Updated: Jul 26, 2019
As endurance athletes we spend hundreds of hours a year training to ensure on race day we come in prepared and confident. In addition to preparing our bodies we can also prepare our minds with visualization coming into race day.
What exactly is visualization? Visualization is creating mental images, you can recall past events with great detail and even “see” desired outcomes for future events. Creating these ideal outcomes in your mind can actually have a positive effect in real life, enhancing the likelihood of them happening.
For example if preparing for a new race distance one thing I like to do as I taper is reflect on previous training sessions leading into the event and think about how I will apply them to race day. Such as hill repeats that I felt strong on as I prepare for a hilly course. Or a long ride, that while it was tough I can reflect on how I am strong enough to train the next day.
In addition visualization can take place within a training session. For example a triathlon swim can be somewhat of a washing machine. Let's say for example you get to the pool and you have to share a lane with multiple people or you come to find that there are no lane lines. This is the perfect time to visualize the open water racing while training. As you find your way around other swimmers, battle the waves and splashing envision yourself in the race staying controlled and keeping your mouth out of the water for breaths of air.
We all train hard and want to get the most out of our body and reaching over to the mental side training and racing will enhance our positive outcome even more.