months in advance. Work with your coach to plan out where you are now and where you want to be, they will then sort out how to get you there.

It’s one of the most valuable things I can recommend getting good at...

**Plan your time wisely.**Always allow more time than you think in and around sessions. Unless you have a good sense of how long things take I highly recommend doing this. How often do you run late because its taken you longer than you think to get changed to go out on the bike?


A good coach will help you derive a routine that suits your daily and weekly schedule. This will allow you to make the most of your time! You want to be able to settle into a routine that reduces decisions and that will equate to consistency... and at the end of the day, that's what we are working towards!

Decision fatigue.

Routine leads nicely on to reducing decision fatigue. Create an environment that reduces decisions... meal plans, daily routine's weekly, consistent training plans etc. This reduces the fatigue associated with making decisions.

That’s not to say my plans don’t go astray ... but I’m also flexible with a plan...

These two big takeaways are invaluable to me and I think others.

  1. Make a well educated plan and stick to it...This is where a coach could help with the educated planning of your training schedule?

  2. but be flexible (within reason).

Don't beat yourself up.


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