Some of the greatest athletes in the world incorporate visualization as a training tool for their big day that might be months or even years away. So what are the benefits of visualization for Ironman Triathlon training and motivation?
For the novice Ironman triathlete it only makes sense to use every tool in the arsenal in order to realize the ultimate goal of crossing the Ironman Triathlon finish line.
One of the best motivational tools around is visualization, and for the triathlete it works wonders as a source of inspiration when you mentally put yourself in race-day situations.
If you wear a heart-rate monitor and you are running easily in your aerobic zone on one of your long run training days, mentally picture yourself in a 20 second foot-race with someone to the finish line of a race and you just barely cross the finish line in front of them.
Then check your heart-rate monitor, and chances are you will see that your heart-rate has increased by ten or twelve beats, or perhaps more, even though you were not actually running any faster.
Except in your mind.
It’s an indication of just how powerful visualization can be.
One of he best things about visualization is that you can do it anywhere.
During a training session whether you are swimming, biking, or running, you can visualize yourself on Ironman race day going through the motions perfectly.
Short of time and can’t get out to train? Visualization is also something you can easily do at home on days you’re not training.
All it really takes is to close your eyes and imagine the race and the way you want it to unfold.
VISUALIZING THE IRONMAN SWIM
For many triathletes taking on their first Ironman, the 2.4-mile swim is a huge challenge and unless they can conquer the swim, there is no way they will ever become an Ironman.
Using visualization as part of your Ironman swim preparation can be just as valuable as doing endless laps in the pool week after week.
After all, you can swim train all you want, but if you have yourself convinced that the Ironman swim will be a disaster, it might end up being a self-fulfilling prophesy.
However, if you turn it around and visualize the Ironman swim in a positive way, it can be a powerful force and it will make a huge difference not just in motivating you when you train, but will also give you self-confidence going into the race.
If you visualize yourself swimming with a long, smooth, and relaxed swim stroke on race-day often enough in the months leading up to the race, there’s a very good chance that’s exactly how you “will” swim.
If you visualize yourself in the last 50 meters of the swim and that moment when you stand up and walk out of the water, then it will happen.
VISUALIZING THE IRONMAN FINISH LINE
There are few things that will motivate you more than visualizing the last mile of the Ironman Marathon.
It is after all your ultimate goal.
It’s your goal to reach that moment in time when you can actually hear the race announcer’s voice as he calls out the names of the finishers. That’s when you’ll realize that it will be your turn very soon.
It’s that moment when you see family, friends, and even strangers cheering you on in the last 100 meters to the finish line.
During those endless swim laps and long, hot days on the bike when you think the training will never end, it is visualizing the culmination of your remarkable journey to the Ironman finish line that will sustain you.
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