As athletes, sometimes our minds just simply get in the way. We analyze and think so much that we paralyze ourselves from making progress. Sometimes, we just need to shut our minds off. This plays out in several ways, a few of which I will mention below.
One bad workout. That is all it takes to completely change our mindset about our fitness. It shouldn’t, but we are vulnerable to this untruth. One bad workout, and we begin to analyze, over-think, and allow our minds to downward spiral. You have to be tougher than this. In reality, you just had an off day. Give it a little thought about why to find the cause (if possible) and then pick up the pieces and resolve to be better next time.
It is a long workout. One of the worse things we can do in a workout is think beyond the current moment. We get lured into future thought worrying about interval six and seven when we are on number two now. The same happens in races – we worry about the next leg or end of the race when we should be focused on the now. Stay present – it is where success can be found.
Our limitations. This is a big one. Every workout presents preconceived notions about how well we can do or not do. In reality, every single one of us can go faster, every time. It just takes another level of belief and commitment that we have not seen before. As you approach workouts and races, don’t think about what you cannot do but rather leave the opportunity open ended. If you can just shut your mental limitations off, there is a new matrix that will be unveiled to you.