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A year in review: The best bits from Toe The Line’s first year

Today marks one year since launching Toe The Line Project, and over the past 12 months we’ve had the opportunity to speak to some incredible athletes, coaches, CEO’s and personalities in the endurance sports world. Whether it be training stories, coaching advice, race reports or business insights, each one of our guests has provided a couple gems for readers to remember. This article will pull together some of favourite quotes from the past year and hopefully provide you with a reminder of some of the best bits.

Coaching: Consistency and Balance with Felipe Loureiro, Dan Sims & Chris Hine

Felipe Loureiro on athlete-coach communication:

“Communication is the key, if I don’t listen to my athletes I’ll never get the best out of them. There’s no such thing as the perfect training programme, but if you’ve got the right training principles and you listen to your athletes then I think you can get pretty close!”

Chris Hine on consistency:

“In order to optimise your endurance potential, you have to be in it for the long haul. I like using the analogy of baking a cake. If you’re always icing the cake you’re going to end up with a lot of icing (the fancy bit) and not much cake (the key ingredient that you can’t see but is the most important).” [...] To be consistent and progress you need to put in the groundwork and hours of training over time to progress as an athlete. “The icing is the trendy part, everyone enjoys doing it and posting it on Instagram, but the cake part is the most important and the part you have to focus on but never really see.”

Dan Sims on using strength and conditioning for endurance sports:

“Endurance sport is a domain that depends on volume and consistency to progress, if people can avoid injury then they will be able to train more and keep progressing.”

Athletes: Training & Racing with Emma Bilham, Matthew Wright, Laura Siddall, Thomas Davis, Fenella Langridge & Rudy Von Berg

Emma Bilham on finding balance:

“If you have something else turn to, (Editor’s Note: Emma is referring to a part time job), where you can draw self-worth and focus your attention, then you can toe the start line in races and give it your all without that looming thought of having to prove anything to anyone. I’m not sure it’s something that I would have been able to understand or express a few years ago, but the learnings come with the experiences!”

Matthew Wright on chasing his Olympic ambitions:

“I have this inner feeling that my journey isn’t over. There have been so many setbacks throughout my career, and a few times the big ones have come at a time when I’ve felt like I was on the cusp of a breakthrough. [...] I want to give this a few more years and see if we can make it a fulfilling ending.”

Laura Siddall on inspiring others:

“If I can inspire even just one person to follow their dreams, or have an impact on someone’s life, then I think I would count that amongst one of my biggest achievements in professional triathlon!”

Thomas Davis on putting his foot on the gas during the COVID pandemic:

These 6 months of no racing turned into the best training block I’ve ever put together. We never get the chance to train consistently for that amount of time usually, I didn’t miss a single day to illness or injury.” (Editor’s Note: Tom had a breakthrough performance at Challenge Daytona at the end of 2020).

Fenella Langridge on one of the challenges of being a professional triathlete:

Sometimes you have to remind yourself not to feel guilty about sitting on the sofa all evening after a hard day of training [...]. At the end of the day, we need to make a living just like anyone else, our profession is a 24/7, 365 days a year job that has no guaranteed income.”

Rudy Von Berg on the pressure to perform:

My overarching goals in the sport of Triathlon have been defined for years [...]. The ultimate pressure to perform comes from within myself, not from any external factors such as sponsors or media.”

Chatting with CEOs: Lessons in business from Zibi Szlufcik and Michael D’Hulst

Zibi Szlufcik on developing the endurance sport business ecosystem:

“I think it’s our obligation as part of that ecosystem to help develop the sport and that means taking a broad approach to include amateurs, pros as well as other events organisers.”

Michael D’Hulst on making SuperLeagueTriathlon attractive for media and fans:

“By choosing back-to-back weekends you can create a snowball effect and continuous storytelling that will engage experienced triathlon fans and standard sports fans alike. Look at the example of the Spring Classics in Cycling, the guys race on Saturday, Wednesday and Sunday and fans get involved in that story as they wonder who is coming into form or losing form for the next races.”

We hope that you have enjoyed this last year of content on ToeTheLineProject.com and that you will stay tuned for more articles over the summer as we head into our second year. To see our full library of articles including the Endurance Training Series and Unexpected Ironman story, click here.

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