Tri Coach Tuesday: Motivation Tips that Work

From USA Triathlon  By Mental Specialist Coach Will Murray

 


Are you sure you’re getting the full benefit from your training sessions? With a training plan aimed at a particular race or set of races, you likely have a number of workouts of different kinds and different durations carefully ordered over the months to get you in peak condition for your top races.

Completing this sequence of training sessions — as prescribed and in order — is key to arriving at your most important races in optimum form: fit, healthy and rested. Fit, meaning in top physical condition for the type of race, whether sprint distance triathlon or ultramarathon; healthy, meaning freedom from injury or illness; and rested meaning fresh and ready to go. Achieving this three-way goal to let you race to your potential is not always easy to do.

Having a good annual training plan is vitally important. Just as important is executing that plan by completing the workouts — as prescribed and in the right sequence. Some athletes succumb to the temptation of taking an easy run when they are supposed to be doing 600-meter hard intervals at the track or chasing a fast pack of cyclists when they are scheduled for an easy recovery ride. Some athletes skip the workout altogether, because they “just aren’t feeling it.”

An athlete who too often replaces a recovery swim with a hard masters set is possibly digging a hole toward overtraining. An athlete who skips the high-intensity bike sessions is raffling off key fitness. And one who skips workouts altogether too frequently is not only giving away fitness but also generating unhelpful emotions that undermine the training and also come back to haunt on race day — if the start line appears at all.

Fortunately, there are easy, quick and effective techniques to help athletes do their scheduled workouts. Here are two that athletes find useful…

Read the full USA Triathlon article here

8 Tips to Make Your Long Run a Bit Less Hellish

From Shut Up & Run by Beth Risdon

Let’s talk about the long run. Let’s talk about the mental fortitude needed to complete the long run.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, my head wasn’t in the game. It was kind of a cool, grey morning. But, that wasn’t really the problem. The problem was wrapping my head around the distance and how long I would be out there. It had been along time since I had done a 16 mile long, steady run on the road. I wasn’t worried about finishing the run, I knew I could that. I was more in my head about the number “16” and how that seemed so far. I’ve run 16 miles so many times before, but it just felt different. I think it’s because I wanted to nail a certain pace and that would mean plodding along, steadily, without many walk breaks like I find on the trails.

There’s no magic to getting motivated for the long run. You just do it. It can be mundane. You are out there a long time. It can get lonely. But, it can also be a time for reflection and zoning out. The long run is a test in perseverance, discipline and determination. And, believe it or not, there are some tips that can make it just a tad easier.

1. Plan a Route You Can Get Excited About. I like to use Map My Run to get creative. There’s nothing like starting a 20 mile run already bored to tears with where you are going. I’d rather drive a bit to start somewhere that inspires me versus following some old worn out route that puts me to sleep. Here was this weekend’s run. I do love the back-roads of Boulder County.

2. Drag Someone Along. Distraction is a wonderful tool. Bring a friend and talk about every mundane thing you can think of like Beyonce’s even fuller breasts since getting pregnant or how long it takes corn to move through your system (this is very easy to figure out. Just keep a diary of when you had corn chowder and when it showed up later). A good friend will also share supplies with you like toilet paper, an extra gel, a tampon or condom (now that really would make your long run more fun).

3. Bring Happy Fuel. If you hate the taste of gels, but you eat them because you are “supposed to” or they were on sale, that’s no fun. Bring along your most favorite candy or gel flavor. Maybe companies should market cocktail themed gummy treats for runners (jam packed with electrolytes and carbs of course) like Rum Runner (get it?), Sex on the Beach (for the wild crowd), Bloody Mary (for those running in the morning or during Sunday brunch time) and Mint Julep (for the Southerners).

4. Tell People Even If They Don’t Care. I like to let a few friends know if I’ve got a really long run (say 16-20 miles) because in my head I think they are cheering me on and that they really care if I finish or not. Somehow it holds me accountable. Ok, maybe my mom just cares, but so what?

Read the remaining four!