Balance the Imbalance—Part I: Intro

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Written by: Mark Allen

Over the next few days Mark Allen will explain the best way to balance the task of maintaining a high level at your strongest sport, while also improving in your weaker sports. In this edition, Allen explains why finding the perfect balance is so important.

We have all seen what happens to the first swimmers out of the water in Kona: They enjoy a brief moment of glory off the front of the field on their bikes and then get swallowed up and disappear. With few exceptions, athletes with a fairly balanced diet of swim, bike and run skills turn in the best performances. Of course there will always be exceptions, but rarely is one extraordinary strength enough to make up for weaknesses in the other disciplines. Some might be lightning-fast on the bike but can only barely hang on during the run. And that, as we all know, is not what one would call a really satisfying experience.

Every athlete has both strengths and weaknesses. The trick in training is to figure out how to maintain your strengths while also improving in your weaker sports. There are many ways to look at this situation. A good swimmer might spend hours working on his or her strength but leave the donkey tied to the barn when he or she exits the water because that person didn’t bring his or her bike and run to match the strong swim. What if we could maintain our strengths and also bring our weaker events up to their fullest potential? Over the next few days, I will provide seven strategies to do just that.

Next up, Allen explains the importance of knowing the mechanics behind each sport.

Mark Allen is the six-time winner of the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and is available for speaking engagements worldwide. For further information about Mark’s speaking availability, please call 1-800-994-5306. Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., Mark has a state-of-the-art online triathlon-training program at In addition, Mark co-teaches a workshop titled Fit Soul, Fit Body with Brant Secunda, a shaman, healer and ceremonial leader in the Huichol Indian tradition. They have recently released a book by this same name that you can find at bookstores near you or on (Fit Soul, Fit Body-9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You).

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