So, how does this tie into triathlon? If I think I am faster, will I actually become faster? Of course faking it isn't a substitute for actual hard work, sufficient sleep, and a healthy diet. But triathlon does have a psychological element to it. Confidence in myself during training, and especially races, isn't one of my strong suits. Last season was a breakthrough for me in terms of learning how to race and not letting my head get in the way; however, there is still so much more for me to learn and figure out. The run has been my nemesis for awhile now, even though I was a runner before I ever picked up triathlon. I feel like I stay strong on the swim and bike, but falter (both mentally and physically) on the run. Maybe it's because I expect more of myself on the run portion since that's the discipline in which I have the most experience - anytime I experience any gains in the swim or bike I am thrilled, and anytime I don't do well in those, I chalk it up to inexperience. But the gains in my running haven't been enough to satisfy me and I always wonder if I could do better, if I could be faster, if my half ironman run time could be closer to my open half marathon time. So this season will be the season of faking it until I make it on the run. Not only will I work hard during my training runs, I'm going to make an effort to be mentally plugged in, both during workouts and during races. I'm going to run with confidence - confidence in my abilities and confidence in myself that I can be faster. I'm going to make it a top priority not to mentally crack during the run portion of triathlon. I'm going to stop paying such close attention to my splits, turn my mind off, and run on feel. I'm going to find that hurt locker and put my legs into it. This is the year of faking it until I make it.
22 March 2012
Fake It 'Til You Make It...
This month's Men's Health magazine (Mr. Sweetie subscribes to it, I read it) had an article on faking it. Faking it at work, faking happiness, faking smiles, faking empathy, faking it with your friends, and faking confidence, etc etc etc. The article cited an example of an experiment a Harvard psychologist conducted where a group of 16 elderly men were recruited to live in a monastery for a week. Half were instructed to reminisce about the year 1959, a year of their youth; the other half actually lived like it was 1959, watching the same TV shows, listening to the same music, talking about that era's world events like it was actually in the present, not many decades in the past. At the end of the week, those who lived like it was 1959 scored better on a battery of tests and were rated by observers as actually looking younger than their counterparts who only reminisced about 1959. Bottom line of this story, the Harvard psychologist posits that if you think you are healthier, you will actually become healthier.