On Sunday Coach texted me saying my week was ready in training peaks. I responded with "Great!" and then immediately after looking at it I realized that I was only 6 weeks out from Texas. Instantly there was that feeling of holy crap there is not enough time left to get all my training in prior to Texas. 6 weeks, that's all that's left. That means in theory there is only 4 more weeks of hard effort, after that we start tapering and the hay is in the barn. While Coach Heather is correct that I am right on track and it won't be a problem, it does not stop the doubt that creeps in as you get closer.
The 6-7 week out time is always a tough one for me it usually is after a time period where I had some lame workouts all back to back, cue the last two weeks swims for me, and I've probably put in my first really long training day but all I can think about is how am I going to fit enough of those long days in in the next four weeks of hard work. Its been anywhere from 5 to 11 months of training and it is all coming down to the last few weeks before toeing the line. It is exciting, terrifying, and very overwhelming.
During this time frame in which you start doubting yourself it is really important to remember why you are doing it. This was brought to light again to me today during a conversation I was having about why I was doing Texas and I was instantly transported back to crossing the finishing line at Kona.
Kona was brutal for me. One of the hardest things I had ever done. I crossed the finish line and I remembering thinking oh my god you did it, and then thank goodness I'm done. 24 hours later I was still thinking I'm done with Ironman for a year, I need a year off of Ironman. Then a week later after going back over my data and letting it stew in my head a bit I realized I was not done. I wasn't done with Ironman, in fact I had a bone to pick with the marathon. I am not a 4 hour marathoner and I needed to prove that. That day I signed up for Ironman Texas, and here I sit panicking or rather trying to not panic that my redemption day (or what I hope will be a redemption day) is fast approaching.
Ok, so back to the point. Not panicking.
We all get to this point were we start to doubt ourselves, or panic about our readiness, ability, or a whole mess of things. Here are a few tips that I use when I start to feel this way to get myself back on track:
- Take a step back and remember your goal.
- Think about how far you have come and what you've done to get to that point already.
- If you have a coach or even someone who is good at getting you back on track, speak with them.
- Focus your energy on what you can control not what you can't.
- Picture yourself completing your goal, the more you picture and focus on having already completed your goal the more your brain will trick your body into completing it.
- Trust the process. You will get there I promise.
Triathlon is very mental, and not just on race day. We spend years training for one race, years perfecting and improving. Its a non spot battle of physical exertion against our will. There will be points in time in which your will feels weaker than the rest of you, but if you utilize a few of the above tips it can help to bring you back on solid ground.