Sheebes is here to give mental toughness tips and resources to help you, the endurance athlete, achieve your personal best. To keep the lights on and content free, we are a participant in the Amazon Services program and other select affiliate networks. This means if you click on an affiliate link below, Sheebes will earn a small commission, at no cost to you.
Tackling three sports is never easy.
From training and recovery to staying motivated, there’s much to handle.
But if you want to gain an extra edge, push your limits, and dig deep, you must mentally prepare for your triathlon.
Here you’ll learn how to mentally prepare for your triathlon. From staying motivated during training, recovering from injuries, to prepping mentally for race day, you’ll find tips on how to mentally prepare for your triathlon so you can focus on performing your best.
Mentally prepare for your triathlon during training
How to stay motivated
Have you ever had a training session planned but suddenly found other things to do instead? All good intentions to train went out the window.
But creating a consistent habit is how you stay motivated when you’re not feeling it. And, it’s about building willpower to keep you on track.
Much like physical training sessions, willpower requires diligent training.
Here’s what you need to do to strengthen your willpower.
1| Identify your biggest challenges/ distractions
2| Develop a plan to avoid your temptations
Make sure you rest and recover
Long training blocks take a toll on the body. If you’ve been more irritable or fatigued than normal, review your schedule to see if you’ve had enough time to rest.
Your body can’t perform at a high level without adequate rest to rebuild and repair. The unfortunate result? Slower times and a lack of motivation.
1| Sleep. This may seem ordinary yet indulgent, but your body’s doing important repair work while you sleep.
2| Get a massage, stretch, and ease your muscles to get the blood flowing. If you need to do trigger point work at home, this trigger point ball works better than a lacrosse one due to its flat base.
3| Do active recovery. And remember, if you have an easy day scheduled, take it easy and don’t push the pace. You’re training to race, not racing to train.
4| Fuel up with nutrient dense food. There’s a wealth of healthy recipes in this Complete Vegetarian Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, the baked burritos with pinto beans and swiss chard is delicious. It’s hearty but not heavy. And, you could double the recipe to freeze for later.
How and why you should train with motivational self-talk
Motivational self-talk doesn’t make up for a lack of training, but recent studies on self-talk show a measurable impact on the endurance, pace, and power output of cyclists.
According to this study, it’s helpful to customize your motivational statements for specific segments and challenges of your race.
For example, if you fear the mass swim start, you could try, ‘you’re ready for this’.
Your self-talk during the bike segment might be, ‘fast and smooth’. (Read more: How to Overcome Your Cycling Fears.) And for the run, ‘your race, your pace’. (There’s more information on the best running mantras to use in this article.)
It’s vital you use positive, encouraging words in your self-talk for the biggest benefits.
What to do when you doubt yourself
‘Can I really do this?’
It’s normal to question your skills and abilities, especially when you’re facing something new and aiming for big goals.
To bolster confidence, focus on developing your skills and techniques. When you’re focused on gaining mastery, you’re naturally focused on the process.
You’ll find more information here on what to do when you doubt your abilities and the one question you must always ask when you need a confidence boost.
How to stay positive and on track when you’re injured
No triathlete likes sitting on the sidelines with an injury. But when it happens, your mental focus is crucial to you bouncing back strong from your injury.
When you’re injured, aim for small, doable goals.
Achieving smaller goals lifts your mood and motivation to tackle your larger goals.
What to do before your race starts
2| If it’s hard to calm down, reframe anxiety as excitement
3| Develop your motivational self-talk for race day
What to do if you feel like quitting your race
Racing is hard.
And sometimes, quitting is a tempting option because it sucks. But you didn’t train hard to give up on race day, right?
If you’re not experiencing serious physical issues, here’s what to do when you want to give up.
You need to focus outside yourself.
When you’re focused within, you’re paying close attention to the burn in your muscles, your pace, and your race progress.
But when you focus outside yourself, you reduce the feeling of fatigue.
Try cheering on a fellow athlete, or thanking a volunteer. Find something outside yourself that will help you feel connected to another.
According to this article in Runner’s World,
Your brain releases endorphins (a pain reliever), dopamine (increases motivation and focus), and serotonin (a mood enhancer) when you help someone.”
Training your mind is just as important as training for your triathlon. With deliberate mental preparation, you can stay motivated and push your limits.
Sources, How to Mentally Prepare for your Triathlon