Article by Guest Author: Will Murray, USAT certified coach with a mental skills specialty
Doing the workouts that Dave has prescribed for you, the way Dave has prescribed for you, is key to your success and enjoyment of triathlon. But everyone knows that our brains are wired to move us away from pain and take us toward pleasure. When you don’t bring your brain along to your workout, when things get hard, your brain says, “Pain. Bad. Stop.” It doesn’t have to be this way.
Here’s the formula:
Step 1. Recite to yourself the purpose of the workout. If a VO2max workout, explain that this is raising your top end and building you a bigger engine, really efficiently.
Step 2. Articulate how this will help you on race day. Explain to your brain that on race day you will be glad you did this high intensity set to let you go faster easier.
Step 3. After consulting Dave’s instructions in your workout, in your mind’s eye, make a 30-second, full-color, imaginary movie of you over there executing the workout perfectly.
Step 4. If that imaginary movie went perfectly, step into the beginning of the movie so that you see and feel everything through your own skin and eyes, and run that movie again, full color, in 10 seconds.
Step 5. Go do your workout.
You can do this the night before your workouts and again right before your start your training bout. It takes less than one minute and will improve the quality of your workout.
When your brain has no idea what you are doing, it will work extra hard to move you away from pain. When you bring your brain with you to your workouts, it realizes that there is pleasure in doing this workout toward your great pleasure, which is obviously completing one of Dave’s workouts in excellent style. What more could your brain ask for?