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Positive Mindset -Keep Positive- Keep Winning

Athlete Pondering open water swim. Swimming 70.3 ironman. Training Positive mindset

The key to anything success in life is a positive mindset. Positive mindset will give you positive results. Negative mindset will give you negative results. There are three things that are difficult for me in training.

  1. Working Out
  2. Nutrition
  3. Positive Mindset

Now number three actually plays into one and two. Because it’s often all about having the mindset to do the workouts or fuel my body with proper nutrition. So I’m constantly working on improving my positive mindset muscle.

My positive mindset muscle had a big workout this past weekend when I was racing Door County 70.3 triathlon. On Saturday I was signed up to race the sprint. And on Sunday I was signed up with a relay and I was going to either do the swim or the bike portion of the 70.3.

Saturday I felt ready for a sprint race. I needed to swim 400 yards, bike 18 miles and run a 5k. Honestly this should be a piece of cake for me as I’ve been racing since 2004. I’ve done a bunch of races at all distances from sprint to Ironman. I will be honest, in prepping for this race I hadn’t done any open water swims, and hadn’t been in my wetsuit yet.

Triathlon swim, positive mindset training. coached swim. tri club swim

The swim portion of the race is the hardest for me to wrap my head around. Swimming open water can be a great experience because it can be super zen-like. It can be very quiet, and there isn’t much to see when your face is in the water, and the swim stroke can be very methodical and relaxing.

First Race of the Season Jitters

This was my first race of the season and I had race nerves like I usually do. It’s a sprint race, but it’s still going to take me well over ninety minutes to complete. But I’ve been doing some strength training, and some swimming, and I’d lost 40 pounds from the previous year when I did the whole 70.3 on my own.

So although I had race nerves, I was pretty confident in my ability and when the gun went off I started swimming. I just wanted to get to the first big, orange buoy, make my left turn and head into shore. But before I even reached the orange buoy I was gassed. I couldn’t catch my breath. Every time I put my face in the water I had to pop it right back out so I could try to get some air.

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I treaded water and looked around me panting. I’m thinking, “do I take my swim cap off and wave it over my head, the universal signal in triathlon that an athlete is in trouble, and call it a day, and get a ride back to shore? Or do I make my way to a lifeguard and try to get my race under control?

Is My Positive Mindset Fight Ready?!

This is where positive mindset plays such a huge part in racing. Yes almost all of me wanted to be on shore and done with the race. But part of me also wanted to finish the swim and get on my bike. The bike I love so much that I told my husband if we ever split up my next husband would be my bike.

In the ended up making my way over to the life guard and holding onto her safety buoy. I tried to take some deep breaths, to calm my nerves, to gather my wits about me. The lifeguard was very reassuring and kept telling me I’d be fine. And honestly I knew I would be if I could just get my breathing under control.

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When I’m biking or running and I go out too hard and can’t breath I just slow it down. But in swimming, especially the free stroke, you put your head in the water. And when you’re gasping for air the two just don’t go well together. So I told the lifeguard as well as myself that I was fine. I was going to be okay, I just needed to catch my breath. And I sort of did.

I started swimming again, and I still had some residual panic and I wasn’t 100% recovered breathing-wise. So I did a combination of free stroke, dog-paddled, and please don’t let me die stroke. And with about 100 yards left in my 400 yard swim I finally was able to get into my rhythm. And finish sort of strong.

Positive Mindset- Just keep swimming.

Now this is where the hard part of the story really comes into play. I need to swim 1.2 miles on Sunday as part of a relay. And there was not getting a ride back to shore if I don’t feel up to swimming because I would basically be canceling the race for my two friends also, not just me. And I already suffer from race nerves and now they are crazy out of control because I barely made a 400 yard swim, how am I going to go 1.2 miles?

Positive Mindset

Positive mindset, that’s how! Start putting it in the positive. I can swim 1.2 miles. I’ve done it every time I’ve gone to the pool this year. Plus when you were struggling you knew what to do. You knew how to get help and you knew you could float all day in your wetsuit.

What Could I Change

Why did I did I panic yesterday? I didn’t do a warm up swim, and I went out too hard. Both of these are things that are easily remedied. On Sunday I went out for a 3 minute warm up swim. It didn’t need to be long because what I wanted to do was focus on feeling my glide during the swim and to keep it controlled. I didn’t need to turn my arms over super fast, I needed to take advantage of my glide and in-turn give myself ample time to breath.

Know the Course

The course is 1.2 miles and there are 40 buoys that are numbered. And I know 40 buoys for a 2100 yard swim is roughly 50 yards per buoy or one lap in the pool. I can swim laps all day in the pool without tiring. So I started swimming from buoy to buoy and counting them dow. And I converted it to yards, so it was 1900 yards left, 1850 yards left, etc. The number kept getting smaller and I kept getting closer to shore.

Keep it Positive and Win

So I was able to put a few tricks into play to get me through a 1.2 mile swim. I was able to change my negative fears into a positive mindset. Positive mindset is a skill I need to constantly work on and improve. And the more I work on it the quicker I’m able to change negative thoughts into a positive mindset. What are some tricks you use to get yourself into a positive mindset?