Thursday, March 24, 2011

Don't Compare

I guess it is just human nature to compare yourself to others? With triathlon especially, it is VERY easy to compare yourself to your fellow athletes, especially those who are the same gender and age as you. Doing this is downright DANGEROUS.

I don't do this and anytime I see someone putting up HUGE volume and that person happens to be doing the same race as me, I always tell myself this: 

"This other person and I most likely have different goals. We also probably have different backgrounds. We are most likely at different points in the season. That person is an orange, and I am an apple."


My post earlier this week showing off some huge numbers was merely for my benefit. I always look back on posts like that to see progress and to see where I was at that point in the season.

Lake Placid is my A++++ race this season. These numbers really are out of line for a race that far off in the distance. The reason why they are so inflated right now is for a 70.3 down in Galveston in 2.5 weeks. Basically I am hitting my peak volume for that race now. Volume will decrease from the race onwards until May 1, when the build to Lake Placid begins. If Lake Placid was the only race on the horizon, trust me, I'd be doing a LOT more couch surfing right now! haha!

Upping volume prematurely because you think you are slacking will only give you one thing: INJURY.

So swallow your pride, check your ego at the door, and follow YOUR plan. Happy training!


  1. Good points! I have a hard time not comparing to others, especially one of my best friends that does a lot of events with me. I appreciated that quote, and I'll try to say it when I feel the need to compare.

  2. I will have to go back and read the other comments to see if something prompted this post LOL.

    I can never compare myself to other triathletes with swimming or biking. I am not strong in either of those. I also don't like them as much and don't put as much focus on them haha.

    I really like running, it's what I know and it's all I would actually feel comfortable comparing to anyone else.

    That being said, it took me until about college to realize that I was just a little fish in a big pond. Like you said ALL of our goals and expectations are WAY different. My goal is to finish an IM and make sure my wife finishes. Time goals? uhhhh Sub 17hrs would be preferred haha. I am out of my element with this training stuff and volume.

    I can say this though, your volume and your gains are nothing short of IMPRESSIVE. I am really anxious to see how you execute. You have made HUGE gains since Timberman and I hope you get a very comfortable PR for 70.3.

    Keep up the awesome work man!!!

  3. It's so hard not to compare ourselves to others :) Thanks for the reminder!

    Happy training to you as well.

  4. Thanks for the reminder. Right now I am not really training for anything so I try to think about where other people are in their training but even then it is not easy!

  5. I dont pay attention, I know I am slow, admitted it over and over, even joked about it, to me triathlons, the only thing I focus on is the finishline, not anyone else.

  6. So you are telling me I no longer have to put up a 40 mi week running this week - sweet, thanks Jon (-:

  7. Good suggestion.

    My kids saw an ad for Rio and are so excited!

  8. well said. I also saw an ad for Rio last night and got excited! it looks super cute.

  9. Very true and well said for sure. I would be really depressed all the time if I compared myself to others for sure! :) Got some Ashland pictures from you. Almost got shot, but I think I got the right place.

  10. Good point! Everyone is so different in their training goals and needs. For years I get the "you don't rest enough" speech from others but I just tell them, "you know what? it works for me and i've trained with high volume for years with very good outcome. And then I dismiss them!
    Good luck with the upcoming race!

  11. I get it, I see what you did there.

    If you can do it, then I can do it.

    And you can try to convince me to train less or go slower just so you can beat me, but its not going to work.

    There is only one thing you need to know come IMLP race day:

    I trained harder than you.


    :) lol

  12. I'm so guilty of this, I need to stop cause it drives me nuts!

  13. It is hard for me not to compare to other bloggers. But not in the sense that "Jon is running more than me, so that must mean he is better than me." It is more of a self-doubt than comparison. It makes me ask myself, "Am I pushing myself hard enough? Could I be pushing harder?" I guess it is more of a way to keep me honest than anything.

    In the end, I know that I just have to trust my plan because on race day, it is just me out there racing myself. The fact that there are 2000 of my closest friends out there just keeps me motivated to keep moving.

  14. So True Jon! I do it just so that I know what I am doing and be accountable to myself. I would like to take that #1 person in my age group down this year, but I only really care about my progress! Great post!

  15. I learned this lesson last summer. It's why I don't post numbers or race times. It takes a lot of discipline to not get caught up in comparing. I'm happier for not doing it.

  16. Of course, if you enjoy swimming, riding and running and just want to do it for fun and not for training per say, then you might hit some mileage... but that's not totally me. =) Luckily time constraints don't allow me to overtrain!

    Looking forward to RIO, too. Might try and take the 3 year old to watch and see if she can sit through it without losing interest!

  17. lol@ matty o
    didnt I just comment how I always feel the need to train more train harder after read this $hit! YOU are doing totally awesome bro. and excellent post for me to read as I am always feeling insufficient in content and quality but need to remember to just stay in my box and plug away best I can. thanks for this

    downloaded angrybirds rio for the kids
    no books for bed tonight just vids!
    have a great wknd


  18. Great PSA Jon... people tend to forget this too often I think!

  19. Very well said, people are so gung ho early in the season and just end up hurt. Enjoy the couch while you can, in a couple months you wont even know you have a couch!

  20. Like everyone else has said- good point and suggestion. It is so easy to get caught up on it. Apples and Oranges- I like it!

  21. Love this post! So true, but so hard to do!!

  22. Great post and reminder. I tend to forget people may be at different points in their training than I am.

  23. Apples.... Oranges..... Heck, that'd be great. Dude, I'm a pear.

  24. If only I were as wise as you, Jon... I can't help comparing myself to others. I trust my program, but I also alter it when I see what other people are doing. I don't have a coach so I often make my plan mimic what I see/hear/read about other people. Maybe it's not the best idea, but I've always been one who needs to get burned before I'll believe the plate is hot.

    And I can't help but laugh at DRog... "always feeling insufficient..." Didn't he just "accidentally" run a marathon last week?

    Happy training. And you're going to have a monster PR in Texas.


Don't be shy! Leave me a comment!