I have finally been able to really push through the pain threshold and now my hamies are paying the price. Since last Friday I have dramatically increased my running miles and things are finally starting to turn around. I'm stocked about the upcoming weekend, going to hit the hills hard on both the run and bike. I'm attending a wedding somewhere in the middle of all that, I will use it as recovery and possibly a little carbo load! (4 beer max)
This week has been real positive around Coaching, I have been receiving some great feedback from some of my winter athletes. They have been having success in the adventure racing circuit. Last night at the brick I have also been got some positive feedback on my coaching style and program design. These little tidbits of encouragement really make a difference and drive me to learn more and push clients beyond their mental limits.
After a stirring conversation last night on the warm up for the Wednesday night brick I found myself thinking about Mental Training. The scope of this subject is obviously quite wide and would require a Doctorate in Brain Science to accurately determine cognitive strength. But from my experience athletes must first be able to push their mental barriers before to move beyond just better fitness. Speaking from experience I think of two major mental steps in my life.
1. The first time that I push passed my mental limits was on the sit up bench. I was 15, the swim group had been working the core for weeks in preparation for sit up test with our drill Sargent of a coach Serge. I remember it like yesterday, setting my mind at my goal of 45 inverted sit ups. I stepped up closed my eyes and started to pound things out. 20-30-40, at which the the subconscious says '5 more and your done', with my conscious mind saying 'you can go on forever at this pace'. Needless to say I got to about 55 and my muscles seized, I literally could not move in that direction any further.
2. Euro Trip - Biking from London to Barcelona in the summer of 05 really took my mind to a new place on several levels. With one of the highlights; riding through Normandy for 6 days while it rained none stop. Every thing that I owned was wet from my towel to my sleeping bag. There is nothing quite like falling asleep in a wet sleeping bag in wet clothes for 6 nights straight. It was about being able to put my mind in place that was not concentrated on the moment but more the experience.
These mental battles are hard to put to words, but I hope that with further thought I can describe this ladder to my clients, so they to can experience a new harmony.