Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Be GOOD to Yourself

Triathletes (& runners, swimmers, any athlete) have the ability to be very hard on themselves. I understand this, because I am this person. I have learned over the years though, that I race and train best, when I am good to myself.

At Vineman I tried to take this to another level with racing - because honestly, racing is when I'm hardest on myself. It is easy during training to scrap a workout in order to keep from getting injured, or to remind yourself that it's ok the workout didn't go as planned because of course, that is in fact why it is called training! But come race day, I have historically been harder on myself than anyone. I train hard because when I toe the line, I expect 110% out of myself, and I have very high expectations. If that does not happen, it is nobody's fault but my own. And there is nothing wrong with expecting the most out of yourself. But the time this becomes counter-productive, is when athletes take those expectations and turn them into negativity during a race.

Thanks to Denis Carrier for this awesome racing illustration.

So at Vineman I did two things when I was racing - I actually smiled quite a bit (mostly because I love to race, but also I race very well when I'm happy.) And I constantly told myself "Be GOOD to yourself!" Anytime something went wrong, or I started to fall off the pace, or my legs started hating me, I repeated this. And rather than feeling like I was beating myself up (because let's be honest, racing as hard as you can for 4.5 hours isn't exactly a spa day...) throughout the race I really felt like I was taking care of myself rather than beating myself up. It's a huge difference. 

So next time you are racing and think, "Oh come on, your grandma could run faster than this right now, pick it up!" Which honestly, would you ever say that to one of your friends? (Well - I might say that to a few of them jokingly, but never seriously.) Instead - be GOOD to yourself. I think you will find it makes a huge difference in your mental racing state. At least for me it does. 

Happy training (& racing!)

10 comments:

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Yes, so true! I race best when I am happy, too. If I manage to smile and thank the volunteers, I am having a good day!

Jason said...

Very true. I have a saying for anybody that asks me about racing and I always tell them that racing is the reward for all the hard work and that they should be smiling the entire time.

For nothing else you want those race pictures to look good don't you?

Beth said...

Oh I love this post! Thanks Charisa!! It's such a good reminder because, at least I know for me, my attitude in the race can make all the difference! Keep being good to yourself!

Teresa said...

This came at a great time for several of our athletes. I just had a similar conversation with them tonight! Love this post!

tn

Steve said...

Well, I am definitely not a racer, but I can see in life sometimes it is o.k. to take a step back. There is something to the turtle winning the race over the rabbit you know. Sometimes I would imagine it helps to race smarter, not always faster.

Christi said...

I need to be good to myself all the time! Thanks for reminding me!

Alison said...

So true!

ali said...

Really liked this! Thanks for the advice:)!

Running Bums said...

Well said! And very important! :)

solarpowered said...

awesome post