Do you have a Triathlon Training Ego or a Triathlon Training Monkey? And how does it help or hinder you and your training?

Triathlon Training Ego – how it’s helpful

Your “Triathlon Ego” is the bit of you that thinks you can do it and doesn’t want to ever be beaten!! It’s useful in that it drives you forward, gives you confidence and puts you in a position where you think you can do it. You know you can get stuck in and win your race.

Triathlon Training Ego – how it’s unhelpful

It’s unhelpful because it’s the bit of you that always want’s to win. So you’re training plan says a long slow ride but your training partner keeps pushing the pace. So you join in and the long easy ride because a 2hour smash fest.

It’s unhelpful when your shoulder hurts and you turn up the group swim session planning an easy swim but when you get there, you can’t bring yourself to go in a slower lane or at the back of the group.

Or when you’re on the start line of a marathon and it feels super easy in the first few miles so you go off really hard.

Or you have a long training run to do at a super slow pace but you don’t want your strava buddies to think you’re a slow runner so you try and do it all at 10km race pace.

Check in your Ego

In these situations you need to check your “Triathlon Ego” in at the door. Know that it’s there and it’s useful for you when you need it. Know the purpose of your session, how it helps your fitness and stick with your plan.

Triathlon Training Monkey – how it’s unhelpful

Your “triathlon monkey” is the bit of you that says it’s too hard and you can’t do it.

You’re not that type of athlete and you’ll never be able to work that hard.

It’s unhelpful because it stops you from pushing yourself and properly suffering in training.

You talk yourself out of the hard reps before you even know if you could do it.

It stops you from setting challenging goals or putting yourself on the line with the potential for failure.

Triathlon Training Monkey – how it’s helpful

Your Triathlon Training Monkey is helpful because it holds you back and working too hard. It stops you smashing yourself all the time.

Your “triathlon monkey” is the one that sets easier more manageable goals in races and helps you to start off slowly so that the pace feels do-able.

It helps you to be successful by not taking risks and only doing things that are within your comfort zone. The down side of this is that you might never step out of your comfort zone.

Tame your Monkey

Your ego and your monkey are both helpful and unhelpful. You might also have one that’s more dominant. The challenge is figuring how to check in your ego and tame your monkey.  Then if you leverage them to help you in different situations it’ll make a world of difference to your training.

Which one dominates?

Which is more dominant for you? Do you recognise of the examples above?  Let me know what you think.


I’m Penny. I’ve been taking part in triathlon for 18 years and I’ve completed 7 Ironman distance races. I’ve helped countless athletes train towards their first and their 10th Ironman.  If you’re curious about how triathlon coaching could help you then why not book for a FREE Let’s Chat to find out more.