Whats your Mantra?
So what keeps you going? When the fatigue kicks in and the body says enough is enough how do you keep going? How do you prepare not only physically but more importantly mentally for the challenges that triathlon can throw at you, whether short or long course its tough.
The Academy places a big emphases on the psychological aspects of the sport – why? You may ask. Any sport has fantastic benefits that sports in general can give you, none so much as triathlon as the time investment is generally greater as we train for the different aspects of the Swim | Bike | Run, but with such big highs there can be some real lows, that you need to be aware of that may not be covered off by your coach.
The Academy places a big emphasis on mental preparation and “in the moment” preparation the, commit, and the after event blues, that can if not considered give you a feeling of loss.
The mental pre-race preparation is vital in knowing your capabilities, trusting not only yourself but also the team that got you to the start line, because let's face it that's one of the hardest challenges in itself.
You may not think it's been a team effort but consider the part that your friends, family and coaches have given with the help advice and sacrifice along the way, it's easily forgotten. So take a little time out before the race to think about how good it has been and how hard it would have been doing it alone.
You would have spent many hours training, adapting and conditioning your body to perform on a given day for a given period, as you step over the start line you enter the mental “commit phase”. So commit to what you have started 100% don't be afraid of your abilities you can do this - this is where we like to introduce a mantra, be it a song a saying or a poem it doesn't matter, just something to push you on, your body will do 90% of the work for you so trust your mental toughness to push the body that last bit and use the mantra. You would have had a hard day in training (not every session will be easy or go as planned) so remember how you pushed through it then or got back up the next day, and use that.
Nobody prepared me for what was to come next!
The elation of crossing that finishing line whether last or first can be very emotional - I cried when I crossed the line of my first Full Ironman, it was tears of joy, relief and achievement, I had been on a 6 month journey and that was the end, or so I thought. Nobody prepared me for what was to come nobody told me about the post-race blues.
So what's post-race blues and how can I be mentally prepared for them. Post-race blues can be felt after a race and finishing something you have worked so hard to achieve there is a feeling of loss of emptiness this can put you in to a bit of a spiral if you don’t prepare for it, a feeling of lethargy – You have all this time back in your life no goal the job is done.
So this article is to help you prepare and make sure you’re aware that it can happen. So what can you do?
We like to look well past the race well past the finish line and have another focus - firstly on a good recovery plan which is vital for your body to recover well, and the next goal, whether it be the next challenge be it a race, a holiday or whatever you need to plan past the event, to prevent the emptiness that can sometimes dominate. For our athletes there is normally a two week recovery block which aims to do this, as well as post-race celebrations a week after the big events