The Mentalist (Not A TV Show Review)

For any and all of you doing any type of training, whether it is a 5K or an Iron-distance event the hardest part of the training is the mental game.  The mind is usually ready to quit way before the body and thus it becomes a matter of fighting that mindset.  You are struggling up a hill and the mind says quit and walk, but you don't.  You are coughing up a lung because you just swallowed a gallon of water in the pool and the mind says quit but you don't.  The wind is howling and practically blowing you backwards on your bike and the mind says quit but you don't.

Welcome to the 4th part of training for a triathlon.  You will get in the water at 5am, you will be in the saddle for 3 hours, you will run intervals and tempos and in each one of those instances you are training your mind.  You are fighting back those quit words and can't words.  You CAN and you WILL do it.  You will erase those thoughts of doubt and push on.  Maybe not the fastest day you ever had, but you still did it and that is the accomplishment you take away.  You just beat your mind and now you have something stored in your memory bank for the next time it is hard.

This happened to me this morning.  I had an epic training day yesterday (click here to read about it.)  This morning that alarm went off at 4:18a as usual and I just lay there.  I could not move.  My mind told me to sleep in and I started re-arranging my day all over the place.  Finally I said you have got to do this.  You need to get going.  Out of bed and into the kitchen for some toast and coffee.  Sat on the couch to enjoy it and practically fell asleep again.  Up and out the door and in the water.

I had every excuse in the book to not do the complete swim.  Come back later.  Do only half.  You name it and I came up with it.  Finally I said to myself if you get the swim done you can go home and sleep for an hour.  There was my carrot and what I think is the best way to get through these types of sessions.  Small goals.  Break it down for yourself into something manageable and you will get through it all.

I managed to have a great swim session.  It was a ladder down starting from 600y and had fast sets of 25 in between.  For example, swim 600y (:50 RI) then 6x25 fast with (:20 RI) then 500y (:50 RI) then 5x25 and so on all the way down to 100y.  The 600 and 500 were slightly slower than 2:00/100y.  But then I set my small goal and wound up swimming faster and faster even though the yards were piling up.  My final 100y swim was done in 1:53 which is awesome for me and left me with a feeling of OH YEAH!!!!!  I self high-fived myself and swung that arm around and patted myself on the back.

That mental game was there.  I played it, set my attack procedure and won.  I beat the mind.  I came home and crashed for an hour.  Woke up and crushed some work that needed to be done.  Cranked out this post and onto lunch and a meeting.  I am picking up steam and all because I won today.  I beat the mind and am closing in on my degree as a Mentalist.  I will not be stopped today.  The momentum is there and when I get home from my meeting I will hit the gym for strength and then the trainer for a one hour ride.  Let's do this!

Are you enrolling in The School for the Mentalist today?
Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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