Our resident butt-kicker, Cherie Gruenfeld, shares some hard-earned words of wisdom on the value of thorough preparation to meet any goal, whether professional or personal.
I recently spent a weekend in the Las Vegas desert where I was training for the 70.3 (half Ironman) World Championships to be contested there next September. It was over 100 degrees, with the added bonus of high humidity. Those are some pretty torturous conditions for biking and running.
I’ve done hundreds of half Ironman races and, in fact, won this event last year. And I live in Palm Springs where my everyday training is done in brutal desert conditions, very like those in Las Vegas. So why, you might ask, did I feel it necessary to go to Las Vegas to train?
My goal is to win this race again this year and when I have a set a goal, I will do everything possible to put myself in a position to succeed. This means planning for and experiencing every condition I might face on game day. If it’s going to be hot, I want to have trained in hotter conditions. If it’s going to be hilly, I will have logged hundreds of miles on big hills. The key is to face nothing on race day that I haven’t faced time and again during my preparation.
I believe this strategy holds for any goal one feels strongly about, be it personal or professional. If it’s a business deal, leave nothing to chance. Put in the work ahead of time and beat yourself up worse than any competitor is likely to so that there are no surprises and the odds are in your favor. The hard work and time spent preparing for success are a small price to pay.
As these photos show, I worked hard on my training weekend in Las Vegas. Gallons of water and Gatorade were consumed and dumped over my scorched body. But I go into race day with a confidence that was built this weekend. When it gets tough, I’ll recall this training session and know I’m up to the task.