Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Manage your Weakness

My first year in triathlon, 2008, I felt I was holding the weight of the world on my shoulders due to my expectations in the sport. My goal for my first year was to earn my pro card. I hadn’t ever biked before that year and swimming was put on the back burner. I was a runner but not a fast runner. I ran long. A 50-mile race in the mountains could be won with 10-minute miles. The few things I had going for me was thousands of hard earned miles in my legs, mental toughness, the ability to love pain, and of course, falling in love with endurance sports and the people who came with it.

Year one was simple…train a lot. I didn’t have a plan just everyday train as much as my body could handle (which truthfully wasn’t all that much) but it paid off. The major problem I had was that when a race approached I seemed to fall apart due to worry and stress. I couldn’t sleep. I lost energy and things unraveled because mentally I was a mess. It was a problem and affected my race performance. This year, I managed this issue. I now can sleep a full, uninterrupted 9-hours race night and can talk myself away from negative thoughts. This seemingly simple change in race mentality is truly what helped me improve so much this year. I still have much more work to do mentally but I’ve come a long way.

Remember: Sport may be a measurement of our physical capabilities but our success is due to how we train our weaknesses.