You know the expression.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it”
Commitment to fitness goals isn”t always easy. Training to achieve those goals and ultimately racing to meet your goals is hardly easy. Yet time and time again, we get lost in the ”should haves” or the self doubt that takes away from our goals and concentration.While I have no magic solution to the voice inside your head that takes up your energy with negative thoughts, I do know that training your mind is an essential part of endurance events.
The spirit of endurance events is supportive and friendly and yet when you are out there on the course, it”s you and you alone finishing the race. It”s extremely hard to stay focused and motivated if you have negative chatter running through your mind.Luckily, just like pace, technique and endurance, we can train our mind. Have you ever had a training session that was less than ideal? How did you cope? Did your world become doom and gloom? Did you cut your workout short? Did you push through it and feel frustrated or did you use the opportunity to practice mental strength?
On a long training ride recently, I started to slow down. I lost contact with my group who were 300 meters ahead of me and gaining. I focused on my aches and pains. I felt the heat. I questioned my nutrition. And then I said “stop”. I took inventory of what was really going on. I had a long climb coming up and could not start such a tough stretch in such a bad mental state.I asked what”s really wrong?
- My legs were tired but I”d biked 70 miles already… what did I think they should feel like?
- I was hot but not overheated
- I was hydrated, not hungry and generally feeling good in the GI department
So really, very little was wrong but when allowed to go negative, my mind really heaped it on. I decided to focus on the beauty of my ride. I let my shoulders relax. I smiled. And I kept going. Not because I had no other choice, but because I was ready to continue.