Triathlon tips can help inspection prep

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Madalyn Marlatt
  • 908th Airlift Wing
Let me start by saying this is not another article about how to make lifestyle changes so you are fit to fight. There have certainly been plenty of those! However, I recently attended a clinic to become a certified triathlon coach, and I've been reflecting on the lessons I've learned through the sport.

Many of those lessons can be applied as we approach the Combined Unit Inspection. Here are my top three favorites.

There are no shortcuts to balanced preparation.

There are phases of triathlon that are grueling, and you have to be physically and mentally prepared to get through them. Every triathlete has a component they consider their weak link. For me it is running, but if I focus too much on my running, my swim and bike times decline. Preparation needs to be balanced.

For the inspection, you might feel really confident in your section's compliance in certain areas, but make sure those areas aren't neglected as you correct deficiencies in your weaker areas.

Recover quickly from setbacks.

In triathlon, you don't know when you are going to get a flat tire, but when it happens you need to keep your cool and change it as efficiently as possible, and keep on going. Spending time cursing or kicking your bike, while it might feel good for the moment, isn't going to get you to that finish line any faster.

If during the CUI, your shop gets a finding, keep your cool, fix it as best as you can in that moment, and move on.

Visualize success.

Just like triathletes visualize different components of the race, especially crossing the finish line, visualize taking the inspectors through your section. What will you showcase? What will you provide?

Visualize providing them all the information they need to determine that you have a winning section. Imagine what it will look like at the unit outbrief, or reading the positive comments in the final report.

Lastly, feel that sense of pride you will have when your shop does outstanding!