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Friday Fitness: 3 Tips on Mental Preparation

Tomorrow morning at 7 am H3 Fitness Specialist and Wellness Coach, Jeff Ford, and I will be racing in the Hilton Head Island Triathlon. The challenge for most endurance events is to find a way to keep your mind strong even when your body is beginning to feel weak. Here are 3 tips you can use the night before an event to have yourself mentally prepared.

1. Clearly Define Your Intrinsic Motivation
Start by asking yourself why? And, what will completing this race mean to me? Why have I spent long hours training for this one moment? Professional athletes typically train for money or fame, but the truly ascendant competitors find love in their sport, enjoy the challenges and gain fulfillment from working hard and achieving their goals.

2. Build Some Brick Walls, Then Find Ways Around Them
Envision that point when your body is beginning to slowly break down near the end of the race and your mind has to override the mechanism that will allow your legs to push through the fatigue. For me, it will be around mile 12 of the bike ride when I have to transition to the run. Paint a vivid picture of the scenario… I can see myself approaching the transition area on the bike, my legs screaming “I get the point, you can stop now.” As I dismount the bike and my foot hits the ground I know that my quads will have begun to spasm. But, I also know that if I can keep moving the lactic acid will slowly dissipate and my hamstrings and calves will start to take charge for the run. In his Last Lecture , Randy Pausch talks about live “brick walls.”

“Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out-The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because, the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough.”

3. Visualize The Finish
Take a few minutes to visualize the joyful moment when you’ve crossed the finish line and the months of hard work have finally paid off. Researcher Daniel Kahneman has found that a really blissful end to all your hard work will countermand some of the struggle it took to get there.

Celebrating Success

Celebrating Success

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