I am the first to admit that I can be my own worst enemy especially on race day. For years I allowed myself to get into my own head and derail my own best efforts. This year, one of my goals was to work on changing this in the hopes of having some better race experiences. I’m pleased to say that I’ve found a few strategies that have helped me rewrite my mental dialogue and achieve a PR in my mental Race Strategies.
Achieving a PR In My Mental Race Strategies
Countering Negative Thinking
A few months back, I kept a daily record of negative thoughts pertaining to my training and eating habits. I was really surprised by how often I had negative thoughts and how easily I could allow them to effect my performance. For a weeks, I wrote down counter thoughts to this negative self talk. After about a month, a funny thing happened, I noticed a drastic decrease in the negative thinking and much better performance in my workouts. Sure, I still have my bad days, but overall I am able to fight these thoughts more.
Writing Out Race Day Plans
For my triathlon last month, I wrote out a detailed race day plan and rehearsed it over and over again in my head the days before the race. I imagined every aspect of race day from waking up, to eating breakfast, to swimming, biking and running through the finish. Rehearsing my race day in detail took away so much of the race day anxiety and uncertainty. This is a mental strategy I will be employing from now on.
Up until recently, I never really got the whole “running mantra” thing. I polled my running group friends and even wrote a whole post about my search for mantra. I was curious as to which mantras helped motivate others. Finally, on a particularly hard bike ride, it came to me. I found myself repeating the mantra “don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done”. There it was! I found my mantra and it works. No one was more surprised than I was.
You would think as a former psychotherapist, I would have realized long ago how implementing a few simple mental strategies could drastically change my internal dialogue. Like anyone who enters “therapy”, I needed to be at the right time in my life to be open to benefiting from them. These 3 Mental Race Strategies were key in helping me achieve that 8 minute PR a few weeks ago. I plan to keep working on them and myself.
Tell me, what mental race strategies do you use?