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My thoughts and musings with regards to getting the best out of your training and racing - and enjoying it along the way!

Recording your mindset

woodsey96by woodsey96Sep 2nd 2013
If you┬'re like most athletes, I'd guess you're keen to experience regular improvement in your endurance, speed and enjoyment of training.

So I was wondering┬ you keep a training log?

It┬'s a widely accepted fact that keeping an ongoing summary of your workouts can shine valuable light on recurring themes and patterns that are either supporting your improvement, or preventing it.

So if you don┬'t, start now.

(Obviously I use Triblogs to track everything.)

And when you do store the info, what do you include?

The most common areas are distance, time, pace, heart rate and description of the workout.

Smart athletes also record how they felt, for example, things like ┬'sluggish┬' ┬'heavy legs, avoid the curry the night before┬...┬' or ┬'really good and light on my feet┬'.

But those that make the most steady improvements, that overcome ┬'plateaus┬' and shake bad habits quickly, also track their mindset from each session.

I would encourage the same, starting now.

Here are 3 ways to build awareness of the pattern of your mindset and its impact on your experience.

1. Nature of your thoughts - were they more positive, more neutral or more negative?
Triathlon training is often a time to escape other parts of life and our mind uses this time away to think things through. But if you bring stress, worries, a massive to-do list into the pool or road, that is like wearing ankle weights. Without realizing it your posture, effort and technique is likely to be suboptimal and you end up feeling extra drained at the end of the session.
Even if you do have challenges in your life, you always have the choice to be fully present in your workout and focused on making it a positive session.

2. Direction of your thoughts ┬- was your mind going to distractions or performance cues? What were you focusing on?
It┬'s ok to let your mind wander somewhat but if you never direct your attention to how you┬'re executing, do you think you will improve as much as you can?
Stay engaged in your workout, set goals for each workout and have a plan to make it a great one! Obviously sometimes it┬'s really worth going out to escape life ┬- we all do it. But make sure that the majority of sessions are done with an aim in mind, training toward a particular goal.

3. Number of thoughts ┬- was your mind racing or was it fairly calm? How much mental energy were you expending in that workout?
When you catch yourself rushing in your mind or becoming overloaded with thoughts, gently bring your focus back to the purpose of the session and keep a nice steady breathing rhythm. Avoid the habit of checking your watch every minute and instead use your training to clear your mind, to release tension and enjoy the time you have.
Do that and you┬'ll have plenty of energy to take care of other matters after your post-workout recovery drink, milkshake or meal.

Use these three points as a guide to capturing your mindset as well as your physical performance and be specific on as much as you can.

Very quickly you will notice patterns emerging and with that added awareness you now have the power to think more optimally which will make you feel better and perform at your best.
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