Regular tri-season is now complete for me and the post-season is about to begin! Here’s a recap of my 2015 season.
Pre-Season as I’m calling it, started off with a bang by placing first in my AG in the LifeTime Marquee Arizona Sprint triathlon in April 2015.
Regular season got off to a rocky start with a miss at the GoodLife Half marathon in early May, but I bounced back at Woodstock taking second place and nailed the run.
I felt fairly strong run wise going into the Tremblant 70.3 in June, though slightly under-trained in the bike. Excitement, a better than planned swim and nerves resulted in a failure to execute an ideal pacing plan. While I had a course PB by 10 minutes, including improvements in the swim, bike and run, I wasn’t able to run the pace i had trained for.
After that I fought some mental challenges leading into the Bracebridge Oly in August, and while setting new power records on the bike, and coming in 2nd in my AG my run was again a miss.
I spent the next few weeks working through the mental side of the sport, especially the fear of the pain that is felt during the 10k run in the Oly. I reached out to my tri community and did some research (see below). The result of that work was shown at the Wasaga Sprint Tri where I exceeded my goals, setting a new course PB, overall Sprint distance PB, new run PB for the sprint and tying my overall standalone 5k time!
Race results: 1:14:27 Swim: 14:50, Bike: 34:48, Run: 22:27, run up:0:35, T1: 0:57, T2:0:51
Now with less than 3 weeks to go until the ITU Grand Finale in Chicago, I feel post season will be the best yet. This will be my 3rd time on the Age-Group Team Canada and my 3rd trip to the ITU Standard
(Olympic) Distance World Championship.
I wouldn’t have gotten through this season without the help of many people. Big thanks to my run coach Kyle Smith, and all my wonderful chiro’s (Dr Kris Sheppard, Dr Jaclyn Kissel, Dr Pete Kissel) and my massage therapists for keeping my body in working order, my awesome Naturopath Dr Penny Kendall-Reed. Big thanks to all my training buddies and friends at the Toronto Triathlon club who keep inspiring me to push harder and be better!
So what have I come up with to deal with the pre-race anxiety:
Race with the enthusiasm of a rookie but the skills of a veteran! The pain is temporary and I am in control of it!
Want to do more for your mental training. Here are some resources:
In Pursuit of Excellence- Terry Orlick
Mike Lipkin- one Life one meeting- how to build preeminence one conversation at a time. Mike was a terrific Keynote at one of my conferences years ago. One of the key points from listening to his talk was race with the enthusiasm as a rookie (where you don’t know what you are in for) but apply the wealth of lessons you have learned over the years.
Leith Dury – Mike’s podcasts brought me back to what Sport Psychologist Leith Dury told us about your ideal performance state that you want to race in a state of Unconscious Competence.
Dr Greg Wells -http://drgregwells.com/community/be-better-podcast-16-the-psychology-of-pain/
Also, in August, I reached out to my FB community for tips, suggestions and feedback for dealing with race anxiety, before and during. Here’s what they shared. I hope it can help you in your next pursuit!
Express gratitude. Gratitude for simply being able to excel at this sport. Gratitude for the opportunity to push yourself. Gratitude for those who believe in you.
Keep in mind that you chose the aggressive goal that will/could cause you pain, and you can also “un-choose” it at any time. That’s what helps relive my stress in situations like this.
Count to 1000. Then repeat as necessary. I do this and it becomes rhythmic with my breathing and foot strike. It’s a almost like a meditation of sorts!!
Trust in your training. You have worked so hard, and just believe in it.
The person that feels the most pain, wins.
Deep breathing gets me through the thought of it ahead of it and the pain of it during. Focusing on breath always helps me with so much
The focus point, I focus on a post or sign up ahead and just before I make it to that spot I tell myself ok I did that now the next sign post etc… Eventually the last sign post is the one holding the finish line! It helps to distract me from being in my head
Embrace the hurt. You know it will hurt. Observe it. Be with it.
Visualization. The night before my bigger races, I lie on the floor, close my eyes and just visualize every step of the race, from waking up, to prepping my transition zone to finishing. Takes a good 30 mins, but also allows me to get my breath under control and break down the race into manageable little sections.
Big positive thoughts and dig deep!
Expect the unexpected!
Control the things you can and let go of the things you can’t!
Race with the enthusiasm of a rookie but the skills of a veteran!