Whether you’re a runner, a triathlete, or CrossFitter you understand the importance of training. Every day you have a routine of training for your sport. You know exactly what you need to do to complete your event. One common tool that is often overlooked is our mind. While you’re doing your training sessions you can be training your mind too. It sounds simple, but for most of us it is something that we really need to work at.
If you think you don’t need to work on this, then think about this. Have you found yourself cutting your workout short? Have you found yourself stopping to walk when you still have the energy to run? There are areas daily where you could be training your mind. While you’re out on your 6 mile run, you can push yourself to do intervals, or run at a faster pace than you normally would. The extra effort may cause you to want to slow down or stop. Simply, by continuing to push yourself when you want to stop you’re working on your mental toughness. In the gym, when you want to drop the bar during the workout push it to complete a certain number or finish the repetitions you’re on. Swap your long bike ride for the week for sprints, where you need to push hard for specific distances at a faster than normal pace. These short burst workouts will help you dig deep during a race when you are struggling to make it to a mile marker or finishing the race.
Here are some tips that I have done:
- I say to myself verbally during a workout to push, never quit, and let’s go.
- If I have a specific number of repetitions to complete I won’t let myself drop the bar or I will have some type of penalty. Ex. 21 Push Presses at 95lbs, if I drop the bar I owe 100 double unders at the end.
- Doing long distance training without music.
- Simulate race day as much as possible.
Mental Toughness is something that I take very personal. I started Endurance racing after returning from my second deployment to Iraq .This deployment was an extremely hard deployment to come back from. We suffered many casualties, some Marines lost their lives, and other came back facing mental challenges from combat related stress. So returning I knew I needed to step it up a notch to prove to all the guys I served with we all could push through anything life has to offer us. That’s why I stick to the tough races like the World’s Toughest Mudder, Ironman Triathlons , and Ultramarathons. My mental toughness comes directly from knowing that someone else is probably suffering from something far greater. So I should push hard and NEVER QUIT!