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Kona Week: Combat Negative Pre-Race Thoughts

  • By Jené Shaw
  • Published Oct 9, 2013
Photo: Kurt Hoy


Negative thought: It’s mile 17 of the marathon. The pavement burns as much as your fatiguing hip flexors, and your brain keeps telling you to give in and walk already.

Combat it: “When you’re out of reach of the finish, in no-man’s land, you really have to find what motivates you,” she says. “This is something that has to get practiced in training. Remind yourself why you are racing. Some people are motivated by the crowds or family members or a mentor, but other people can be motivated by darker things in those moments. It can be helpful to think about an unresolved issue and the feeling of confidence you’ll gain from overcoming that. I’ve had some good races on anger.”

“Draw on whatever motivates you, whether it’s positive or negative. Think of the song that motivates you, your kids, your mentor, the sacrifices you have made—whatever it is, but it will be personal. By practicing this in training, it will come naturally on race day.”

RELATED: The Mental Game Of Triathlon

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FILED UNDER: Ironman / Training TAGS:

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw is a senior editor at Triathlete magazine, a four-time Ironman finisher and a USAT Level 1 certified coach

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