>Recently, I’ve been thinking about mental toughness as it relates to endurance sports. By mental toughness, what I mean is how some folks have the ability to push through pain and perservere. How folks can run and run and run and not quit. How folks make the decision to not walk when they are tired.
Take, for example, fellow blogger Frayed Laces. She recently completed the Hurt 100 – a 100 mile trail race in Hawaii. Certainly this was a huge physical feat – but I suspect that the real challenge for her wasn’t necessarily how her body felt, but the fight she had with herself to keep going. That kind of mental toughness totally blows me away.
Another example of mental toughness: I’ve mentioned on the blog before that my son is a swimmer. He swims on a year-round club, and is pretty competitive (he raced in 10 events at the Florida Junior Olympics last year). Two weeks ago, he finished a truly killer workout – a main set 2200 yards of butterfly. As we talked about it, I asked him what he did when he was tired. I fully expected him to say that he slowed down or took an easy interval. To my surprise, his response was, “I went harder and kept pushing.”
That response blew my mind, and I wondered if it were me would I react the same way.
I really thought about mental toughness this weekend on my 20 mile run. In the last five miles, I kept thinking about how tired I was…how easy it would be to just stop, sit down and rest. I kept going, but the whole run caused me to question just how tough I am mentally. Is it “normal” to want to slow down, or is it just that I lack mental toughness? I’m not sure – haven’t figured it out yet.
What I do know is that when I read or hear stories of what I perceive as super-human endurance effort I’m totally awed at the ability that folks have to stay the course. It’s a skill I aspire to have.
Random Tuesday Thoughts:
- Tomorrow evening at 8pm ET, Rev3 will reprise their ongoing interview series on Blogtalk radio. The interviewee? None other than Bree Wee! Check out the interview at this link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rev3tri/2011/01/27/rev3-radio-with-special-guest-bree-wee
- Check back tomorrow for a new “Ten Questions With…” interview. This time it’s with James Lawrence – a triathlete who in the quest to raise money for a very worthy charity raced & completed 22 Ironman 70.3 races in 2010.
- If you completed the TriMadness coaching survey, THANKS! I’ve been pouring over the results, and will publish soon. I’ve got to admit, I’ve been slightly surprised at the results.
- Sponsor updates: Welcome back to Team Trakkers: Tri-Swim, Foggle & Tri-Slide. I’ve talked numerous times about how WAY cool the anti-chlorine products from Tri-Swim are. Foggle is the best anti-fog wipe on the market, and Tri-Slide is an amazing lubricant! Team Trakkers will be wearing Canari gear this year! Welcome to the team! And finally, TYR is the newest member of the Trakkers team, and will be the supplier of swim products!