A Mentality For Excellence
We spend many days, weeks and months training with the goal of optimising our performance on race day. A key component of performance is via the training process, with a smart training plan that delivers you to race day feeling healthy, balanced and fully prepared, both physically and emotionally.
We’ve spent a lot of time discussing training, adequate recovery and making smart choices about your training plan; however, today’s post takes a different angle.
Below we focusing on mindset and the emotional aspect of race readiness. While no athlete is the same and a positive mindset is established via multiple factors and experiences, there are some key things that foster self-belief in both training and on the start line.
These factors include:
Consistent & Dynamic Training:
I would take repeatable workouts that can be done any day, over massive sessions that stretch the athlete into failure, every single time. That is central to why I preach being willing to adjust the plan, build the week around key workouts, and train in blocks of repeated (and evolved) progressive sessions.
Success (Not Failure):
A platform of success is much better than a string of failures. As obvious as that sounds, too many fall into the trap of thinking successful training is stretching every session to failure. If you bank a great workout, repeat it first before trying to ramp more power, speed or load the next time you attempt it.
So much of racing anxiety stems from fear, and most of that fear is immersed in factors that we cannot control. Therefore, creating an approach to racing that makes race day feel familiar is key. We prescribe training that can simulate the pacing, set up and experience of your race day, familiarising the sensations of racing.
Frame It As A Journey:
If you view each race as a true test of your worth, or if your training is either a 'success' or 'failure', it simply creates pressure and dissolving belief. If you shift the lens to the race being an opportunity for learning and a chance to show off preparation, then it can become fun. Performance doesn’t necessarily arrive in a linear stream with every result being a breakthrough.
External Help, Internal Drive:
Realise that you can appreciate positive words and support from others, including your coach, but the real belief begins within. I tell athletes to find a way to give yourself permission to fail. In other words, you have no negative result if you go out and give your best effort. Permission to fail allows freedom to truly express your best physical resources.
Passion and Fun:
The above point really is the gateway to improving your love for racing. If you have passion and take the pressue out of raincg, then belief can be grounded in your hard work leading in. If you cloak yourself in fear of failure, then all the good training work becomes immersed in a worry about consequences that are only in your head.
Set Things Up That You Can Control:
Ensure you know the course, the transitions, the rules, the schedule, and your equipment. A little planning and insight de-clutters the brain and allows you to enjoy it, instead of wondering where the bike exit is.
Have fun out there.