Mental Training for Ironman Boulder

I have spent a lot of time mentally preparing for Ironman Boulder these last few weeks…reading about mental training, visualization, mantras, positive self talk, etc.

Carrie Cheadle’s most recent article in Training Peaks…5 Simple Strategies for Overcoming Race Day Nerves…has a lot of great focus points for race day.

She also has the book On Top of Your Game that I have read and have found VERY helpful for mental training.

One of my favorite books on mental training...perfect pre race reading :)
One of my favorite books on mental training…perfect pre race reading ūüôā

I’ve decided to take you inside my mental training and let you “see” what I see and “hear” what I hear.

Visualization:

Pre race planning
Pre race planning

Pre-race: 

  • Smell the Sharpie marker at body marking
  • I am relaxed and ready
  • Taste Goldfish crackers, Osmo Preload and Barnanas
  • See the bike pump as pressure is added to my tires
  • Smell wetsuits
  • Hear announcements and the Star Spangled Banner

Swim:

  • Feel the cool water enter my wetsuit
  • Smell the clean, fresh air
  • Hear the water and people splashing around me
  • Feel strong and relaxed
  • Smile!
  • Have Fun!

T1:

  • Easily remove wetsuit
  • Slowly run to change tent to keep heart rate low
  • Easily change into tri kit and arm coolers
  • Feel Body Glide and Hoo Ha Ride Glide on skin
  • Taste water and Goldfish Crackers
  • Feel cool water on arm coolers
  • Feel bike shoes and helmet
  • Be focused and relaxed
  • Be patient
  • Smile!

Bike:

  • Easily climb out of transition with bike in an easier gear
  • Keep HR and power low for first 11 miles
  • Be strong and focused
  • Stay seated and relaxed to successfully execute climbs
  • Drink and Taste Osmo Active¬† every 30 minutes
  • Taste and smell Goldfish crackers
  • Smile!
  • Have Fun!
  • Be patient early on
  • Be powerful
  • Be focused and relaxed

T2:

  • Keep HR low
  • Taste and smell goldfish crackers and water
  • Hear crowds cheering
  • Feel new socks and running shoes
  • Smile!

Run:

  • Start easy with low HR
  • Easy and controlled breathing
  • Taste grapes and oranges
  • Hear crowds cheering
  • Taste Honey Stinger Chews
  • Run efficiently and strong
  • Taste Osmo Active
  • Smile!
  • Have Fun!

Mantras:

Swim:

  • Straight, fluid and relaxed – at the start of the swim
  • Straight, fluid and strong – once I’ve found my groove
  • “Just Keep Swimming”

dory

Bike:

Run:

  • I am strong. I am tough.
  • I am brave. I am fearless
  • Think Gold and Don’t Settle for Silver!
  • “I feel good…”¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†James Brown

Positive Self Talk:

  • This should hurt, but it will go away. Embrace it!
  • I am strong.
  • I am powerful.
  • I am tough.

Do you do mental training as part of your pre-race training? If so, what additional mental training components do you incorporate into your training?

Staying Motivated Through Reading

I have read some really inspiring and motivational books this summer and want to share them with you…

IMG_2023“A Life Without Limits” by Chrissie Wellington…I have actually read this book twice. ¬†I love that Chrissie does not just tell us about her life as a professional triathlete, but also tells us about her life growing up, her family, her friends, her education, her life experiences, how she overcame challenges with eating disorders, her career evolution, vacations she ventured on and the route she took to become a professional triathlete and the Queen of Ironman. ¬†

“…with a positive frame of mind and a willingness to work, anything is possible.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†~Chrissie Wellington

IMG_2039

“Can’t Swim, Ride, Run: From Common Man to Ironman” by Andy Holgate…One of Andy’s colleagues challenged Andy to complete a triathlon. ¬†This challenge would change his life!! ¬†He not only had to learn to swim and bike, but he was also engaged and accidentally signed up to participate in his first Ironman seven days before his wedding. ¬†This book is about Andy’s journey to his first Ironman, with a little emphasis on preparing for his wedding day.

“One of the things that this journey has taught me is that you have to have a positive attitude to get anywhere in this life. ¬†You first have to believe in yourself, then others will listen to you, and if you treat them correctly they will respect you.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†~Andy Holgate

IMG_2038“Magical Running: A Unique Path to Running Fulfillment” by Bobby McGee…When I first saw this book, I thought it would be about running, running form, etc. ¬†Boy was I wrong!! ¬†This book is great for ANY athlete in ANY discipline because it’s focus is Mental Training…affirmations, visualization, setting targets and goals, self evaluation, relaxation, positive self-talk, mantras, key words/phrases, proactive (not reactive) training and racing…

“To run as I want to, I require of myself to exhibit the following characteristics in training, races and in my daily life:

  • being patient
  • believing in myself and my abilities
  • believing I am a successful runner
  • enjoying my running and participation in races
  • asserting myself
  • staying calm and relaxed
  • knowing I have choices in any given situation”

                   ~Bobby McGee

IMG_2040“17 Hours to Glory: Extraordinary Stories from the Heart of Triathlon” by Mathias Muller with Timothy Carlson…This book is a compilation of a variety of different triathlete’s journeys to and through Ironman competitions. ¬†These journeys include those of professionals, age group athletes, wheelchair athletes and physically challenged athletes. ¬†Each chapter is dedicated to an individual that has their own story to tell, which is told in their own, unique voice.

“Trust in yourself and never give up!” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†~Mark Allen

“You can idealize it or condemn it, depending on your mood. ¬†Or accept it for what it is. ¬†But what is it? ¬†This Ironman is an exhibit of physical endurance, either designed by fools for heros, or designed by heros for fools.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ~Sister Madonna Buder

“Be tougher than the rest.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†~Sarah Reinertsen

“Believe in yourself, never give up, and enjoy life. ¬†Nothing is impossible!” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†~Marc Herremans