Any training planning process starts by following this quote by Arthur Lydiard. If you want to improve from a 3:10 marathoner to a 2:30 marathoner then you begin by understanding what would be necessary to run a 2:30 marathon (this primarily means – what is the ‘pace’ in this case 3:33 min/km pace) and where you stand in relation to this. This shows us the gap between where you are and where you want to be. As a coach it allows me to find out what you ‘need to do’.
Discipline comes from having commitment to a process even when no one is looking and there are no social media streams to impress.Dan Pena says ‘motivation get’s you started, discipline keeps you going’. Discipline requires willpower – not an unlimited resource – so in order to ‘discipline yourself’ you must focus on the few things that matter*.
Discipline does not mean punishment but comes from the word ‘disciple’ meaning ‘to teach’. Mastering discipline requires teaching athletes the how and why of high performance behaviour while maintaining independent decision-making. Once you have confidence in ‘the way’ (‘how’) to train, belief helps fuel discipline (thus why discipline comes from ‘teaching’). The ‘why’ helps athlete’s retain their sense of good judgement day to day and not turn into robots or blind automatons.
* We will revisit the latter in training law #1 – First things, first.