I was listening to a podcast from Dave Scott, arguably the great triathlete of all time. He won the Ironman World Championship an incredible 6 times. In the interview he discusses internal motivation of some of the best athletes he coaches. An important factor is that each athlete needs an internal motivation! Ask yourself, “why do you want to be training right now?” What are the terms within ourselves to help drive ourselves. I highly recommend listening/watching this podcast. He compares internal drive in our difficult sport with baseball players. He questions how “hungry” they are and I can’t agree more. I struggled to watch baseball when the athletes rarely hustle it to first base!
Lately I’ve been out running in the hot sun, 85-100F temperatures have not stopped me from running in extra clothes and full sweats. I’m constantly asked why I am doing this. Well, first there is proven physiological benefits. Look at this excellent article by Running Times on the benefits of heat-training. For me, putting on the sweats this morning for my five mile “cool-down” after a hard track session was beyond simply wanting the body to adapt to become more efficient in the heat. Putting on the sweats was goal oriented. I really want to win the Kauai Marathon again this year. Last year I had diligently heat-trained and came away with the greatest race experience of my life.
For the athletes I coach, I always try to find the internal motivation. I hate to hear when coaches or agents pick races for athletes to run. I want to have an internal motivation for training hard. Pick the races that inspire you to train and race to the best of your ability. Pick the races that sound fun to you!
Finally, don’t be afraid to celebrate good races and workouts. That doesn’t mean go wild and crazy, but take the time to enjoy and savor the fact that you accomplished something that took hard work and dedication. There’s no better feeling than that – and something that ‘sport’ can teach all of us.
Mahalo for reading,