Going the full distance whether it is climbing a mountain, hiking nonstop for 24 or 48hrs, bicycling 600k,1200k or racing triathlons (the stuff we like to do) requires a high level of mental toughness.
It can be challenging to maintain motivation during the training period and the “race” itself. We need to give everything we do a meaning which provides us with fuel to carry on the “journey”.
The majority of mental fitness comes from directed physical training itself and not so much by sitting on the sofa and thinking about it.
There are deliberate workouts that come with the objective to mentally stretch us further. Inch by inch we can grow our confidence by doing the work. Workouts need to be constantly modulated so that they provide us with material that test our body & mind.
Let’s assume that you are one of those people who are passioned about climbing mountains, then a smart approach would be to begin with smaller, less challenging mountains and then to gradually work toward higher peaks and more challenging climbing routes as skill & fitness levels improve.
When you train for triathlons then start with short distance triathlons and try to master them first before moving on to the longer distances.
Failing to complete challenges and to achieve goals can leave mental scars. Patience is a great fortitude and as valuable as a healthy preparation. We have to undertand that a proper preparation is critical and that we have to work diligently and be partient.
You move to the next higher level of difficulty (workouts, mountains, surf, race, or to play a piece of music..) after you have demonstrated the mastery of a present challenge. Do not skip chapters because each one of them, as boring as they may be, they all have significance in the grand scheme of things.
Every single practice matters. And, what we eat matters,too. It also matters how we take care of our body & brain before, during and after training sessions. The way we talk to ourself matters. What we think matters. And, to do all these things consistently day in day out until the day our A-event arrives (and beyond that point) we need to remain focused, motivated and mentally fit.
Persevering during 6 months or a 4 to 5 year long plan teaches the ”student” to be committed, patient and to weather the storms of fatigue, failure, soreness, and self-doubt. The “journey” is our greatest teacher.
Happy Holidays everyone!