The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, or at least that’s what Albert Einstein said*. But Einstein wasn’t a triathlete. Doing the same thing again and again is known as training and doing the same thing in races is all about being consistent.
Because I’m consistent there are certain things I know.
I know that I will leave the water at the same time as Iain. It doesn’t matter the distance we race or where we race, we have a remarkable ability to always exit the water together. This time it was even easier as Iain had a thermal skull cap on which was easy to spot in the water. Once I saw him I just kept on his feet until we got to the end.
Training on a bike is all about consistency and aiming for Norseman. I want to be able to keep a steady speed and to feel strong from start to finish. I don’t want to “leave it all out on the course”, which is a curious phrase. If you leave it all out on the course then you should really use a toilet before you start…
So, I decided that my tactics were right last week, the only thing I got wrong was the length of the race. A sprint triathlon was too short for the tortoise to beat the hare. This time, the tortoise would win as the race was longer and, with 10 mile gentle descent back to Chester and with the wind behind there would be no way I wouldn’t be able to overtake him.
I was wrong. The story of the tortoise and the hare is not what you think. It’s not a tale of how consistency conquers all. It’s actually a tale of how consistency conquers all if, and only if, the hare takes a break in the middle of the race. Iain didn’t take a break. He started fast. He finished fast. He rode the middle bit fast. Fast beats slow. Always.
The tortoise and the hare is a stupid story.
The run course involves three laps and, on each lap, I could see Iain at the same point each time, about five minutes ahead of me. It didn’t change thus, showing my consistency again, as I couldn’t run faster even if I’d tried.
I was pleased with a new personal best of 2 hours 48 minutes and also that I still felt strong at the end and could have kept running, which, with two months to go until Norseman, is a good sign.
*Although Einstein is often credited with this quote, it appears unlikely that he ever said it. Check out: Examinemint