Finally, music should be considered as option for establishing a focal point. Many athletes find power in music, as evidenced by the number of people who exercise with headphones. Of course, in a triathlon, wearing an mp3 player is off-limits, for safety reasons. Nevertheless, the brain is powerful and athletes should have little difficulty pulling from their own inner archives to create a "playlist." World famous marathon swimmer, Diana Nyad, who recently attempted a swim from Cuba to Florida, has spoken extensively of how she may sing a song in her head literally thousands of times while swimming for hours (or even days).? If an athlete can find a line that rhymes or has the right emotional effect, then songs can work wonders as mantras. Even a musical phrase without the lyrics can serve as an effective focal point.?
Try it in Training
Any of these options can provide an effective focal point, but you have to find a mantra that is personalized and meaningful to you. Practice using your mantra in workouts, so that on race day you have a tool that you know will help you keep your attitude positive all the way through to the finish line, just like a champion.
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Suzanne Bertin is a USA Triathlon Certified Coach and a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer based in Austin, TX. Suzanne's coaching is targeted primarily toward beginner and intermediate age-groupers trying to find that elusive work-life balance.?Follow Suzanne at placidathlete.com.