Mental Preparation

Updated: Jul 26, 2019

Being more than physically prepared for race day is key when you want to race well and push your limits. Being mentally prepared in training helps prepare us for racing. Not only will mental preparation prepare us for racing it will also ensure that we can better handle race day adversity.

Proper mental preparation starts with having a growth mindset. A growth mindset is one that thrives on change and interprets adversity and failure as valuable feedback. As endurance athletes we all train almost seven days a week, plenty of opportunity for things to come up and go wrong while training. When things go wrong in training, such as a cramp at threshold effort. We want to view the adversity as a chance to grow. Instead of thinking “This cramp ruined my session, I will just walk home” we want to think “I will walk for a minute, let the cramp pass while I examine my diet before the run, conditions and breathing so next time I will be better prepared.”

Here are 11 tips to help you get started with mental preparation and stay motivated:

1. Think about what you want out of your sport

2. Focus on what you want to achieve

3. Set realistic challenges

4. Set goals that measure how well you did, not who you beat

5. Set positive goals that tell you what you do, not what not to do

6. Set target dates to achieve goals

7. Identify a strategy to achieve your goals

8. Record your goals, make a commitment, tell someone  

9. Evaluate your goals

10. Have others help you achieve your goals  

11. Keep your goals flexible

Making sure you always have a mental plan in addition to a physical plan when training and racing is key to staying positive, dealing with adversity and working your way through points where you feel low. Spending time each week on the mental side can give you a new edge to use when racing!

- Coach Tyler