Thursday, July 02, 2009


Yesterday was a hard training day. Hard in the fact that my strengths and weaknesses were displayed in full view, right before my very eyes.

With a huge workout on tap, it's tempting to think about the workout in its entirety. But if you do the beginning may be too discouraging. If you dissect each portion of the workout, break it down effort by effort - it suddenly becomes more manageable. The reason? You have to give each pedal stroke, each revolution 100% of your ability in order to get better.

Yet my mind wanders.

Why is it I battle concentration the most during my training? I'm able to easily flip the switch when I'm racing and tune out any external forces - but when I'm training, I listen to the million of voices begging for my attention, trying to divert me from the task at hand.

For example, here's what went through my head yesterday on the first of three sets of 3x300m full out rolling efforts. I should be going full gas for 20 seconds, only concentrating on pushing...

"Man this hurts. Why are my forearms rubbing on my bars? I wonder if Ryan is watching me. I wonder how Mary's efforts are going? I should smile more when I race. Those wheelsinfocus photos were not flattering - maybe I should have a surgeon fix my lips into a permanent smile. This gear is huge. Point your elbows! Flex that core! Push, push, push!!! Oh thank god that's over!"

And you know, as well as Jennie, that I didn't give that first effort my full intensity. It also didn't happen for the next one, or the one after that..... but by the last effort, the one I put my heart and soul into, the one where I got fed up I wasn't pushing - that one counted.

Afterward I felt exhausted, unable to talk. Ready to lie down in the grass and recollect my energy. My mental and physical exertion stretched to the max.

So why is it I can't give every single effort that maximum go? I strive for it every time I come out to the track. Yet I can only achieve it on my superwoman days. Time to start working the concentration aspect, I suppose.... time to push more.

I've heard meditation practice where you silence the mind for 20 seconds would help. It's hard not to let a thought interrupt you in the first 3 seconds of meditation... but with a little practice, I should be able to get up to 5 seconds.

The mind is such a powerful thing. You'd think I'd be sinking in as much energy into it as I do my physical training... time to dust off those mental training books.

1 comment:

mary mcmeen! said...

sometimes i focus in the beginning, and then fade in the end! my train of thought for the last one was along the lines of "whoa, solid start! why am i tired already? how'd did jen just get two bike lengths ahead of me? push! pull! jerk knees up!i hope i dont vomit on the track."