How often do you find your mind wandering while racing? Normally, the longer the event, the more time the mind starts thinking of everything imaginable going on in your life.
If you have participated in Yoga or meditation past then you’re familiar with the benefits of staying in the present. It will become easier with consistent practice. Consider meditation techniques as part of your regular training and the results can be substantial over time. Learning to calm you brain activity is difficult when you begin the meditation process. The key component is to free you mind of all thoughts and centering on your breath every time you mind starts to wander. This is the same process to consider when your mind starts to go in different directions during a race. Focus the mind on present state including a mental body scan and on your breath.
I would suggest that you begin a regular practice of meditating as part of your mental training race strategy. It will calm you and provide a “mental bank reserve” when your experiencing a significant “low” during the race. A regular practice of meditation can be added you your race visualization plan. It can become a competitive advantage allowing your mind to calm during the dreaded bonk and extreme fatigue of a long endurance race.
Consider the following as a starting point for staying in the present:
- Start with an 8-minute meditation session in the morning – focus on just the feelings of every part of your body and every time you mind drifts then focus on your breath (belly breathing).
- Repeat the same process right before going to bed.
- During your daily workouts, focus on the present for as long as possible and do a complete body scan to see how everything is feeling.
Give it a try and the advantages can be significant during the most difficult sections of your next race!
By Wayne Kurtz
Wayne Kurtz is founder of RaceTwitch.com and Endurance Racing Report, he has a lifelong passion for racing in various endurance sport races throughout the world. He is also the author of: ‘Beyond the Iron, a training guide for ultra-distance triathlons.’