First off a big congrats to all that raced Ironman WA yesterday.

The inevitable stories of it was a tough day… I smile at this, because.. were you thinking that it would be easy? If Ironman was easy, I doubt so many people would do it. But it’s funny that some athletes are shocked that game day turns out tough.

The worse the results, it seems the tougher it was.

For those that didn’t have the results they wanted, intended, expected…

It is NOT a failure… unless you choose to give up.

Sure it may sting, I know I have been there just like any athlete that has toed the line to race.

The sting, is probably more ego than anything else.

So as success coaches say, fail forward fast.

This means put some time into reflection and introspection and ask some tough and potentially uncomfortable questions.

How was you total build up? Did you miss many an important session? Did you reduce your chances of overuse injuries (those that just show there ugly heads a random times.. like race week) by doing daily body maintenance or did you convince yourself that you didn’t have the time?

Were you getting to bed early? Did you make common race week errors … carbo-loading, trying new products, listening to the noise and changing your tactics/race plan to that of someone else’s?

Where you organised in race week or were you burning through precious energy by creating unneeded stress by having to get new stuff at the last minute?

Did you warm up or did you think hitting high intensity at the start of a very long day didn’t require you to get your bodies systems prepared for the effort you intended of them?

Did you pace correctly, hitting known and trained for paces and using intuitive intensity as a guide .. or did you feel really good early and want to make haste so you pushed it hard? only for it to come and bite you in the ass when it counts.

Did you find your mind wandering a lot? Did you find you didn’t have the mental reserves the push when you knew you needed to? Were you reactive or proactive to challenges that presented themselves on race day?

Did you train too much? Not enough? (most err on too much) Taper too long, or too short? (how would you know?).

There is so many things you could ask… you may not immediately find the answers to all but it’s a worthy exercise that will teach you a lot and ultimately give you a chance at becoming a better athlete.

Getting success in Ironman is a multifaceted beast … and getting success as a hard working age grouper with a staked family life is even harder again.

It can all be achieved with the right protocols. Asking the right questions and doing the work.

There is no way around it.

So a huge congratulations. Remember the experience will always be more then just the result.

Find the positives and go to work on the bettering the little things done daily that help create the big results. Have patience … it takes time.