To perform well in endurance sport you need a number of things. Too many to list here, but an area that I've really noticed the last while is committment. It sounds simple, but it's not.
It is not easy because to be committed you need to be darn right selfish at times. Turning down friends offers to ski, fish, etc. is hard to do.
There are many aspects to commitment that add to it's complexity as well. Commitment to your teammates, to your coach, to your country, and to yourself.
It's the last one that is truly the hardest. You are your toughest critic. There is no hiding from yourself.
If committment to yourself can be reached then your at the starting line. Then it will just take years of that commitment day in day out.
My season is running into October this year as I look to make up for some missed racing in June/July/August. With few training partners at the moment, commitment can't be stressed enough.
To finish here, I'd like to look at a case of commitment that has blossomed into something quite impressive this year. Although I'm sure for Matt Chrabot the commitment started well before Huatulco 2009, it was at this race that he showcased it to the ITU world.
On a course such as Huatulco, many thought Matt was committing suicide on the bike as he pulled away. To Matt though he was committing to himself and to winning. Every race since he has committed to the same plan; Sydney, Madrid, Kitzbuhel and most recently Budapest there is never any fear in commitment.
This picture has become a staple beside me on the trainer and treadmill these days to remind me of what can be accomplished with the right commitment....