The 4 weeks prior to any major race is always an exciting time. Training is in full swing and conversations are filled with talk of possible personal bests and post race celebrations.
It’s not only about the last 4 weeks
That’s 4 weeks before, but what about 20 weeks before? 20 weeks prior to a race is sometimes occupied with experiences involving thoughts such as, “It was raining and I just struggled with motivation to get out of bed this morning”.
If you wish to achieve your full potential you need to put in an effort for a longer period than 4 weeks.
One of the most trying experiences in my life…...
One of the most trying experiences in my life occurred when I was on Scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport. I was laid up as a result of an Achilles operation and all of my peers were still training. Getting around on crutches while seeing fellow elite athletes setting off for training runs was gut wrenching. This was not because I was a running junkie and missed getting my fix. My shattered state came from knowing that they were moving one step closer to making the next Australian team and I was taking one step back.
I still managed to train like a mad man, and at such a level that I ended up with a stress fracture from intense pool running. That’s right – “a stress fracture” in the head of my femur!!!!!!
I can honestly say that I never struggled with motivation throughout my career. This was due to:
- I looked upon each training session whether it was fast/slow/short/or long as sessions in the bank.
- The more sessions I banked the greater the reserve I could call upon on race day.
I always had in the back of my mind that if I missed a run, or did not apply myself in training when it counted, there was every possibility that my competitors were out there somewhere in the World training the house down and becoming stronger as a result.
At times your goal can feel like an eternity away
If you’re training for an event in the distant future, it will at times feel like the race is an eternity away.
Short term goals along the way will keep you entertained and aid in your development, however they fail to carry the importance a major goal oozes and the additional meaning it provides.
Look after your bank balance
If you do experience periods where your drive needs a boost remind yourself that every session you miss is one less session in the bank.
Create an imaginary competitor
If your goal is to break 3hrs in the Marathon create an imaginary competitor and when you place the alarm clock on snooze for the third time, picture your imaginary competitor out running and ask yourself the question: “Who’s more deserving”
“You’ll only achieve what you deserve to achieve”