THE T:ZERO BLOG
Free advice, content and media for all. It's our way of giving back to the tri community who have given so much to us. Enjoy!
Is your inner bookworm seeking new material?
Never content to rest on our laurels, at T:Zero we’re constantly searching for ways to improve our performance - both athletically and personally - coaches and athletes alike. In the interests of striving to live our potential, training our brains is just as important as training our bodies.
Recently, we asked our coaching team to recommend their favourite endurance-related books so we could collate a comprehensive list to share with our athletes and friends. There’s something to whet the appetite of almost every athlete below, so take a look - one of our recommended reads might just be the catalyst you need to tweak your training, lifestyle or mindset and in return, reap massive rewards in your next big race.
So next time you find yourself reaching for your phone for an hour of mindless scrolling, perhaps reach for one of these books instead.
Run with the Best by Tony Benson
Recommended by: Coach David Dellow
Run with the Best is a super practical guide to putting together a long term running program. Author Tony Benson gives a brief outline of training philosophies used by various world class coaches from around the world, then takes you through the benefits of specific training sessions and finally the best way to structure a long term running program.
Although it’s just a book about running there’s lots of stuff that can be applied to triathlon.
Unbeatable mind: forge resiliency and mental toughness to succeed at an elite level by Mark Divine
Recommended by: Coach Monique Ralph
Commander Divine is a former Navy SEAL who has trained thousands of candidates for the SEAL program as well as being on active duty for the Navy.
Unbeatable Mind has deeply impacted the lives of thousands of people seeking strength in their thinking, mental-state, and self-development with a curated package of tools and techniques not easily found anywhere else.
In this book, Author Mark Divine offers his philosophy and methods for developing maximum potential through integrated warrior development. This work was created through trial and error proving to thousands of clients that they are capable of twenty times more than what they believe.
The powerful principles for forging deep character, mental toughness and an elite team provided in this book are the foundation of the Unbeatable Mind 'working in' program being used by coaches, professors, therapists, doctors and business professionals worldwide.
I have learned the following ideas/principles:
> Mental clarity - to make better decisions while under pressure.
> Concentration - to focus on the mission until victory is assured.
> Awareness - to be more sensitive to your internal and external radar.
> Leadership authenticity - to be a heart-centered leader and service oriented teammate.
> Intuition - to learn to trust your gut and use mental imagery to your advantage.
The Road to Character by David Brooks
Recommended by: Coach Stuart Hill
Have you ever scrolled through your social media feed, only to be left feeling a bit empty? Everyone else seems always to be having such a great time on holidays, graduating from Uni, or getting some amazing job. But in real life, these people are having struggles just like us. Unfortunately, social media has made a shift from a place to express ourselves to an arena for self-promotion.
It’s not just social media, though. The internet itself is just a mirror of what our society has evolved into. These days we are increasingly concerned with ourselves and what we need. Living like this puts people under constant pressure to perform and compete. Because of this stress, we forget that what we really want is for people to remember us for who we were, not for what we did.
In The Road to Character, David Brooks reflects on how society’s values have changed for worse, and shares the deeper values we should start filling our lives with instead. He encourages us to rebalance our scales between our “resume virtues,” or achieving wealth and status, and our “eulogy virtues,” which are those deep within us such as honesty, bravery, and kindness.
Whilst not a book that relates directly to endurance sport or triathlon you can be sure to read this and emerge thinking about the things that really matter in life. How will you be remembered? Your resume may reveal that you won the race or conversely it may reveal that you stopped to help another athlete and forfeited your chance of winning. Read The Road to Character to "discover who you really are and embrace a simple truth: in order to fulfil yourself you must first learn to forget yourself".
Grit - The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Recommended by: Coach Heidi Sowerby
Author Angela Duckworth defines grit as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals”. Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress.
Duckworth explores how gritty individuals approach achievement over the long term and how their key advantage is the commitment to stick to the plan despite challenges. Whereas disappointment or boredom signals to others that it is time to change direction, the gritty individual stays the course.
In endurance world essence... doing the work, day in, day out.
This book explores a wide variety of topics including measuring grit on the Grit Scale, how to grow grit, interest, practice, purpose, hope and the various playing fields of grit including parenting and sport.
The messages and takeaways in every chapter are in definite parallel to those you will hear from your coach on what it takes to be successful in our sport.
It may be still early days for grit research, but this book and its concepts are definitely worth exploring. A great read.
Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck
Recommended by: Coach Scotty Farrell
There are many simple takeaways that can be applied right across the board in skill acquisition and general growth in any area.
My favourite: the word 'yet'. By adding this simple word onto the end of a sentence that might otherwise finish feeling a touch negative, you can change your or someone else's whole mindset on something.
"I can't possibly do 20 push ups... yet"
Great for teaching my kids, and for attempting to shift an athlete's mindset a touch (maybe). Old dogs take more work obviously.
Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett
Recommended by: Coach Lisa Spink
A rabbit hole I am glad I am down - mobility - understanding how the body copes with load, why it breaks and what to do about it.
The Pyramid of Success by John Wooden
Recommended by: Coach Richard Thompson
One of the greatest coaches of all time and his thoughts around his processes. The chapters dedicated to his way of coaching is the blueprint for why he was so successful over so many decades.
An amazing collection of training and racing advice from the T:Zero Multisport coaches- with the occasional guest blogger! Read this blog to help you live your potential!