I am such a stickler for a "plan" that I even have a plan for off seasons. I am totally fixated on my training plan. I do not like ever finishing a mile short or mile over my plan. So much so that if I am running with someone else and they want to go for a shorter distance, I run my scheduled run/ride and then go back out to run with them.
Speaking of training partners. I am finding that it is becoming more and more important that I have training partners. Not because of the need to be social but for the push. It's so easy for me to get out and just run alone. My mind just blanks and I just pound out the miles.
However when I do that, I am running at "race pace". Every run becomes a timed event and I am concerned with hitting a per minute mile pace. I am looking to finish within a certain time limit. Not working on mechanics. Not thinking about breathing and cadence. Just go hard, go long, go fast.
The same on the bike. I have to remember there are other things I need to consider than time. Pacing, nutrition, support. Normally when I am cycling, just like running, I just go out and hammer out the miles. But with cycling, you can't do that.
You have to remember to drink, to eat, to spin going up hill. To allow gravity to pull you down hill. Staying in aero even when you do not feel like it. I know going into an ironman or half ironman, that I will just try to sprint the entire distance and I am sure I will burn myself out within the first 20 miles and have nothing left in the tank. So I really need to remember that Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect". Sorry but Mr Lombardi is right.
Any triathlete will tell you, in their mind they are doing everything correct, until they look at themselves on video or receive a critique from a coach, training partner. Then we refocus concentrate on the little details and improve.