Something to think about…
When you are training with a group, do you slow down to train at your own pace? Do the faster teammates wait on you…how does that work? I would think that self-imposed “peer-pressure” for you to speed up would be hard to wrestle with in your own mind, like you’d feel bad for holding them up.
You don’t necessarily feel bad for holding them up, you feel weak for not being able to keep up. It’s an ego thing.
This is an issue that many athletes struggle to get a grasp on. As an athlete, you need to realize that there generally will always be someone stronger than you, having an “on” day, or willing to sacrifice a week’s worth of training for that one session.
There can be an upside to getting drilled on various occasions. Not in the sense that by getting drilled you increase your fitness, but rather “that place” you often go to once you’ve been drilled. I’ve personally taken myself to places I’d rather not see again. I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about. You take off with a group on a long ride. The pace picks up and before you know it, you’re blown…you’re out in the middle of nowhere, your legs are fried, confidence shattered, motivation non-existent, wondering how the heck you are going to muster up enough energy to get home.
I’m not promoting blowing yourself up, but I think there is a lesson to be learned from the experience. It makes you think next time you are training with a group and the pace picks up. It sort of makes you scared. I encourage you to remember how you felt during those situations and take every step necessary to avoid “that place”.
I’d ask you to remember different scenarios that you will have to deal with come race day. As athletes we are fighting against thousands of years of programming, visual feedback, and chemicals in the body telling us to go hard. You have everything working against you.
On race day, can you…
-Swim calm and relaxed when most others are going nuts?
-Take it easy on the bike when it feels like the whole world is big ringing past?
-Take the run out easy when feeling good, saving yourself for the last hour and a half of your day?
I often train with group that I know are faster than me. Riding my own pace in a group like this makes it easy to back off and get dropped. But, how about on race day? Can I let athletes that I believe are slower than me go?
Something to think about…
Most athletes have the inability to think 7-8 hours into the future on race day. Makes you wonder if drilling it because you feel good “in the moment” is the right decision to make.
Mat Steinmetz, MS (Sports Performance)
USAT Certified Coach