How to Inspire Yourself After a Bad Race

Quite often, life doesn’t pan out the way you’d like it to and this can, unfortunately, leave us with feelings of negativity. When it comes to triathlons, it’s important to take a bad race day and use it to inspire yourself for future events. We detail some ways to do this below.

Process Goals

Just as it’s important to have training goals, it’s also important to have process goals. These could link to sleep, nutrition, work or family life, which all have an impact on performance. Life isn’t as simple as ‘swim, bike, run’ and it’s important to reach and maintain a healthy balance between life and sport. Different stresses and strains in life will all have an impact on your physical and mental wellbeing, which can ultimately have an impact on your training and racing ability.

With this in mind, re-evaluate training sessions which didn’t go so well

It might be advantageous for you to write down training and racing failures in a diary, to help identify any trends. When it comes to training or racing losses, it’s crucial to get your negative feelings written down, as this can help you let go of them and move forward. Everyone learns from their mistakes and writing them down can really help you identify any room for improvements. By doing this, you’re more able to move on to a more positive session, with a more positive attitude.

Try to avoid carrying negative thoughts from your last session into your next one

Instead of walking into a session agitated about how your last one went, think only of the positive points of what is about to come. Remember that the training you’re doing is built on gradual overload. You will have sessions scheduled that are meant to be more intense, difficult and slow than others. Important factors to consider when evaluating your sessions are; did you maintain form? Did you remember to fuel adequately? Did you perform to your best ability? If you can answer these questions, then you’re evaluating them well.

Training is about building your physical and mental endurance

As well as the physical training involved in your ability to complete a race, training your mindset can be a huge contribution to your success. It’s very rare to have a ‘perfect’ race and there’s always the chance that something can go wrong, or not to your liking. The key is, to put it all behind you, and stick to your plan for the rest of the race. The run is often the hardest part of the race, with fatigue creeping in and vulnerability for negativity appearing. If you focus on technique, fuelling and getting to the next landmark, as opposed to focusing on the overall results – your emotions become much more manageable.

Lastly, remember why you became a triathlete in the first place
Balancing training for three disciplines whilst maintaining a work, family and social life is a massive achievement. Take pride and satisfaction in what you’re doing and all the effort you’ve put in. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that, as well as with life, races don’t always go to plan. Sometimes just turning up deserves a pat on the back.

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