Athletes who are near the beginning of their endurance journey often ask us how much they can expect to improve. Our answer is the same every time: We have no idea! It is impossible to predict any individual athlete’s ultimate potential based on early results. But we can say this: If you go about the process correctly, you are likely to improve more than you expect.
Hanan Drobinar is a great example. A husband, father of two, and marketing and sales professional in the digital health industry in Hadera, Isreal, Hanan completed his first marathon in 2016 at age 38, clocking a respectable time of 3:47. After lowering his PB by nine minutes in subsequent marathons, he transitioned into triathlon, choosing an 80/20 plan for his first Ironman attempt. His results in shorter triathlons that he trained for with other methods led him to set a goal of breaking 11 hours, but he was in for a surprise.
“Only in my dreams did I dare to aim for 10:45,” he says, “but the result was so much better: 10:34! No injuries were recorded during the whole preparation period, which was the most important thing to me, and I believe that applies to every athlete, because an injured athlete can’t train.”
Hanan’s lesson is simple: Don’t limit yourself with expectations about your future improvement. Focus on the process and you will be happy where it leads.