It has been raining a lot lately here in Chico. To most triathlete’s this raises the anxiety and leaves some of us in a scrabble to fit
in a workout before the raining starts coming down hard or it forces us in the gym. I, on the other hand, don’t mind hitting the gym with my Ipod, filled with hardcore pumping music, for my core treadmill workout. Don’t get me wrong I like my outside training (long rides, bricks, and long runs), but by the same token I’m not freaked out by the idea of doing a hard run on the treadmill, because, hey, Mirinda Carfrae does it!
SN: It is my belief that being a “triathlete” truly means adapting to circumstances beyond our control, scary thought for many Type-A personalities aka triathlete’s whom are all about control. Just think about it…we control our time, our training, our nutrition, hopefully our attitudes, and when it comes to race day we have to be prepared to face the possibilities of circumstances NOT under our control e.g., weather, temperature, water conditions, bike mechanics, other competitors, equipment troubles, etc. I believe that the best athletes/triathletes are the ones that are most cognitively/mentally flexible when faced with an unexpected variable (uncontrollable conditions).
Okay back to my initial entry… Today I did 10k negative splits at desired race pace for an Olympic distance triathlon, Black Butte. I started off comfortably hard. I had it in my mind that I was going to focus on efficiency (breathing and heart rate at goal pace), biomechanics (keeping a solid and relaxed run form), and visualization and self-talk. As I engaged in my run process I did what I call a body check…I mentally scan myself from shoulders to my feet. I check to see if my shoulders are relaxed and dropped, hands are palms up and relaxed, arm form is steady, legs are strong, fast, and underneath me, and foot strike is where it needs to be. As I am doing this I am using key words like “relaxed, dropped, steady, fast, strong,” and “where it needs to be.” This helps affirm to my body that this is what it can do and this is what I want it to do. Concurrently, I keep my head straight and focused on visualizing what it ideal race conditions around me would be like. Overall, I come out of this workout feeling confident.
Whether the process I outlined comes to you as second nature to you or sounds foreign and strange I would encourage anyone to begin listening to the messages you tell yourself throughout the day and during your workouts. If you already have positive self-talk, make it better! If not, then make some small changes and you will see being to notice a difference.
“Whether you think you can or can’t either way you are right.” Henry Ford
Keep reaching for your peak and I will see you at the top….