Home » Becoming a Winner, Ironman

We can predict the future

19 March 2017 One Comment

We can actually predict the future, in fact we do it almost every day. What we expect to happen, what we obsess over happening, is very likely to actually happen. We set ourselves up for it.

It’s entirely up to us whether we picture a positive outcome or a negative one. The skill of visualising the desired outcome is something we need to be aware of, and practice in every training session. A good coach will be aware of the direction of your thoughts by the clues you give in every day conversation. The coach will bring your attention to self defeating thoughts or statements.

For some of us it’s almost a habit to imagine every possible thing that could go wrong. Habits can’t be changed, but they can be overlaid with better, more productive habits. But we have to start asap. Another important move, if we’re going to change the way we think, we have to be very conscious of our thoughts and not let the old negative, doubting thoughts take over again.

Expecting the best outcome is a way of living. It’s nothing to do with anyone else, it’s totally about looking after our own job, our own space on this planet. This habit is probably the single biggest difference between most athletes.

I have an athlete who is racing her second Ironman race in Port Macquarie in seven weeks. She’s already concerned about the possibility of pulling her foot out of her clip in pedals half way up the steep hill on Mathew Flinders Drive. She rode up the same hill last year without a problem, but this year she has a new time trial bike, and has twice pulled her foot out accidentally.

The hill on Mathew Flinders Drive is about one percent of the whole Ironman course, but it’s amazing how much attention is given to this small part of the course. I’ve suggested my athlete firstly have her pedals adjusted at the bike shop. Secondly, consider changing to her older more reliable pedals off her other bike. Either approach needs to be taken asap, so that we can eliminate a doubt. Also we’re working on visualising positive outcomes on every hill she rides up in training.

At the foot of every hill, she has to see herself riding efficiently right to the top, and see herself finishing the hill with a strong, efficient pedalling rhythm. She has to expect the old self doubts to come along, but she’s prepared to go straight back to her winning image.

In any long race, we’re going to reach a point where we have to push through the pain. When we start out there’s no point wondering if it will get painful. Expect it to get painful, but have a strategy in place, which we have rehearsed in training, to deal with the pain.

In fact instead of dreading the pain, or dreading the steep hill, anticipate the arrival of these hurdles. By anticipating them, instead of dreading them, we can tackle them head on. We can practice visualising ourselves meeting the pain barrier ready to take it on. We can be riding through the bike course looking forward to conquering the hill. Riding over the top like a winner.

We can actually shape how we handle the obstacle. We can create a brighter future, by simply expecting it.

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