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February 2, 2010

Preparation for VoS

by hammonjj

It’s two days before  I leave for the Valley of the Sun Stage Race and I can safely say that I am nervously excited.  I just spent the last ten minutes cleaning out my car for the long drive to Phoenix on Wednesday; it feels like a metaphor for my life at the moment.  Clean car, clean life.  I’m ready to rock.

I did have a minor setback though, I hurt my knee again on Friday while doing some sprint work.  Actually, it’s the worst my knee has felt since the pain started several weeks ago, but I think I have things under control now.  Tylenol and a knee brace are my best friends and even though I wasn’t able to ride this weekend for fear of aggravating my injury, it didn’t mean that I can’t still train my mind.  I’ve been working my way through the book “Mind Gym”.  It’s not one of those books you read through quickly though.  You need to to take your time and think about what it is that holding you back and what you need to focus on.  It’s actually hard to put into practice then it sounds.

So far, here are some of the things I’ve come up:

– During the Time Trial, count in fives all the way up as high as I can.  This occupies my mind so I can’t think negative thoughts.  Your brain only has so many “channels” which it can tune in to at once and doing this eats up one of those.

– Allow myself to get a little jittery before each race.  Something I became very good at as a musician was hiding all of the nervousness that comes with performance.  As an athlete, these nerves are actually a good thing that will drive me through each stage.

– Before each stage, before bed the night before for example, imagine what it’s going to feel like.  See the course, the competitors.  Feel the wind and smell the surroundings and see myself doing well.  Try to hold on to this feeling and bring the same excitement/energy to the race.

– Fight like hell.

I’m a freight train that can’t be stopped.  My training is where it needs to be and so it my mind.  I’ll report again after the race next Monday.

Read more from Racing, Training

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