Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Mental Discipline and Ultra Success - Post Javelina Reflections

I just had the best racing experience I've ever had this past weekend. I will write a full race report soon. But, here I just wanted to reflect on what I realized. Needless to say, I did very well and PR'ed my 100 mile time at 21 hours and 59 minutes and came in at 15th place out of 250 starters.

First, let me back up a little bit. Due to job changes and scheduling challenges, I was relegated to treadmill training the past few months. I think this has help me toughen my mental focus to stay the course at the 100 mile ultra distance.

Thinking back to the race, there was so many times when I could have unraveled and lost focus. First, there was that obnoxious guy. I could of got upset and made errors. Then, in the last few miles I could of ignored my needs, thinking that I'm so close. Yes, I still took salt pills and drank and ate even in the last 5 miles. A lot can happen in 5 miles. Lastly, I fought the urge to speed up since I was feeling so great.

I focused on pacing and kept to a steady speed the whole way. I didn't have any low spots. My lap times told the whole story - there were no bad laps and the times stayed very consistent. I kept drinking and maintained my electrolyte balance diligently.

Was my treadmill training what made the difference? I think so. It was the only thing I did differently leading up to this race. The boredom trained my mind to focus on the task at hand. I'm not saying that everyone should train on a treadmill, but just that this is what I did and it worked for me.

Until the next Ultraholic adventure, happy trails.

18 comments:

LT said...

It's one of my best training tools, TL. Plus, it has built in inclination.. How far and high would you like to go today? :-)

Cheri Uno said...

Yes, I hate those treadmills but last year because of rain and smoke I was on one for many hours. Didn't love it but found it really got me in the endurance frame of mind and made me keep up a constance pace... if I didn't, I would be there longer. I could watch and set the numbers on the machine so I had my goal and stuck to it to the end!! Maybe that was what they were meant for... not for the CV workout but to build an endurance mind. But, don't forget your iPod - that made it even more hard but I did it. I'd still rather be on the trail!

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