THE T:ZERO BLOG
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By Coach Rich Thompson
Triathlon is a demanding sport. We agree with that. Demanding on time, on finances and on yourself physically and emotionally. But this is why we love it right? It is about the sacrifice and continual quest of self-improvement.
It is a beautiful sport, filled with beautiful people. We train hard and enjoy that sacrifice.
But for a lot of us, we turn up to our ‘A’ race and we get nervous. Nerves are a good thing. They are there because you have made those sacrifices to get there. So embrace that feeling.
What we are trying to avoid is being fearful of racing, or being fearful of embracing the opportunities that the race provides.
When the nerves come for me, bordering on fear, I personally remind myself of two very important things:
Firstly, I have discussed this before - if it isn’t in your control, forget about it. This goes for the weather, your competitors, your splits, qualifying spots etc. The only thing you can control is you – anything else is not worth worrying about. So focus on your square metre from now and forget the rest.
Secondly, as the great Tony Robbins says, you cannot be fearful and grateful at the same time. So get grateful – like big time. Often we get hung up in splits, expectations (our own as well as others) etc and lose sight of how amazing it is to have the health, opportunity and time to be able to race.
Too often, when I am on the side lines coaching at races, you see random athletes be all negative and down in the dumps in the back end of their runs. Things like ‘I cant wait for this to over’, ‘this is taking forever’. When really, they should be looking at their current position and looking at it as an opportunity to finish off their race in style – to push their own limits without judgment and without comparison to what others have done. The way to get to that position? Be grateful.
If you are going through a rough patch in a race or say, apprehensive just before you start the swim, work hard at being grateful and any sort of negative feeling will soon evaporate.
So, at your next race – embrace nerves but don’t let it turn into fear. Always be super grateful and importantly, identify what you are nervous/fearful about and work out whether, in fact, it is something that is in your control.
Stay positive, stay humble – we are so lucky to train and race in this amazing sport.
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