Date: Jul 26 at 6:21am | Posted in: Alan Pittman
If you get knocked down, just get back up and keep going. Many of us are going to race some pretty tough races this season. Just as many of us are going to be faced with situations where we actually wonder if we can go on. Where every muscle in our body is crying out to stop.
To be successful at what we choose "to do for fun", we have to push ourselves beyond what the guy next to us is prepared to do. We have to keep getting up everytime the race "knocks us down". Lets face it, it's you against the course. The course, the conditions can easily beat you. Especially if you go down and stay down with the first obstacle. Things are going to happen, things that you don't expect. You'll see people around you fold. You'll see them throw in the towell as soon as it gets tough.
Use this as a sign to get going. The same conditions that cause the guy next to you to crack, can be the first of many hits you take. But you fight harder, when you get hit hard. Some fights are over with one good hit, train yourself to take a few hits. Be ready for them.
Every workout we do, there's going to be a battle going on between the workout and the athlete. Who's going to come out on top?
When that alarm goes off, and you know it's time to get up, but you feel like the night has been too short. Imagine you have been knocked down by your opponent. What are you going to do? Stay down for the count of ten? Or are you going to get up and fight back?
What about when you get dropped off from the rest of the group in a tough windy ride, or on one of the rolling hills in the last half of a long hot ride? This is an opportunity to let them go, rehearse a low point in your next race. There's going to be one. Long hard races have low points, be ready for them. They're like body punches, you just have to accept that you're going to get a few. Try to avoid them, but don't crack if you get hit by one.
These long races are 70% mental, you don't start your mental prep on race morning. You start it months out from the race. You take every opportunity to get back up, every time you get knocked down. Being knocked down in training is a gift, it's a chance to "do the right thing". You're not born tough, you learn to be tough. Make it a priority to learn this attitude, to live this attitude. Look forward to the chances to practice it.