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Controlling your thoughts can give you the results you seek

4 April 2017 4 Comments

The thoughts which flash through our minds determine where we end up in life. Thousands of thoughts can flash through our minds in a day. Being able to filter these thoughts can drastically change the outcome of a work day, or a race.

An Ironman race is really just a big day of work, no matter how fast or slow you are the race is over at the end of the day. I’ve heard so many people agonise over “what other people are going to think of their time”. In reality most won’t even give your time a passing thought.

Then so many of us are concerned about who we’re are either going to beat, or who is going to beat us. Either outcome is not helped by focusing on that. The best personal results are gained by focusing on what we’re doing ourselves. That’s not focusing on your GPS or bike computer, these are distractions which take you mind off the simple task of being the best you can be, at all times.

The moment your mind flashes onto another person, you become less efficient in your own square meter. We can’t avoid momentary thought flashes like this, but we have to be able to let them slip right on by, and come back to our own job.

A great way of bringing our mind back to our own square meter is counting. I have helped a lot of people get over the fear of mass swim starts by counting the first 200 strokes. You don’t have to get caught up in the maths of it, count to fifty again and again. By time you have done 200 strokes you’ll find yourself in the company of similar ability swimmers, and have dropped into your own space, and the panic is over, you’ve settled into the job.

In the Ironman bike it’s so easy to either be racing the guys immediately  around you and possibly go too hard, too soon. Or your mind can drift away from your efficient rhythm as you start to think of random thoughts which creep into your mind. Be ready for these moments and come back to counting revs. Again it doesn’t matter how high you count, I shorten the count for hills or headwinds, and lengthen it for open plains and tailwind.

The run is where most of us are tested mentally. This is where a good control of thoughts can directly affect the outcome of the race.  It’s so easy for self doubting thoughts to slip into our minds, when we start to hurt.

Lets face it, everybody is going to be hurting, you’re not special. Others are controlling their doubts and fears, and simply getting to the end as efficiently as they can. Counting steps in the run can fill the part of your mind where all the negative, self defeating thoughts come into. Fill the space with numbers, and there’s no room for doubts.


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