New Normals : Training to Perceived Ability

I'm not a qualified coach in either experience or on paper. I do however like to experiment with my own training just to see what happens. I've always been a process driven person and that's what I enjoy about training and racing Ironman triathlons. The process is very long and the execution on race day is relatively short so it's all about the process.

I'm sure you've heard of using "Perceived effort" as a way of developing intuition and self awareness that helps in both training and racing. That's a positive thing and executed well will help any athlete continue to progress with both their fitness and skills. However as the term suggests this is governed by perception and depending on what mental baggage you bring with you can be wildly inaccurate. The real danger in this is training to "Perceived Ability" rather than "Perceived Effort". This can probably go either way but I'm going to stick to talking about having a lower perceived ability than what you are actually capable off and how this can hold you back.

I recently got back into racing Ironman after about 18 months off and after a swim session I started to think about my own perceived ability in the pool. I've been training off a blue print plan for a few years now, not because I don't see the value in having a coach but more because I like to control my own training. Part of the blue print plan is a swim set. The plan I use is the Ironman Blueprint from Kristian Manietta over at TriSpecific. If you haven't heard of Kristian before head on over, he's an inspirational and motivated guy and his daily emails are invaluable.

I won't go into all the details but the main set is 60 x 25 made up of intervals of 3 hard and 1 easy. The 3 should be pretty much all out. In my head, based on past training and what I think I'm capable of I swim the hard 25's in 21-22 seconds and that's pretty much how it works out week in week out.

I started the warm up then realised I had to be somewhere so I had to cut the session short. I figured I'd just swim harder to try and salvage something out of the session and get as much done as I could. So I swam about 5 of the 3 + 1 sets with all the hard lengths between 19-20 seconds. For me that's really fast but it's only a third of the main set. The thing is, I thought I could probably do another 5 and hold that speed, so I did. So all of a sudden I'd done 10 of the 15 sets all at 19-20 seconds. What was happening had a suddenly gotten fitter? had I changed something in my stroke that meant I was more efficient? unlikely.

This is just an example of setting glass ceilings in your own mind about what you are and aren't capable of. These boundaries are artificial and with some mental training and effort can be extended.

Want to learn more? Schedule a 1 on 1 demo


Frequently Asked Questions

It's easy, just click the "Get Started" or "Free Trial" button at the top of the page, choose a plan, click the sign up button and fill in the form. It's a fully automated process, as soon as you have signed up your new Training Tilt site will be ready for you.
No, there are no long term contracts for any of our plans. If for any reason you no longer wish to continue your subscription to Training Tilt you can cancel at any time.
No, we do not charge members to use your system. Training Tilt was designed to help fitness professionals manage their clients and business. You can however use the Training Tilt platform to collect recurring payments from your clients using the Membership Plan tools.
Yes at any time you can upgrade or downgrade to any of our plans. We calculate our plans on a daily basis so you only pay for what you use. You can upgrade for a day to check out the new plan and downgrade again and we'll only charge you for a days worth of use.
When you signed up you would have recieved an email with your own custom website address that you chose during the process. You need to login from this custom address. The address would have been in the format If you've forgotten your address or can't find the email, send us a message at and we will find it for you.
It sure is, with a few simple steps you can have your existing or new domain name pointing to your Training Tilt website. If you don't have a domain, that's no problem you can use one of our sub domains. e.g.
Yes you can, if you have already invested in a website you are happy with you can still use Training Tilt to build training plans and share resources with your athletes. It's a simple process to add a link from your existing website so your clients can log in to your Training Tilt site.
Yes our mobile apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store for Android and IOS devices.
Training Tilt is a cloud based application, all our servers and data are based in Microsoft data centers in secure locations. Data is backed up on a regular basis, and we have the ability to scale our systems within a matter of minutes as our demand increases. Our cloud based architecture is also the reason why we can offer our service at such a reasonable price.
For whatever reason you can choose to cancel your subscription at any time. Just login, access the billing page and click the cancel button. As long as you cancel before the next billing cycle starts your won't be charged.

More questions?

Get in touch