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Using the “Power of 3” to Reach your Goals

BY Nicholas Stanko

When zeroing in on something that we want to achieve or improve on, the use of a trichotomy can have a very positive impact on the outcome.

When zeroing in on something that we want to achieve or improve on, the use of a trichotomy can have a very positive impact on the outcome. A trichotomy is a 3-way classification system or division into 3 separate parts. Philosophers throughout time have devoted their entire careers to defining a specific trichotomy, and many can be found in our everyday lives.

In nutrition we have the macronutrients carbohydrate, protein and fat, we have The Rule of Thirds in visual imagery, there is The Rule of Three in writing and in mathematics the trichotomy states that a number is either negative, positive, or zero- the list can go on indefinitely. The point here is to define the Power of 3 and its use in endurance sports.

The Trichotomy in Endurance Sports

What We Want to Do

When it comes to defining our athletics pursuits, using the Power of 3 can help you zero in on how you will get from point-A to point-B. We start with “What we want to do”. Our main goal for the season. Is this goal attainable and realistic? Some are dream goals and some are realistic goals. They are what keep us moving forward and fighting through the rough times. Sometimes we reach the top of the mountain and the feeling is glorious. Other times we come up short and are humbled. In the end, the “What we want to do” must come from within. A desire that is fueled by a passion and fire that only you can truly understand.

What We Can Do

Once we have defined “What we want to do” we need to move onto the question of “What we can do”. For most this requires knowledge or someone with that knowledge. For most athletes this means having a coach or someone that can help direct them. Often times for an athlete, aligning “What we want to do” and “What we can do” involves too much guessing. “What we can do” is about the nuts and bolts of the training plan, and learning to train and adapt to the training. Some athletes are able to self-coach and successfully prescribe the right amount of training to get them to the top of the mountain, while others can benefit from a coach who can prescribe the ideal quantity and quality of training.

What We Did Do

Moving from “What we can do” into “What we did do” allows an athlete to objectively track their progress. Technology has its pluses and minuses, and when it comes to the world of endurance sports successfully using technology can make or break an athlete’s season. Using the data we can get from our GPS watches and/or power-meters allows an athlete to objectively define “What we did do”. Subjective analysis is good to have too, but when it comes down to getting from point-A to point-B having the objective data is hands down the way to go about reaching “What we want to do”.

As you go about getting from point-A to point-B in 2014 keep the Power of 3 in mind. Attacking your goals from 3 different angles will greatly increase your chances for success.

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About Nicholas Stanko

Nicholas Stanko has helped hundreds of athletes reach their full potential, covering the full spectrum from young athletes just starting out, the age group athlete working full-time, and all the way up to the Olympic Trials competitor. Using sound physiological principles of endurance training, each athlete’s training is crafted to meet their individual needs. As a runner and triathlete himself, Nick still enjoys competing at the elite level and through his coaching at he is able to share his passion and knowledge with others so they too can reach their own athletic goals.