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Motivation to Train

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This article comes to you from our friends at TrainingPeaks.com. Training Peaks provides the complete web, mobile and desktop solution for enabling smart and effective endurance training. Training Peaks solutions are used by Tour de France teams, Ironman World Champions, Olympians, and age group athletes and coaches around the world to track, analyze and plan their training. It is also what we use at Virtual Trainer to administer our premium training plans. They also have great articles. And while they are written specifically for endurance athletes they are easily adapted for the motocross athlete. This is one such article. - Virtual Trainer

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Author: Will Murray

Much of the writing about mental conditioning talks about what an athlete should do but leaves out how the athlete should actually do it. There are a lot of, “you ought to” and, “you should,” but not much about specific techniques.

Come race day, don’t be worried about all the things you should have done but didn’t do. Identify those things now, while you have time to do them, and plug them into your training plan.

Here we give you two important questions to ask yourself, the answers to which will give you specific actions to take, both intended to enhance your motivation and focus your efforts toward those actions which will give you the best training and racing results.

Powerful Question #1

The day before your big race, will you say, “I wish I had done these things months ago?” - For motocross think of how you will feel at the beginning of a season or before a big race like Lorettas or an outdoor national. - Virtual Trainer

You want to go into your most important races as well prepared, as fit, rested and healthy as possible. None of those things are possible the day before the race. You have to achieve them in the months before the race. As in, starting now.

You might say to yourself, “I wish I would have done all those strength training sessions. I know they would have helped, but too late now”, or, “All of those long rides that I missed would have been a great foundation for the rest of my plan.”

Come race day, don’t be worried about all the things you should have done but didn’t do.

Identify those things now, while you have time to do them, and plug them into your training plan.

  • Step 1. Identify your most important race coming up. Imagine yourself the day before this race, getting prepared for race day. - First day of getting the bike out next spring, etc. - VT
  • Step 2. Ask yourself, “What do I wish I had done to prepare for this race?” - For motocross, ask youself, "What do I wish I had done in the off-season to prepare for this season?" - VT
  • Step 3. Write down the answers then review your list. Which ones make the most sense?
  • It is not feasible to say, “I wish I had done an average of 30 hours of training per week”. Instead, think of what you can actually accomplish given your specific situation. Do not compare yourself to others. - Don't just say, I should have trained or ridden more. Hire a coach, ride more, or join the premium training community for off the bike training. - VT
  • Step 4. Apply those steps to your training plan. Put those activities from Step 3 into your training plan over the weeks and months until your race.
  • Step 5. Imagine yourself now at the day before the race, and you can honestly say that you did all those things on the list from Step 3. Feel now the feeling in your body and your emotional sensation with the knowledge that you really actually did all those things. Now take a little pinch of the feelings you feel and sprinkle those feelings along your training plan, from now until race day. - Actions speak louder than words. Train and ride, don't just talk about it. - VT

This technique will get you set up for the race. Here is a second technique that will help you perform strongly during the race.

Powerful Question #2

Sometime before the race, ask yourself, “The day after the race, what do I want to say about my race?”

  • Step 1. Write down the answer. This could range from, “I paced my bike correctly and executed a great run and overall race” to, “I nailed my nutrition plan”. Again, these are more process oriented goals. Don’t write down, “I won my division”. - My starts were perfect, my pace was good, I got through the whoops, I didn't get tired. - VT
  • Step 2. List those things you will do during the race to be able to say what you wrote down in Step 1. For instance, if you wrote down something about your nutrition plan, you would want to list all of the ways you would work on refining your nutrition plan for race day. - What will you do now to get better starts or not get tired - VT
  • Step 3. Now, in your mind’s eye, run a video exactly as you wish the race would go tomorrow, including those things in Step 3.
  • Step 4. Run the same movie in fast motion so that it takes less than 10 seconds. By running through the movie so quickly you will develop a memory in your mind, but a memory of something that hasn’t happened yet. During the race, your mind will say, “Oh, this. Yeah, I remember this. We know how to do this.”
Both of these techniques will get you ready to race with full confidence and no regrets. Each of them takes less than three minutes to finish. Do you have six minutes to improve your race? The athletes who do will have a great day.

About the author: Will Murray is a USA Triathlon certified coach with D3 Multisport and co-author, with Craig Howie, of The Four Pillars of Triathlon: Vital Mental Conditioning for Endurance Athletes. He specializes in training the muscle between your ears.

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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