The following is a short video featuring Chris McCormack, an Ironman World Champion and one of the best triathletes in recent history. It’s about keeping focused during a long race that might last eight hours or more.

[EDIT: This video is no longer available.]

If you have not yet gotten into any endurance racing, you might have expected him to talk about daydreaming and playing games in his head to keep him occupied and ward off boredom. But it’s almost the exact opposite.

His key to success is to stay focused on the next [swim] stroke, pedal stroke, or step and to not let his mind drift.

It doesn’t really matter whether you’re doing a 60 minute cyclocross race, eight hour triathlon, or 24 hour solo mountain bike race. The thought process during the races is very similar. You are constantly thinking about your next stride or pedal stroke, thinking about how to go even faster.

Unlike a long training ride where you might be cruising the back roads by yourself, contemplating the meaning of life, a race requires constant attention. If you want to win, you stay focused on the race.

But, do make sure you think positive thoughts.

So listen to Chris McCormack, because obviously his strategy is working!

Not sure about entering a big race in the first place? Then for further reading, try the Ask Levi segment “How Do I Know I Am Ready for a Huge Race?”

 

References:

  1. Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_NUI3d5qb4

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