Overthinking about a hard or long session is a behaviour that happens to most athletes.
It’s inevitable: you are there on a Sunday evening reading and reading again your weekly training schedule to see what’s going on and then you see it! A session that makes you shiver just at the thought of it: you try to visualise it, you try to forecast the pain, you can almost feel your legs in bits already and inevitably fear kicks in.
In human nature, fear creates specific behavioural responses to protect ourselves: fear can trigger sickness and lead to panic in the most severe cases but when it comes to training..fear triggers NEGATIVITY.
A negative mind is a recipe for disaster because it sabotages our ratiocination and capability of holding on.
Whilst I strongly believe that visualisation is necessary in a healthy ironman training, overthinking about sessions is not.
When the mind thinks about something that scares us there is an inaction of the body that breeds fear, discourage and doubts and that’s why negativity kicks with the classic phrases “ I can’t do this!” “This is so hard, I’ll never be able to finish it!”
Action breeds confidence and courage, therefore if you want to conquer fear, just act upon your mind and stop feeding that thought.
Now, having said that, having a brilliant positive attitude during that fearful session won’t necessary translate into success, but at least it will put your mindset in a much better place if you “fail” at it.
Not being able to finish a session or having to adjust a session is NOT A FAILURE!
It is a lesson that needs to happen to learn, adapt and then improve.
Remember that if you never fail in your training sessions, your coach will always raise the bar of your limits, therefore “failure”is a positive and necessary thing.