Here we are once again nearing the end of another race season. Your “A” race is right around the corner and you have a handful of “B” and “C” races in the books. Hundreds and thousands of miles have been logged on the road and enough flip turns to make your head spin. Your nutrition plan is dialed in and your stronger than ever. But something feels different than when you hit the “register” button for your IM 140.6 or 70.3. The alarm is a little bit annoying and your long ride course seems to be more familiar than the drive to work.
Staying motivated and remembering your reasons for your chosen journey is critical this time of year. It’s easy to check off another green box in Training Peaks and become stagnant in training month after month. Following are my top 3 tips to recharge your battery and give yourself the power to “turn and burn” around the last corner and through the finish line.
1. The Purpose
The mental side of IM is just as important to train and strengthen as the physical side. I like to tell my athletes to find their purpose. We all train with a purpose and when your find yours, you can pull strength from it in times of extreme need. Remind yourself of the purpose about why you are doing this. Is it for a family member? Maybe your goal is to set a new “PR”. You might be raising money for a charity to help someone in need. Whatever it is write it down and put it where you can see it! Beside your alarm clock, on the fridge, on your handle bars, on the bathroom mirror, or even on a sticky note inside your wallet. Visually and verbally remind yourself on a daily basis and you will create your own mantra along this journey.
2. The Mock Up
In the NASCAR world we call our practice sessions “mock up runs” to prepare for a race or qualifying. This is when we prepare the car exactly like we will race it. Triathlon shares the exact same test session with our key training session. It might be a 112-mile bike ride followed by a 2 hour run or a split run with a long bike in between. Your coach will have strategically placed these sessions as you approach your race to prepare you for what is to come. These sessions can give you a major boost mentally, reassuring you how prepared you really are along with letting you test out your race day. Make sure you prepare every thing from your breakfast, nutrition timing, and HR/Power pacing exactly like you will in your race. You will pull tremendous confidence training like you race. When race day comes it will be familiar and business as usual.
3. The Prep
You have logged the miles and shed the blood sweat and tears. Approaching the most important race of the year it is vital you are prepared in every way so can have your best race ever! It is easy to consume yourself in training and forget about the little things that can hinder or destroy your performance. Making a prep list for travel, pre-race, race, and post-race is key in preventing costly mistakes. Did you pack cloths for rain? Do you have enough gel and bars for the race and training? Packing extra tubes, goggles, fresh socks for the run, extra salt tabs, or a small tube of body glide might be enough to save the day when the unexpected happens. BE PREPARED!
You have spent countless hours in training and sacrificed many things to get you to this point. Remember to speak and train with your purpose, train like you will race, be prepared and as a result, you are sure to have an amazing race.
Blake Haugland loves the sport of triathlon and as a coach he knows there’s no better gift then seeing the people he cares about succeed in reaching their goals! Whether it’s getting to the finish line or getting there faster, the only result that matters is the one that matters to you! Blake is a USAT Certified Coach, as well as a Youth and Junior Certified. He is also a USA Cycling Certified Coach.