Tapering is the final few days to few weeks before the race. Here you continue to do little snippets of reminder training to keep our form in good shape but at the same time drop the volume of training to freshen up so you are physically ready for the big day. Yet what was included in the tapering phase profoundly impacts your state of mind. As a triathlete who is confident, rested and have stuck to an appropriate training plan and build-up schedule is more likely to feel ready and secure come race day. Taper is not only about training; it’s about maintaining, keeping yourself in the same place and freshening up. Other than the physical training, your mental training is a key component to your success.
“You were meant for greatness. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours…. make it happen!” – Unknown
This isn’t a joke and very real. On race day…. 80% is mental and 20% is physical. Take the time on your nights and quiet times prior to competition to be valuable times for training with cognitive skills that will enhance your performance. I like my triathletes to rehearse how they are going to have a successful performance and outcome. I also have them rehearse how they are going to respond to difficult situations that might take place. Both of these methods inspire positive outcomes and provide them with the tools they would have acquired if they had actually lived through an event.
You should also rehearse on how the swimming, biking and running will feel to your muscles. Doing so coaches the mind effectively to anticipate the process of starting the swim or rounding a buoy, the transition from swimming to cycling, the fast bike, the transition from cycling to running, tolerating the heat/cold and fatigue, and eventually crossing the finish line.
Self-talk is also vitally important. Be aware of what you are saying to yourself. Using the word “I am…. strong, powerful…. unstoppable.” These are affirmative statements. Rather than dwelling on what may have happened or is about to happen, the triathlete moves forward in response to this “self-talk” message while the past becomes nothing and the next movements become better and better.
Keep up the good work.