This weeks QnA has given me some more topics to expand on to help you with your triathlon goals. So please keep the questions coming so I can help provide the answers you’re looking for.

Q: Hey Kristian,
I want finish a race knowing that there was nothing more I could have done. Be it in training, and the race itself (therefore living up to expectations.) I used to hate/fear pain but based on your advice – am learning to be more comfortable with it. You have helped greatly with the physical preparation but I am still working on the mental game…

Also I have this fear of failure or not performing in races especially after putting in the time and effort of training well. I don’t care what other people think but it is the fear of not living up to the expectations placed on myself. Cheers Eddie.

Answer:
Thanks for your questions Eddie. With regards on developing your mental game. We need to remember that just like training our physical body we also need to train our mental muscle too. This can be quite uncomfortable to start with but over time we can become more comfortable. In Maxwell Maltz’s grounding breaking book “The New Psycho Cybernetics” he talks about developing your outcomes by developing what he calls the “theatre of you mind”. I highly recommend that book. Also learning to quiet the ‘noise’ around us will help too. Our doubts need to be quashed as well. In training the physical we are also given choices, in fact many of them that will help strengthen our mental game. The act of showing up and being there strengthens it, getting comfortable being uncomfortable strengthens it, pushing when it hurst to do some strengthens your mental game.

All that being said… most athletes neglect training the mental game. I’m going to write more on this aspect of training in the coming weeks.

In terms of not living up to your expectations. You need to do some soul searching on what your expectations are, why they’re that and IF those expectations are congruent with your life circumstances. However, many people blame things on their fear of failure, but did you know that more people actually fear success. As hard as that is to believe we can end up doing little things (not consciously and why it’s more insidious) that can sabotage what we say we want.

I believe this was very true with Charlotte. She was so scared of public speaking that she may have made sup optimal choices in race day or lost a little bit of focus that just put her out of the game a little. When the why became so big and the I’ll deal with having to speak in front of that many people when I win attitude was developed. She won. So it wasn’t so much the fear of success but the side effects of that success. Having to talk in front of a lot of people on a stage, being noticed more, more responsibility, an expectation to always perform. We all have these unconscious things that can stop us succeeding and learning what they are by asking ourselves good questions such as “what will happen if I succeed” can solve your problems.

There is much to be written about fear, so I will do some posts on that, but one thing to know, when we never evaluate our fears consciously they have a tendency to grow and they can really put there claws in. However, when we examine our fears and find that they are illogical and false, they tend to shrink.

Q: Hi kristian,
After injuring myself last August 2011 and not being able to run for 5 months, cycle for 3 months I am finding getting back to training very frustrating and very slow. My body after my sessions is just not the same and not recovering or responding as quickly to massage, triggering, stretching even Physio as before injury. I am very active and want to know is this normal and how much time, realistically, would it take for the body of a very, fit athletic female of 40years old to get back to pre injury fitness? Do I aim to train for any tri’s this year or just concentrate on fixing my weaknesses and not compete in anything?

Thanks from A very frustrated but determined athlete, Kay

Answer: Hi Kay,
Without knowing the extent of your injuries or accident other than the long time frame of not being able to train, it is hard to give an idea on how long it may take to get back to pre-injury fitness. In terms of should you aim for any Triathlons this year or concentrate on fixing your weaknesses. I believe both can be done concurrently and further to that a goal race will provide an important deadline to shoot for. So you can systematically work on your weakness, while redeveloping your fitness and endurance.

Set the big goal i.e. a race, then set mini goals along the way and understand which weaknesses, mobility, etc that need to be worked on. Redeveloping the fitness isn’t the long part. Redeveloping the foundations of your structural integrity so your body can handle the demands, is what will take a bit.

Good luck and keep that determination.

Q: Hi Kristian,
My question relates to race day – basically I’ve choked at big events (world age groups) despite being prepared following consistent training schedules. I took 18 months off  after gold coast worlds and regained focus before getting back into training. I’m now planning ahead and hoping to qualify again for Auckland later this year but don’t want a repeat of Vancouver or gold coast. How can I make this a memorable race for the right reasons (if I qualify)? Cheers, Helen

Answer: Hi Helen,
100% go to work on your mental game. As above, ask your self the question “what will happen if I succeed” and also look at all your fears surrounding racing. I highly recommend the book I mentioned above and I’ll write more in this topic. Stay tuned.

Q: Hi Kristian.
I’m 8 weeks into your program and all is going well. I had a taper week and then went and did the Noosa half course on my own last Tuesday ( bloody hot) Swim was fine, although I hate swimming on my own around Witta. Did the cycle in 2hrs 33. Ran the first 7k in 29min then I was hit with bad leg cramps. Drank three 750ml biddons on the bike, 2 endurolytes every hour and a gel every half hour. I’m 6ft 79kg and 43yrs old. Three ironmans and numerous half ironmans under my belt. Not even close to qualifying. Hoping your program might change all that. Apart from attempting the half I have not deviated from the program. Cramps are always an issue. Any advice? Should I consume more endurolytes? Planning another test run on the same course in 4weeks. That’s 12 weeks into your program.

Thanks

Stuart from Nambour.

Hi Stuart,
Great to have you on-board with the TS Ironman Blueprint. Hard to pin point without knowing IF those 3x750ml bidons were just water or a sports drink. That could make all the difference. I do believe though with how hot it was, that 2x endurolytes /hour at your size was a little on the low side. There are many things to think about, such as hydration status, before your ‘test’, how much salt you have in your day to day diet and even how ‘hard’ your swim/bike and first 7km on the run where for you.

For instance 7k in 29min is holding 4:08 per/km pace or a 1:27:30 half run split or a 2:54:30 Marathon split. Are these times realistic for you? If not, then the cramping can also be caused by the inability for them to repeatedly contract at that effort.

Remember, anyone can go fast early on.. it’s those that don’t slow down relative to the field that share in the spoils. Let me know how the plan goes.

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Have a great weekend and remember to be curious and be BOLD.

Good luck to my guys and girls racing this weekend in Singapore 70.3 and Xterra Philippines and to those racing Ironman Melbounre next weekend enjoy that taper!

Kristian “coaching you to another level” Manietta