Today marks the end of another four week period of training. I have completed four and have two to go. Reaching milestones, no matter how small, gives me an extra little boost normally followed with saying “you can do this” or “you got this!” to myself; self-affirmation is a tactic I use to stay in control and not succumb to my illogical and extremely unhelpful mind nattering away at me to just stay in bed or do the training another day.
In fact, I find it a daily struggle to tell my mind “where to go” and to develop extra strength to ignore its anxiety and negative thoughts. Maybe it’s the same for everyone, maybe I was born this way or maybe this mind was allowed to thrive in my younger years, but I cannot change what has passed, similarly I cannot know what the future will bring, so I do my best to focus on the now and only the now and be mindful of the present moment.
I began a self-devised six month duathlon training plan in May, with the help of what coaching knowledge I have as a running coach, a few books, and what I have picked up from top coaches and athletes during training and racing over some years. This six months hard work is purely focused on one race which is a duathlon at Oulton Park race circuit in Cheshire, and the plan is to cross the finish line with a place in the ITU Age-Group Sprint Distance Duathlon World Championships 2019 which will be held next spring in Pontevedra, Spain.
I have learnt a lot about myself and continue to do so. I have remained motivated and have been focused. I’m often shouting at myself during sessions, things that I can’t repeat here, to prevent me from slacking when I’ve had to dig deep and push limits. I know that if I have a goal, whatever that is, and I have a plan of how to get there, I stick to it. I use positive visualisation as a tool and go through the race in my head, how transition will go, how it will feel when I’m overtaking my competition and the emotions of crossing the finish line knowing you’ve given your all, then how it’ll feel to then drink two pints of Guinness, then get drunk (on two pints of Guinness).
With sports like this, you see a lot of posts and photos of races, but the real work happens when you’re grafting away on your own in a garage on the turbo or running along a trail with yourself for company, or being sick after running circles around a park doing intervals.
Talking of grafting, it’s time to get my wheels out of the shed!