I love competition.

I love competing and I love watching great battles. I love seeing athletes give it to themselves as they chase the feeling.

Of course I love it when our own TriSpecific athletes dominate and crush it but I really do love seeing any athlete back themselves and give it a crack and have a great race.

I love watching success.

On Sunday Pete and I got to watch and support at Ironman Melbourne and being an excitable person I am I’m left with a hoarse voice.

One of my top age group athletes Mark Jansen was right up the pointy end of the male AG field (3rd 40-44 in 8:47). The racing was truly phenomenal and we got to witness some great lessons from these boys along the marathon course.

These boys were giving it to themselves and you could tell they all came in prepared.

The major lesson you can take home all the way to the bank is that each of these guys was very strong. Speed in Ironman only comes from strength and these boys were putting on a fabulous display of ‘form under duress’ and if you ever want to go ‘quick’ in Ironman then you need to develop this trait and it comes from being strong.

I love coaching.

It’s what I do and some guys in front of my athlete Mark that I know, like and respect got a small coaching tip from me. Now they weren’t really doing anything wrong but they were inadvertently using up precious energy.

Energy much better used to produce forward movement.

All I told them to do was smile.

That small change relaxes the jaw .. a clenched jaw tightens things up and makes your shoulders come up into your ears. A smile relaxes the jaw, drops your shoulders down and back (creating more efficient breathing) and it changes your whole demeanour – it creates positive energy.

You end up radiating positive energy outwards and it comes back to you in spades.

These boys were going to post fast times anyway. You could just tell.

But that one little tip showed there shoulders visibly drop and a slight relaxation that gave just a little more pep in their stride. These boys went on to post low 8:40s races and I’m more then stoked for them.

I learned this from when my wife Charlotte used to race. Sure she was focused and pushing herself on the run but she didn’t get a nickname of the smiling assassin for nothing.

And boy can she run.

So go ahead and try it in your next training run and most definitely smile in your next race.

Congrats to everyone that went to battle with themselves yesterday in Ironman Melbourne. What a great show and a big congrats to all the TriSpecific athletes. Looks like I’m going to have to go to Kona to support. The stable of qualified athletes is quickly growing 🙂