Sean Tobin shares important insights he learnt from his time training with the Australian group.

Cross country, indoors, outdoors, indoors, more cross country and road. In under five months I’ve covered every season – in that order.

In this short space of time, I’ve learned five key lessons, most of which I attribute to the Melbourne Track Club.

This group has opened up my eyes to professionalism. In this article, I will do my best to share these insights.

Lesson 1: The group

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, working together is success” – Henry Ford

Melbourne Track Club’s most powerful asset is simply the training group. Yes, there are days the guys may be out there training alone but for the most part the guys are training together.

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are the workout days, it’s simple: be there at 9:30am. It’s a massive help when you have a set time for training.

The guys don’t complain, they make it work, they show up ready to train and willing to help each other out.

Running can be a very lonely sport so it is a massive help when there is a social aspect to it, having fun is essential for one’s sanity, especially on the tough days.

Lesson 2: The coach

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a moulder of consensus” – Martin Luther King Jr

Nic Bideau has set the tone for the group, everyone knows that if you want to train with the group, Nic expects high standards. No one questions if he’s a good coach, the man has managed over 20 Olympians.

It’s simple, believe in the coach and do what you’re told. Everyone in the group has faith in Nic and they know if they listen and follow his guidance, they’ll be successful. Recognising a competent leader and putting your trust in them is fundamental.

Nic is a tough man and no one wants to piss him off but if he’s mad at you, be happy because it’s a sign he cares.

If you find people like this in your life, you better goddam hold on to them, whether they are your friends or your coach, they want the best from you, they want to see you succeed, if they are upset or disappointed in you it’s because they respect you enough to see you for what you could be, not just what you are.

Lesson 3: Ego is the enemy

“Impressing people is utterly different from being truly impressive” – Ryan Holiday

If you turn up thinking you’re better than everyone else or come in boasting about what you want to achieve you won’t last long in the group.

It’s very simple, everyone knows they are there to work hard and everyone has their own intrinsic goals in mind. Telling people your goals does not correlate with actually achieving them.

There’s no need to run your mouth, just show up and do the work. The guys are very good and leave their egos at home when doing sessions.

You may not be having the best day at training and instead of working yourself to death to stay at the front, they know when to let their egos go and pull back.

It’s not going to kill you to run a few seconds slower per rep, what will kill you however is smashing your body just to make yourself look good.

Lesson 4: The simple stuff

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook” – William James

The guys keep everything simple, in their training and in their lifestyles. There’s no secret formula, nothing is overcomplicated.

Train, eat and sleep (although I also use my rest time to self educate, my young legs won’t last forever).

You train to get fit, you eat to refuel and sleep to recover. We can often over complicate everything in life and it is such a great feeling when you keep things simple. The no clutter approach frees the mind.

Lesson 5: The work never stops

“Don’t count the days, make the days count” – Muhammad Ali

No matter the time of the year, the Melbourne Track Club are working. They will keep the sessions and volume going all year round.

They are most likely only a few weeks from a strong performance all the time. There’s no major drop in workload when coming into a race and after a race no matter the result, you are back at work. Consistency is key.

Sean Tobin features in the ‘Fast 10: class of 2019’ and over the course of the year will share his running journey. You can follow Sean on Twitterand Instagram, while further information about the ‘class of 2019’ can be found here.

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