2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)

Countdowns!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mental Confidence is as Important as Physical Confidence

As the Disneyland Half Marathon approaches I find myself trying to find the inner drive to go for broke during my next half marathon.  I know I have a strong physical base built up and I think deep down, very deep down I know I can give it my all.  Yet something is holding me back and I'm still trying to wrap my head around why I'm holding back.  It's something I have to work on, to push through mental blocks and trust in the work I've put in this year.

I found an article on building mental confidence during your training that I thought was interesting, you can read the full article here.

Basically, you should set up your training plan for success.  The more you can achieve your training goals the more your mental confidence in your body and your goals will grow. 

Logging your training can be a great help in determining how your training is going, where you need to work harder, and finally during your taper you can look back through your training to remind yourself how much you've accomplished during your training which will lead to the realization that you've done the work and you can reach your goals during the race.

If you've ever tackled a new distance, you know that it can be daunting and overwhelming.  Making sure you follow your plan, set realistic goals, and make sure you achieve these training steps will give you the strength (both mental and physical) that you will need come race day.

So, how do you build your confidence?  How do you prepare mentally for a race?  What steps do you take to make sure that you meet or beat your decided upon race goals?

3 comments:

Richard said...

Pushing out of your comfort zone can be difficult, but you can't be successful at worthwhile goals without risking failure and sometimes you can even achieve a level of success that you did not eve think was possible. I find that even failing in a difficult effort is still a personal victory in that I took the chance to better myself beyond what what was considered a "safe" goal.
Take that chance and you will be a winner in my book, regardless of what the numbers actually say at the end.

-Chris said...

If there is any topic I can speak to, it's this one. Here goes....

Listen, as runners, all of us wrestle with this doubt. Race day seems much different than a normal training day; it just does. You have covered the distance in training, so there isnt any doubt that you can cover it on the big day.

But you feel like you want to push harder on race day; really leave everything on the course. Understand that this desire is a good thing, and the sign of what athletics is all about; the desire to get better.

Here is what I recommend for you:

On race day, lets split the race up into halves. You need to run it as essentially two 10k's. I suggest starting the race at a pace that is around 30 secondx per mile slower than your normal race pace. You want to run/walk the first 6.2 miles at an effort that feels relatively easy. If you cant talk easilly during your run segments, slow down another 30 seconds. Your sole objective is to cross the 10k mat feeling tired, but not dead tired. "worn down, not worn out"

When you cross the 10k point, I want you to gradually begin to regain that 30 seconds per mile. During your run segments, concentrate on shortening your stride length but turning your feet over quicker. Your feet should barely clear the ground, so dont waste movement and energy ewith a high knee lift. During your walk segments, concentrate on keeping them quick, but allowing yourself to recover from the running. Dont let yourself start worrying that you cant keep.it up, because you certainly can.

Amanda, understand that running isnt inherently easy and that your body is going to feel some discomfort while racing. It's okay when this happens. Accept it as part of racing. What you want to do when you start hearing the voice telling you that you cant do this, is to say "yes, I can do this for a while longer". If running a race was easy, more people would be running. This is where you simply stay focused on what you are doing in the race, knowing that you are trained, that you have done the work, and that you are willing to suffer a bit to reach for your goal.

The object of my plan here, is to help you show yourself that yes, race day is mentally tough and an easy point for you to quickly abandon your race goal when the going feels tough. That same negative talk happens to me too. I just have to plan ahead and expectit to happen during the race.

BUT, you have to come to the conclusion, before race day, that you are going to have to endure some discomfort, labored breathing, tight muscles, and yes, some pain, in order to reach your race goal. That is what separates runners from non-runners; the willingness to endure. Period.

After the passing through the 10k mark, stick with your intervals. When its time to run, run. Do not be afraid that if you continue at this effort level, you will crash and burn before the finish. You wont. You will feel far better expending EVERYTHING during a race and struggling toward the end, than you will by holding back and wondering what you might have been able to do. I promise.

Between now and the half, I want you to start playing through the scenarios in your mind. Think about the tough things that have happened in races before, and decide what you will do to respond to it. You need to know, I your mind, how you will deal with the tiredness, soreness, cramps, breathing, etc that will happen at different points in your race. If you plan ahead for them now, they cant throw you off your game on race day when they happen.

This is a long one, I know. What I am prescribing for you is easier said than done, but it CAN be done. Try it. It may take a few races for you to learn how to get your head around the mental side of race day, but making even a little progress at each race moves you farther along, and you can be happy with that.

Good luck. You CAN do it.

-J.Darling said...

I had a therapist many years ago who encouraged me to focus on the positive. For example, when racing, focus on the achievements, and what DOESN'T hurt, not what does. During my first triathlon, I ended up saying to myself "My eyelashes don't hurt right now. The tip of my nose feels pretty good." It also helped to chat with other racers.

Keep it up! Whether you believe you can or you can't, you 're right! Which one are you going to choose to believe?

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