Last week I heard two different experts in the world of endurance racing and training deliver the same message during two completely different conversations. As everyone is now knee deep in their seasons, I felt it was a point worthy of mentioning. That point is the importance of remaining present during a race.
Sport Psychologist and elite triathlete Rebecca Smith referred to this concept with the acronym WIN. “What’s Important Now”. The key here is to focus your energy on what needs to happen right now in this exact and present moment in time. Don’t think about what’s around the corner. Don’t think about the next mile. Don’t think about how hot the run might be when you are halfway through the bike. Don’t think about what’s behind you or how much that last hill may have hurt. Move past the past, ignore the future and move into the present moment. Think about the immediate action that you need to take to get over the current hurdle.
Legendary six-time Ironman World Champion Dave Scott echoed these thoughts. As told by Dave, thinking about how much racing is still in front of you at the beginning or early stages of a race is enough to daunt even the most seasoned triathlete. Rather than trying to mentally digest an entire race in one gulp, take small bites and “chunk” the race into smaller pieces. This will help keep you in the present moment. Remaining mentally and emotionally present will reduce stress and anxiety which can only have a positive impact on performance.
Train safe. Race smart. Stay humble. Have fun. Thank the volunteers.
Steve Brown, After many years of playing high caliber soccer, Steve Brown traded in his soccer shoes & goalie gloves and turned his passions to multisport racing and never looked back. Since 1986, Steve has racked up countless multisport events of all distances, often racing for philanthropic causes.
In 2006, Steve was diagnosed with a chronic form of leukemia. Since that time, Steve has undergone 54 rounds of chemotherapy to keep his leukemia in check and keep him in remission. Steve made it his mission to remain in motion throughout his cancer journey, often running home from chemo and scheduling races around his treatments. His diagnosis also drew him to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program where he signed on as a triathlon coach to help others ealize their dreams while raising funds and awareness for blood cancers, like his own.
Steve leverages his own positive cancer experience by connecting with other patients and their family members as a volunteer mentor with a number of patient advocacy organizations and often speaks to audiences about his experience. As a contributing writer, his work has appeared in a number of regional and national print and online publications. Brown has also written five books, all of which relate to the intersection of his cancer and multisport lifestyle and the people he’s met throughout his journey.