Train your race brain

June 28, 2011

Bandit’s Challenge and Kure Beach tri here in NC have reminded me what it’s like to race well  again and to embrace the suffering…  After a slow start to the season, I began having thoughts of pro card fondu for dinner.   It became a goal just to FINISH a race and not even glance towards the podium.  Goal accomplished: check.   podium as bonus and NEVER a goal.

As I’ve been talking about with my athletes, it takes practice to suffer in races.   We know that racing is about mental strength driving the physical.   We know that the mind is EVERYTHING in racing.  But the bigger question is how do we learn and practice that!???  Gordo Byrn and Mark Allen have always put mental skills first and perhaps the rest of us should catch on.  Train hard. Suffer in your training. Race harder.  Racing brain needs training, too!

Just review 2011 Kona coverage and watch Chrissie Wellington suffer more than ever before.  Watch her being interviewed about how this win meant more than her easy wins in past years at Ironman World Championships.

It’s time to enter into some good, hard sport psych work and to empower you to suffer.  You can end it at any time. But really, now would you?

Train your brain and the rest will follow…



Stacey is a former professional triathlete turned full-time elite coach. Certifications include USAT Level I and II. USA Cycling Elite Coach, Levels 1, 2, and 3. USA Track and Field Level I. TRX Instructor Certification.

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