Racing Mindset Versus Training Mindset August 23, 2019 20:09 Updated Not a Member yet? $25/month Get Purple Patch Education Membership, A complete performance education program for coaches and athletes. SUBSCRIBE You need to sign in to view this page. How we approach our training and racing is the defining aspect that allows our effort in training to be expressed at the optimal level. If we watch sports movies, there is usually a testosterone-filled air of heroism and battle, but true performance typically arrives out of a smart and thoughtful thinking, maintaining clarity, focus, and relishing the fact that sports will never deliver on the expectations of a 'perfect day.' In today's education, we explore the basics around the optimal mindset in training and racing. Training Mindset The fundamentally critical view of training should be driven by the pursuit of consistency over many weeks and months. I prefer pragmatism over emotion in decision-making, so I aim to set up your weekly training load such that it can be integrated into your life schedule, not dominate it. This can be vastly different amongst various athletes, who come from differing backgrounds, have different goals, and are burdened with different levels and types of daily stress and commitment. If consistency is the overarching goal, then we break the must-haves down into the following: Nail The Basics Absolutely commit yourself to the fundamental bedrock of allowing performance gains to happen. Fuel following every workout, make sure you eat, maintain a balanced healthy life, and commit to the recovery needed to allow the hard work to marinate. Never Go 100% It sounds strange, but seldom do you need to go to MAX in training, especially the bike and the run. Training is not a race, so while you must manage and perform through fatigue, you don't need to race too often in fatigue. Think Small, Think Big It is a fine balance, but the simplicity of showing up and training day to day, every day, without judgment is a magical approach. With this, you must also be able to extract from the day to day and realize how the mosaic of training ties together. There will always be a reason for fatigue or failure, and it is good to find it (without emotional judgment). Don't Be Afraid Of Tired Legs With so much focus on recovery in training, there can sometimes be the mistake of athletes fearing the first sign of fatigue. There is a big difference between having sore, tired legs versus the systemic fatigue that accumulates from consistently over-the-top training load, combined with the rigors of life. Avoid The Peaks & Valleys You had a great session, great, move on. A bit of a rough one, oh well, on to the next one. Celebrate the good, don't dismantle your self-worth during the bad. Racing Mindset It is race day. A personal test of your training worth, yes? Absolutely not. It is simply a great chance to celebrate your hard work and go see what your body gives you. Your worth will never be determined by a single event, so have fun and 'bring it without fear' on race day. A few things to consider as you head to the race course: Keep It Simple & Familiar Too many athletes decide to change things prior to the race. Stick with the simple, and stick with the familiar. It's A Really Tough Training Day You train to race, and therefore you train every day. Your best race day is going to be your best swim, bike and run training session tied together, which makes every element something repeated from training. Process Not Outcome Focus on what you can control, ignore anything you cannot. Perhaps the most critical component of successful triathlon racing, it is a battle against oneself (until at the very elite level), and maintaining a process driven approach leads to the best outcome. Be Fearless & Happy I seldom see a great champion who isn't in love with racing. The sheer simplicity of the battle, the suffer and the competition. Fall in love with it, and embrace it without fear. No One Cares It sounds harsh, and perhaps it is, but it is true. Your friends and family love you and want nothing but the best for you, but the only person who truly cares about your performance is you. Perhaps one to two others, including your coach, but it remains a small circle. For this reason, stop worrying about what anyone thinks, as no one cares. It is liberating. Passion drives this sport, but that passion should be supported with fun. Be fearless and maintain your perspective. You have nothing to lose. Cheers, Matt Dixon Related articles Race Day Habits Discipline: The Difference Between Good and Great Performance Dialing in Your Transitions Planning Your Race Fueling QOTW: What Can I Do When I'm Sidelined with a Running Injury and Can't Run?