Gayle and I were talking with a friend the other night who does some training for triathletes. His name is Bruce Brown, and what he does is performance mental training through Quantum Results Coaching. He helps people condition their minds to keep going during those long endurance races through relaxation, positive self talk, positive imagery and self hypnosis. He is full of energy, and I’m considering at least taking one of his workshops.
What we were discussing was my speed. Gayle and I were both wondering if he had some tips or mental exercises I could do that would help my speed increase. I am not afraid of long runs or endurance events (I participated in a half ironman 2 1/2 years ago I was 2 miles from the end and would have finished if I hadn’t run out of time.) But I can’t seem to get my speed up. I continue to plod along at my pace, rarely wavering, and never getting any quicker. And if I’m going to meet my goal of finishing an iron distance triathlon next year I need to increase my speed.
He had two tidbits of advice for me. The first was that maybe I truly, deep down, didn’t really want to go any faster. And if that was the case, then I needed to be honest with myself and tell myself that it was OK to run at the speed that I was at. Maybe I wouldn’t ever finish an Ironman, but that was OK too, if it was really what I wanted. So, he suggested I take some time to figure out what it was I wanted…..deep down, and allow myself to pursue THAT want, even if it’s not what I originally thought I wanted. I have spent some time thinking about this, but will continue to really ponder it. As of now, it is still my deep desire to get faster and participate in that Ironman. He did suggest I read The Passion Test as a way to clarify my passion. Gayle got the book for Christmas, read it, loved it, and it’s on my things to do….I just will have to put it higher on the list.
His second bit of advice was to stop doing all my training with Wrigley because that was slowing me down. Even though Wrigley is a much faster runner than I am, the time needed to watch out for him and make sure he is safe (and stopping to potty every few minutes) was actually slowing me down. So I am going to try that. He will still come with me on my warm up and for a mile or so, but then I will drop him off and continue to train alone. We will see how that works.
I will keep you updated on how things are going. Hopefully we can all learn something. And if you are struggling with the mental aspect of any sport, give Bruce a shout! He’s a great guy who is full of encouragement and energy.