@sonyalooney The first question I would ask you is what do you do to train your mind for your racing or training to get the best out of yourself and is it possible for me to copy or otherwise learn from that?
I’ve been through the Suf MTP twice and recently produced my best middle distance triathlon performance. I’m not at the top of my Mount Sufferlandria yet and, given the world situation and race cancellations, I wonder how I will achieve those goals. It’s becoming easier to convince myself that it doesn’t matter anymore and look to other goals (including in a different sport).
Is that OK? To shift and refocus without feeling like one has “failed” any given goal?
Plus one on a revision or second chapter of the MTP!
Have used it to great success to achieve some goals I had never thought possible before.
Loving that this thread has been created. @sonyalooney so thanks for joining. I’m def gonna follow this thread. Icymi, there is a Positive Self Talk thread that’s worth trawling. Some real gems in there
Thanks! I’m not sure where to put it but thanks so much
I think the SUF Mental Toughness Program is a great place to start with mental skills training and I love how it integrates with the calendar.
I think we always prioritize training our body because we can see it and feel it. Training the mind is a little bit more of a slow burn, but you definitely have to frontload things like confidence and self-talk before you get to the moments requiring resilience!!
I’m excited to help where I can and am open to new topics to help fill in the gaps for everyone’s training. Plus, I learn by helping others too because I don’t know everything!
I love it! Just like you have to keep training your legs, you have to keep training your mind! I remind myself all the time of the monks who have been monks forever and they still meditate. They weren’t like, “ok, I got this. I’m done.” They keep at it. Same for us!
Mantras using the word “you” and motivational self-talk (encouraging yourself) help. YOU got this. YOU are powerful. YOU love the burn! YOU will feel so proud after! I also like changing what I’m focusing on at that moment when I want to quit. Can I use mental imagery? Can I think of past successes to build my confidence? Can I count my breaths or my RPMs for 10 seconds?
And sometimes you do quit… it’s human. We get tired or sometimes the negative words win. Then it’s all about self-compassion and having the courage to hit it again another day!
Go the Knight of Sufferlandria who maybe says NEE!
One bit I think is missing from the mental toughness program is refocusing between intervals.
As an example I might be super focussed for the warm up in Nine Hammers but in the short period between hammer 8 and 9 I’m not focussed on anything but recovering from 8. It’s even worse in something like ‘hell hath no fury’ where the recovery from harder sub-intervals occurs at relatively high power levels. I think it’s HHNF anyway. My questions would be how do you regain focus quickly whilst still going quite hard, particularly in real life where staring at a point on your handlebars would result in a crash?
I would suggest trying to focus on the body and noticing the slight decrease in effort on the “rest” intervals. You’ll have to find some cues that work for you, but noticing things like if your breath is slowing down a little and getting really curious about how it feels to have your breath slow down. You could try counting your breaths per minute. Maybe focusing on relaxing your quads on every exhale so you can enjoy a little less tension at a slightly lower wattage. You could try something simple like smiling and seeing how that shows up in your body. Another suggestion is taking the recovery interval to be proud of what you just did in the last interval. You could also use the “rest” interval to start a visualization for the next hard interval or even just visualize what it would feel like to handle a surge in the pack or to pass someone on a trail and then to back off the pace a little but still have to maintain power.
@sonyalooney Definitely and on many levels: (1) recentering myself to control stress, (2) staying true to good eating and sleeping habits, (3) providing positive reinforcement before, during and after training and (4) staying focused and switched on during events. For me it is a constant battle as life doesn’t stand still so there is always something to deal with but having a framework really helps! I have done the MTP several times and have found that it really helps not just on the bike but also in other areas.
Staying mentally tough got me a 20 point increase on my 20 minute power (last test was 3 months ago) after two weeks forced recovery due to toe laceration needing to heal enough to ride again. Don’t let “downtime” get you down!
NICE!! That’s something I gotta work on too. I am usually okay with downtime up to about a week but the 2 week mark hits my mojo. Your post is a great reminder that 2 weeks off is not something to worry about. Thanks for sharing!