Thursday, March 19, 2009

The power of self doubt...

I don't know if other athletes are like me (I think I can consider myself an athlete now). When I am on regen week it kills me. I want to get out and feel the speed, I want to work hard. I think most of all I fear going slow. I fear not having my legs respond.

I know, it is necessary to let the body heal. It is necessary to go slow, to go easy. I am new to this stuff, but try to be fairly well educated. I understand the science, the principles. Regen, recovery, it has to happen.

I also understand that psychology plays a HUGE role in sports. My performance is directly related to my brain's capacity to endure. Not only that, but the central nervous system is responsible for many more things in the body... all the mind over matter stuff and hormones.

Here is where things get harder, my fears are mostly warranted. I am pretty new to XC racing yet I find myself squared up against serious competition in CAT 1. In DH racing I could fake it, ride over my head, pedal my brains out for a short sprint. In XC racing there is no faking it. It is daunting for me to imagine that three years ago I weighed more than two or three of my competitors combined!

So now to the title. Does the self doubt during regen hurt the athlete? Would regen work better for me if I put in a few efforts to remind myself that I can still go fast, but am going slow for a REASON? That I won't have to worry about not being able to go hard, to go fast after a week of holding back...

I guess if it were easy to be an athlete, to train hard, to go fast, that everyone would do it. I am stoked at where I am, even if I can't hang with the big dogs.

Life is good. Gotta keep my head up and don't let the self doubt bring me down!

Happy weekend! (Wish me luck on unleashing the legs and suffering!)


Pedal Circles said...

Maybe you would be better served to put in some efforts while I happily spin with no power to the pedals :) If you're still getting in your recovery and it helps you mentally - go for it!

Just be ready to go on Saturday, beesh!

PS - how come I never get cool word verifications?

jameson said...

it is hard dude... but you just have to realize that you are actually getting faster during the recovery/regan time. Nailing the intervals and killing yourself in training only makes you faster if you recover from it and comeback stronger and ready to go ever harder next time.

it took me a while to get over the "guilt" of taking it easy too... but as soon as I did it made recovery days/weeks/months way easier to deal with. It just takes time... now I embrace easy days, weeks knowing that I have really worked myself in the preceding weeks.

... and dude you're getting FAST!!! So your training/recovery plan is working. keep it up man... I am looking forward to some more epic, fun battles this year.

Luke said...

yup...james pretty much nailed it. it takes time to see its place in training. when i first started training for triathlon i would say screw it and end up overtrained 2-3 times on the way to my goal. it really just comes down to the quality of work.

Slater Fletcher said...

Work + REST = Success!!!

Just remember that is it ONLY March and we have a long year ahead of us. I think "believing/trusting" in your training should help you be at peace on your "rest days/weeks, etc. I am just learning too but I know we grow when we rest...mentally and physically.

absorb this...

Justin said...

thanks guys. i value your input. it really helps to have such solid athletes providing knowledge!