Monday, December 26, 2011

Mental preparation for next ultrarunning season

In this interesting video about mental preparation for ultrarunning, Mental Coach Dominique Simoncini presents his "3Cs for CCC" (Competence, Consciousness, Confidence for Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix).

For example, you can learn how to deal with the negative emotions after a disappointing or frustrating race experience. Although you may temporarily feel like the world has falled apart, it's possible and essential to renew your 3Cs for the next season. You may feel you are no longer competent and therefore lose your confidence. So you have to get back to adequate level of competence, validate it in order to become fully conscious of your capabilities and thus regain extra confidence.

1. The first step is to define your goals: clarify your specific aims and ensure that those objectives match your physical capabilities.

2. The second step is to define what sort of emotions you feel in relation to your ambitions: are they a source of happiness or stress for you?

3. The third step is trying to manage your emotions during your training and the race itself, so that you will achieve your goal. Simoncini mentions various methods for this purpose: relaxation, mental imaging, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), and even a form of light hypnosis.

If all this is well done, it should give a sense of immediate meaning to your every action. When you plan your next season, you have to be careful to make it work as a whole. You should never feel overworked by training too much without recovery, but there shouldn't be too long inactive gaps either. The mental preparation should be closely linked with physical training. It is important to be always well organized - especially before your main event - so that you can look forward to it and avoid feeling burnout.

Finally Simoncini presents his "ici et maintenant" (here and now) philosophy: living for the present. When you are running in an challenging ultra race, always keep in mind that what you are feeling in a particular situation is only a temporary state of mind. Don't let your mind wander to what difficulties there may be ahead, or you might start doubting whether you're going to make it. Tell yourself that you are here and now, concentrate on the present, and things will get better. If you put this into practice, things will work out - even in your everyday life.


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