Monday, February 11, 2013

Balancing Physical & Mental Fitness

One of my biggest struggles in training is my desire to have every workout go well.

I want to hit the paces. I want to feel great. I want success.

But as a post-collegiate athlete balancing a full-time work load (between my two positions at Florida State University) always feeling my best and getting to put in a workout session at the optimal time is not a reality as it once was as an undergraduate student-athlete.

One of my new goals is to focus more on the effort I am putting into each session versus mentally beating myself up if the session doesn't start off as smoothly (pace wise) as I want it to.
Most competitive runners at some point have heard that racing well is just as much mental as it is physical.
I want to prepare myself for success in races both mentally and physically.
The key to this is not focusing on being a “workout queen,” but rather pushing myself physically in each session while also encouraging myself mentally if I am not performing the way I want my body to.

The reality of putting in hard training is that some days your body will not feel great. I may not always have control over how my legs feel, but I always have control over my thoughts and what I mentally take away from each physical workout. I want to take every workout as an opportunity to make myself mentally tougher. I should leave sessions mentally supported rather than being my own enemy by mentally beating myself up for not feeling great. 

Today was my first tempo since my half marathon and although I was way off the prescribed pace I know that this session is just one small piece of the puzzle. (Just as Saturday's 15 mile long run with hill repeats plays its own role in the bigger training/preparation picture).  
I gave all my legs had today.  I have to take confidence in the effort I put in and know that tomorrow is one more day to get better just as Friday is my next opportunity to get as much growth as I can out of my next workout session.

I’m happy to be healthy and getting fitter physically and mentally every day. 

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