Wednesday, October 17, 2012

12 Tools for Your Triathlon Toolbox - #8 Mantras

As I begin packing my toolbox for Ironman Florida, I will be sure to include my mantras for race day.  Pre-Race Mantras: "I am calm"  "I can do this"  "I won't throw up!"  Swim Mantras: "Glide"  "Gliide"  "Gliiiiiiide"  "I'm faster than that shark!"  Bike Mantra: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10"  "Up and Over"  "Head Down and Breeeeeeeeathe"  Run Mantra: "Fast Legs, Calm Breath"  "FIN-ISH Liiiiine!"

Over the past several months, I've been practicing my mantras during training.  There have been some tough days and my mantras have come in quite handy.

Tough Day #1 - My calves cramped during the Death Valley Open Water 5K Swim Meet in Clemson, SC.  I found out how tough it is to swim without the use of your legs.  Ugh.  My mantra was "keep going, keep going, keep going".  The cramps didn't last too long, I kept going and finished my first 5K open water swim race!

Tough Day #2 - On Day 3 of Gaps Training Weekend, I really didn't feel overly thrilled about getting back on my bike for another day of several miles of climbing.  My mantra was "quit now and regret, quit now and regret, quit now and regret".  Okay, technically, that was a pre-ride mantra, but count it anyway.  Also, I was the ORGANIZER of the weekend and I was NOT going to quit!  Bottom Line...No regrets, baby!

Tough Day #3 - It was a Friday morning that stretched into the afternoon on Columns Drive.  The goal = 6 hours or 100 miles, whichever came first.  For those of you who don't know, Columns Drive is a flat 2.5-mile residential road just outside of Atlanta.  It backs up to a park with trails and is quite popular with folks like me who like to train.  I ended up riding the 2.5-mile stretch a total of 38 times (19 loops) over the course of 6 hours.  My mantra was my tried and true "Head Down and breeeeeeathe".  It worked!  The time flew by and before I knew it, my six hours was UP!

What are your favorite mantras?  Do you need some help coming up with a few mantras to add to your toolbox?  Want to know what the sanskrit word "mantra" actually means?  Want to read a good quote from a sports psychologist?  Check out this excellent article in Runner's World. 

Happy Training and Racing!