Most everyone experiences days of high motivation and perhaps many days of low motivation when they begin training for triathlons. This emotional (or motivational) roller coaster is normal and may continue through your entire training – whether that’s months or years. You need to find new ways to motivate yourself on days when you’d rather stay in bed or want to cut the mileage short. Preparing yourself mentally for a race is just as important as training yourself physically.
It’s totally normal to be fearful and doubt yourself when you’re setting a new goal or starting a new challenge that may take you outside of your comfort zone. It’s managing these fears and controlling the doubt in your mind that unlocks your full training potential.
Here are some tips for finding the right mindset to overcome the mental barriers:
- Focus your motivation on your number one priority: Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing, and remember how fortunate you are to be able to do what you love to do and look how far you’ve already come.
- Break it down: Break down your training or race into smaller sections; everything is easier to handle in smaller chunks. Don’t get overwhelmed by the big numbers.
- Happy thoughts: Join an inspirational Facebook page that provides happy, positive quotes, images and sayings that will make you feel good on a daily basis and will remind that you CAN do this!
- Distract your mind: Listen to music, podcasts or audio books. When your brain takes over, give it a distraction so it has something else to focus on.
- Keep on going: Sometimes nothing works and you just have to struggle through it. Just don’t stop! One foot in front of the other and remember there is a finish line ahead and you will reach it!
- Believe in yourself: This is the most important. Remember, if it was easy everyone would be doing it and they’re not – but you are! It’s supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to hurt. The pain is temporary, but the pride will last forever!
Before you even start, always know why you are putting yourself through a triathlon – have a clear mission in your mind. Write it down on a piece of paper and stick it on the fridge or in a place where you can see it every day. A trick that may help get you really motivated – find a picture of a winning athlete crossing a finish line in a magazine and tape a picture of your head over their head to attach to your mission!
As we end 2016, stay motivated for your next race. If you need help overcoming your mental barriers and training for that next triathlon, contact me today. Good luck and happy training!