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Posted by on June 17th, 2012 with 0 Comments

It’s all a matter of perspective

Knowing what lies ahead and being ready to deal with it, is far superior than dreading what awaits you on race day.
Remember when you were a kid and had to go to the Doctor to  get a shot?  If someone said , “You are going to get a shot with a big needle and it’s going to hurt!”.  That would have freaked you out and given you a lot of anxiety. Right?
However, if someone said, ” We are going to the Doctor for your immunization.  It may be a little owie for a second, but it won’t be bad and it will be over with before you know it.”  That would have made you feel a good bit better about it. Right?

We often do something very similar when we are preparing for an event.

Would you purposely set yourself up for failure on race day months in advance of your big race?  Would you willingly sabotage your big event?

Of course you wouldn’t!  That would be plain crazy, yet many unknowingly do just that.

Quick Exercise:

Let’s pretend that you are signed up for an Olympic Distance race.  The swim is against the current and is never wetsuit legal, the bike has three major climbs and the run is anything but flat.  The weather for this race is notoriously hot and inhospitable.

Right off the bat you know that this is going to be a challenging race.   You can set yourself up for success or failure depending on how you think about the race and your training.  Let’s go through two different thought processes.

Negative Nancy:

  • It’s going to be brutal out there.  It’s always so hot for this race
  • That swim is going to be hard, I hope that I can make it
  • I hope that I can ride strong on the hills, is my gearing right?
  • The run is going to hurt
  • I hope that there is enough aid out there
  • Is there any shade on the course?
Positive Perry:
  • It’s usually hot for this race.  To insure that I am ready I will train in the heat.  It won’t be a big deal to me.  I will be prepared
  • I am going to work on my swim to insure that I am strong enough to deal with the current.  I will be strong enough that the current won’t be an issue
  • I will be riding lots of hills that are bigger and longer than the ones on the course.  Hills will be my friends
  • The run will be my ace in the hole.  It will be just another run for me.  I will be ready
  • The heat won’t bother me.  I train in this all the time.  I will have my nutrition dialed in before the race and I will have everything that I need
  • I don’t need shade, shade is for napping and I am not here to nap.  I want to RACE!
Who has a better chance of success?
I hope that you have noticed one crucial thing here in the athletes perspectives about the race.  Attention to detail!
Nancy set herself up to fail from the get go.  Her thoughts about the race are negative and will continue to be negative throughout the race.  Negative thoughts are most often short and not well thought ought.  Their existence is an open door to acceptance of having a bad day.
Perry’s thoughts, on the other hand, are much more well thought out.  His thought process is much more detailed and geared towards ultimate success on race day.
Where Nancy instantly goes for the negative, Perry takes the negative and comes up with a positive plus solution.
It’s easy to see which athlete has a better mind set for this race.  This outlook will serve him very well throughout training and race day. He has accepted that the race will be challenging and has put forth a positive plan in his mind to help him go forth and achieve his goals.
Here are some tips to insure a positive mindset:
  1. Be realistic.  Know the challenges that await you for the race and training for that race
  2. Be thorough.  Have a plan on how to deal with each unique challenge
  3. Be indomitable.  Don’t let a challenge stand in your way
It really is all a matter of perspective!





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