The Ironman's Guide- From Busy To Effective- Mark Allen (Part 2)

Mark Allen
October 09, 2019

Mark Allen

Six Time Ironman Triathlon World Champion
Endurance Time Management

Plan. Then Act. Then Plan Some More.

 

Before I took one step in training each year, I would plan out my race schedule. Usually, that came out to racing seven times throughout the season. That then made it easy to focus in on the training I would need to be ready. Each race would serve as a marker to make sure that my training plan was indeed keeping me on track for where I wanted to be. Then after each race I’d assess what happened and plan again. And if necessary, I’d also make adjustments to my training to shore up any holes I saw in my fitness.

 

What is your plan for the next important period of time? What is the end goal to want to hit? How will you measure your effectiveness along the way to make sure that your plan is on track to achieve your ultimate result? 

 

Planning, then acting, then planning again creates critical effectiveness. The real world is a very unpredictable place, and often the “ideal” plan laid out at the onset of a project needs to be modified once you see how it is actually working in that unpredictable environment. That is how one builds true effectiveness.

 

One Eye On Today, The Other On The Future

 

Being effective comes from the hard work done deep down in the weeds while at the same time always remembering where that hard work is propelling you toward. It can be easy to get lost in the daily grind otherwise. The day to day can wear you down. It can be easy to forget where that hard work is taking you. 

 

You can lose the steady patience needed to keep chipping away at what might look like a mountain ahead. But you can also regain it by reminding yourself that each of those days is building the clout needed to reach critical mass and hit the markers you have put in place for yourself. 

 

I had to continually remind myself of why I was training. There were many days where I was not in the mood to go to the running track and do another speed workout or hop in the pool and do another long set of 500’s. It was the same thing I’d done over and over already. I wanted something new and entertaining, and well, easier! 

 

But then I’d look down the road into the future and see Ironman coming up in a few months. And then I’d see the importance of what I was doing today. Without that vision, I would have done each of those workouts anyway, but I wouldn’t have done them with heart. I would have been busy, but I would not have been effective. 

 

Why Are You Showing Up At The Office

 

Every great accomplishment comes with its challenges. And no journey goes completely as planned. In fact, there can be many moments along the way to hitting a new standard where achieving it looks completely impossible. That is when a vision of purpose can carry you forward even with impossibility staring you down. 

 

What is your purpose? Why are you going to show up at the office every day? What purpose will make it so worth going for the big dream even if you end up falling short of accomplishing it? 

 

In my racing, I had many years early on where the purpose was to win races. Eventually, though I saw that even with a victory that sometimes I just didn’t feel fulfilled. There was something missing in my purpose. That’s when the real purpose for me to be in the sport came. I wanted to bring better and better parts of myself into each race and into each season as a whole. 

 

What that looked like was giving 100% of what I had even if my race was not going well. Even if I was not going to be the champion on that particular day, my effort could be that of a champion. This singular vision of striving to bring the best of me to a race carried me past the thousands of rough spots when it would have been so easy to just give up when victory seemed impossible. 

 

What is the purpose that will carry you forward and bring out the best you can be? 


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Read part one: http://bit.ly/MarkAllen_1 

Mark Allen

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