Slaying The Fatigue Monster by Ingrid Loos Miller
No matter how fit or how fast you are, central fatigue kicks after 4 hours of sustained effort and your thoughts turn from blissful to “you haven’t trained enough”, ”you are slowing down” and worst of all ”you don’t belong here”.
Left unchecked these thoughts can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Focusing on how tired you are slows you down, making you feel even worse which slows you down even more. This downward spiral of despair can turn a race into a suffer-fest. You finish the race feeling defeated and resolve to train more next time. But training your body will not solve the problem. The fatigue always arrives and you have to deal with it.
Here is a simple mental strategy that will keep your thoughts working for you rather than dragging you down. Flooding your mind with memories of success will make you will feel better and when you feel better-you race better.
It is important to do these steps at home in a comfortable setting. Put this into your mental toolkit and use it when you are really struggling.
Step 1: Make a list of past accomplishments that make you feel especially victorious and strong. Include things like overcoming a personal struggle, landing a big account at work and your latest race PR. Draw upon all aspects of your life and come up with at least 5 powerful memories.
Step 2: Imagine deep fatigue/despair as something concrete and living. It can be anything, but ectoplasm-goo monsters work well. What color is it? How does it move? As you get more fatigued, does it grow larger or does it multiply? The more detailed and bizarre the image, the easier it will be to remember. Give it a name. Draw it if you like.
Step 3: Pulverize the monster with the powerful memories from Step 1, shaped into bullets, bombs or poison gas. The defeat should be graphic and when the battle is over, only memories of your greatness remain.
Next time the fatigue monster comes knocking...POW
Build Confidence with an Ironman Resume by Ingrid Loos Miller
Confidence is crucial to Ironman success, but is hard to come by if you have never done an Ironman before. An Ironman resume forces you to recognize your accomplishments and will show how formidable you already are. The key is to go beyond past races and draw from all aspects of your life.
No one else will see it, so write fearlessly and pour it on. Don’t limit yourself to one page. Use some of the headings below to get you started. Update it often and review it so you know what it says. This will get you into the habit of acknowledging your successes.
Education: Consider all you have learned from articles, books, classes and clinics.
Endurance Experience: Note how long you have been training and racing. Describe adventures that required physical and mental endurance. Don’t forget those epic training sessions.
Personal Success: Remember times when you overcame hardships and followed through on commitments. You may not have made a million dollars, but you did manage to find a job that suited you (hopefully) or convinced an important customer to buy your product.
Athletic accomplishments count too, but not only PR’s and podium finishes. Include skills you have developed. Give yourself credit for improved body composition or a lower Vo2 max.
Personality Traits: Persistence, consistency, patience, focus, stubbornness, motivation, and self-control are some of the personality traits that translate into Ironman success. Look at your approach to solving problems. Consider how these traits form the foundation of your Ironman quest.
Support & Resources: Family support is crucial to your success. Training buddies and access to group workouts can make training more enjoyable. Be sure you have access to a coach or training advisor, training facilities and help when you need it.
By the time you are finished with training, you will be primed for the challenge Recognizing your accomplishments will assure that your race day jitters will come from respect for the distance, not from doubts about whether you belong there.