- Use the “next one” technique. Focus on something in the distance and tell yourself, “I’m going to keep going at this pace until I hit that next ___.” Then once you make it to that object find the next object to focus on. This technique can be used while running, biking and swimming.
- Rock it out. A great play list on your iPod can make a long run or bike ride fly by. Load up your player with music that moves you and makes you want to move. Some of my favorite music has lyrics that inspire me. Other tunes have a great beat to which I can set my running cadence. Yet other songs are just fun and fast and make me smile.
- Remember you “why.” If you read my article Finding Your Why you’ll remember that your why is that reason to be out there training or racing in the first place. My why is my USMC son and our military. When I’m training or competing and I feel like giving up I remember that our military doesn’t have that option. The thought of them gives me strength and carries me home or to the finish line. Your why, is a very powerful tool and inspiration.
- Do intervals. It might sound simple (and it is) but it’s very effective in making time go by faster. For example, if you are running, you might do speed intervals alternating from fast to slow. You can set your iPhone or training watch to count down the intervals for you. I use an iPhone application called Round Timer. It works great; it will signal me even as I’m listening to music. You can also do intervals in the pool by doing speed, stroke, or swim style intervals. On the bike or trainer you can do cadence intervals. When I do cadence intervals on the trainer time fly by!
- Scan your body. This is a great technique to use while doing any sport. Start by being aware of every muscle and joint in your body. Do you feel tightness anywhere? If so, focus on relaxing that area. How does your kick or stride feel? If it’s not the way it should; fix it. This will help keep your mind busy while saving energy. As a bonus, this technique will help you save energy and avoid injury, because a tight body uses more energy and is more susceptible to injury.
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