Comfort within discomfort –psychological approach to racing.
The comfortable discomfort zone
This is a short and simple article that a lot of athletes can reflect on and see if it applies to them.
While working with endurance athletes and looking at ways to raise performance, I have found a common theme, mental approach to race day.
Yes we all know we must be positive and control anxiety etc right nothing new, got it. Now take a deeper look at yourself as the athlete in the race. Your race is uncomfortable and you are working hard, but, can you get a couple more % by using your mind to allow a little more discomfort?
Are you settling for a placing or are you thinking I can get further up the field of athletes if I can just push a little more.
I name this the comfortable discomfort zone!
The human brain is so clever and can convince us of all sorts of things. When it comes to endurance events we are having to manage discomfort for 3-24hrs and our ability to use self-preservation is amazing.
Our bodies will naturally want to protect themselves, in doing so send messages to our brain saying wow there, you can’t do anymore or we will die, this is when we need to use psychology to push just outside of this area and feel a little bit more discomfort in our discomfort zone.
This is the area that races are won, podiums are gained.
So take a look deeply at your own racing head and see if you are really getting the most out of yourself, stop looking at data on Training Peaks/Strava/Garmin and look inside yourself.
If you feel you can get more out of yourself mentally, you can then refer back to your data to see what tricks you can use to persuade that little extra bit of performance.
If you would like help finding that extra few percent then its all in your mind.