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Endurance races can be way more of a mental challenge than a physical one, and we all know that if you let negative thoughts take control of your mind, things can quickly spiral out of control, break your focus, and before you know it, start slowing you down. We have all been there.
Keeping your head in the game can get tricky at times. So here are 5 ways to help you stay focused while you race the Ironman World Championship, or any race really (because they all hurt…!)
1. Take some pressure off your shoulders.
Ironman World Championship is the biggest race of the year. Remind yourself how much you’ve worked to get there. How many hours you spent on the trainer, in the pool’s fast lane, pounding the pavement, now is the time to push and reap the benefits of your hard work. Enjoy it out there, focus on your form. Think about the mechanics rather than the pain, think about your cadence, think about your pedal stroke, think about little things rather than the hurting.
2. Think about your Support Squad.
Family members and/or friends, the support squad that has been behind you all season, are waiting for you at the finish line. Toeing the start line, think about them. They will be proud of you and will keep loving you no matter if you cross the finish line first or last. When hurting, think about them, picture their smile when they’ll see you running down on Ali’i.
3. Break down the race into smaller portions.
It’s going to be a long day out there and counting could be a good distraction. Break down the 180 km bike split into smaller portions, do the same for the marathon, keep your mind busy counting. Smaller portions are easier to swallow and each of them becomes a small victory. Adding them up will get you to the big one!
4. Have Fun!
Keep smiling. You are mentally tough and ready! Stay positive and remember that you have come prepared and willing to cope with whatever comes your way. Besides, it’s so nice to be riding out here in Kailua-Kona, passing by Waikoloa, going all the way to Hawi. Enjoy!
5. Visualize what comes after the finish line.
The medal, the ceremony, the cold beer, sleeping in on Sunday (and Monday?), going to the beach, equalizing your tan lines. Think of anything and everything you will enjoy once your race is over.