MY IRONMAN JOURNEY – Lessons learnt Part V

Adapting to change

I often say in my keynotes “success is driven by 99% planning 1% execution”.  Doesn’t matter if you a running a billion dollar tech business, attempting a world first adventure… or doing your first IRONMAN.

It’s important to note that in that 1% execution, things never go as planned. It’s the 99% planning that gives you the strategies, tools and techniques to adapt to changing environments.

Cairns IRONMAN 2021 I had a race plan which included a nutrition strategy, hydration plan, target heart rate, perceived exertion etc.etc. One thing that was also in the plan, was that I knew that something would happen on race day and the plan would need to be modified. Sure enough, it did.

I’d just exited the water from the 3.8km swim in good shape. However as I passed through T1 transition (from the swim to the cycle) I made a huge error. The electrolyte tablets I had trained on for six months prior were left behind in my transition bag. I had to adapt. 

The question I had in front of me:

“do I consume only water at the 8 stations ( which would have resulted in an electrolyte imbalance and probably severe cramping later in the run)  or do I try to consume the on course nutrition (gatorade)?  

I chose the latter. This decision changed the outcome of the entire race for me – I wasn’t able to hold down any hydration or nutrition for the last 30 km of the run.

In Antarctica, whenever we deviated from our strategy, we found ourselves always dealing with significant consequences. 

“TIA” we dubbed it, (this is Antarctica)

Every decision we make in life has consequences. Good, bad, right, wrong it doesn’t matter. What matters is that there will always be consequences to our actions.

This is where the 99% planning comes into play. Here’s the gold: the more thorough we can be with our planning the easier it is to adapt during the execution

If my planning for Ironman had been more rigorous,  had I considered what I would do if I didn’t have my electrolytes with me, I probably wouldn’t have spent the last 30km of the run keeled over vomiting. This would have resulted in a more favourable outcome as I would have had a strategy to adapt to this situation.

Shoot us an email HERE if you are interested in how Cas can share these lessons and more at your next conference.