When we are about to face our first Ironman, we all hope to be ready for that moment that will make a difference in our lives. Will connect what we are with what we want to become.
But many athletes have that fear or perhaps afraid I could not finish the race. And this fear, even if it is real or imaginary, can be devastating.
But all we want to win in the sport, especially in a race like the Ironman, on the other side of that feeling.
And here comes the question: how to overcome this psychological battle?
Much of what is said about the mental training, concerns self verbalization. But the principles of “mental toughness” (mental strength), go far beyond this technique, and better yet, can be trained !!
Just as exercise physiology studies the adaptation of the athlete the organism to chronic stress of physical training, mental training can influence the numerous situations in which athletes can face before the competition.
Precisely because of this fact, and through the methodology of Ironman University, from the questionnaires are provided to athletes, is the psychological questionnaire that asks for information such as:
• Ability to resist the feeling peak;
• Ability to make decisions under pressure;
• Confidence level to complete the competition “A”.
So I present here some examples of how we can introduce what I call the MT session (Mental toughness):
A cycling session that would normally have 3 hours long, but when you arrive at your destination, the athlete faces his running shoes and finds he must face another 2 hours of hill running up!
Explanation: When our bodies become accustomed to the demands time and certain intensity, we are actually training for the known, routine. And we know that each competition has its own history. Therefore, we must always be prepared for the unknown.
How long could you stay in the position of plank (isometric work in which the person rests on the floor with his forearm in an upright posture)?
A few minutes believe!
How about 1 hour and 30 Minutes? This is one of the SEALS tests, one of the leading special operations forces of the US Navy.
The test aim is to discover that we can overcome certain limitations that are presented to us daily.
Example: Choose an ordinary exercise of their cross training usual, such as burpees, and make your athlete perform the movement until the movement itself lose the sense, like those Buddhist techniques you mentally speak a word several times until it loses its meaning. Then you enter into a state of meditation. Same thing for exercise.
Purpose of this technique is the pain tolerance. For the Ironman is it. Tolerate the pain until it is part of you!
Never give up
People never give up when they are close to an achievement, or have the chance to overcome something like a competition. But what happens when we are not competing? When we are in training?
How do you act when you are in situations where you can not win?
The first time I started to give up something, even if that something is not so important for us, it starts to become a habit. You get to train your brain to give up any situation. This becomes part of their arsenal, the excuse.
We have to turn that awkward moment in a message. That test, in a testament to his strength.
Mental toughness message
Only when you begin to doubt whether it is possible, and when you have more to lose, is where actually acquiring the necessary wisdom.