“Ultimately, triathlon is about pain – how you endure it and the mechanisms you put in place to deal with it when it comes.” ~Chris McCormack
With the Indianapolis Marathon just around the corner, it is time to be reminded to “Embrace the Suck” on race day. If you truly race, you are going to feel pain at some point during your race and it will suck. “Embracing the suck” is all about how you handle the pain when it shows up. Being mentally prepared for the pain and “suck” is essential to peak performance on race day.
How do we prepare to embrace the suck? Easy…train…during tough workouts, push your body to the moments that suck and take note of where your mind goes during the suck moments. Once you know what this pain feels like, you can determine a plan to help you deal with it on race day. Make a checklist that you run through, accept pain as an inevitable…don’t try to deny that it will show up, positive self-talk can also help keep you focused, smile 🙂 (that always seems to work for me…learning this one from the best…Chrissie Wellington), focus on controlled breathing, determine if your nutrition is in check, make sure you are as relaxed as you can be so you aren’t wasting unnecessary energy, focus on stride pattern and/or stride cadence (for those who are in tune with their stride), and stay in control.
Your body will do anything your mind tells it to, so stay in control. Never lose control of your mind when things get challenging. Stay focused and EMBRACE THE SUCK!!
With the summer temperatures in full swing, I have learned a few lessons while training in the heat…
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate…It is important to hydrate well during a workout as well as immediately following the workout and throughout the day. I have found that Coconut Water is a GREAT hydrating fluid both during a workout and immediately following the workout…it is mighty tasty too!!
- Time of day matters…As the temperatures climb throughout the day, it is important to get the workouts done early in the day before the heat of the day zaps your energy and has the potential to take you out of commission for multiple days on end if you suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- Shade is my friend…When working out, find a route that offers as much shade as possible. The direct sunlight will only further zap your energy!!
- Pacing…When working out in the heat, SLOW DOWN!! Not just during the workout, but from the start. Often times we start off too fast and then slow down when the heat takes its toll, but if we started off slower, we would find that we may not overheat.
While I don’t enjoy running in the heat of the day during the summer months, I do realize that when competing in triathlons, this will be the time of day when I am most likely to run. Since the swim and bike come before the run in a triathlon, I will often find myself running closer to the heat of the day, so I need to be consistent and train for the run portion of these events during similar times of the day to better acclimate myself for race day. The key…train smart in the heat!!
I just realized I haven’t posted in about 2 weeks…I haven’t even put my thoughts and feelings out there about the Boston bombing…
This time of year is always a little crazy for me. As the school year comes to a close, I unfortunately end up trying to fit my workouts into my already crazy schedule instead of scheduling everything else around my workouts. With just over 5 weeks left of school for this year (and 6 weeks til race day), I am determined to do my best to get all of my workouts in and schedule everything else around my workouts.
After the recent tragedy in Boston, MANY people have contacted me and asked me if I was there or if I knew people who were there. I was not there this year, but I do know many pople who were there. I’ve done some thinking after this tragedy and came to some conclusions: 1) it is very unfortunate that this world has crazy people in it who display such ridiculous acts of hate, 2) it is heart warming to see people come together in such times of tragedy and hate, 3) this tragedy has inspired me and made me more determined than ever before, to train hard and qualify for the Boston Marathon again. We have to be the white blood cells that attack the tragedy virus. I will continue to train hard, swim, bike, run and not let the tragedies in this world derail the train I’m on. We CAN’T let the crazy people in this world win!!
The last time I qualified for the Boston Marathon was in 2008, before the new rules for qualification. Since 2008, the qualifying times have gotten faster, but I have also gone up an age group. So…I have to run the same qualifying time (less 59 seconds) as I did to qualify in 2008.
Look out world…I’m taking you by storm!!