One of the most difficult things that endurance athletes face when we race or train is when we hit “The Wall”. We have all been there: we just want to stop, every single part of our body hurts, every step or pedal stroke feels like it takes forever. You just want to quit, sit down and have a beer or a nap!
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Enter Dig Deep Dig Deep, I love these 2 words, they are SO powerful; they can transform a potential race DNF or lame workout into the most epic thing you’ve ever done (I get chills just thinking about it)!
I love this video from the Hardrock 100, 2013, especially after minute 1:20. The will of this runner to finish is much stronger than all the pain that he has on his back (Video by IRunFar.com)
Words That Help Me Dig DeepAfter years of participating in several races, I have come up with some key words that help me to Dig Deep, to keep pushing through those dark moments, to help me to cross that finish line. These words are special to me because I know that every time I need them, they will come to my rescue.
Last week I was going through this list of words and asked myself, I wonder what words other athletes use to dig deep? Are they similar? Completely different? Is it just me? Am I a weirdo?
So I decided to ask 9 athletes that I follow on social media to finish this sentence:
“The words that help me to “dig deep” during a race or training session are”The main reason why I asked these people in particular is because they are not professional athletes, they are regular people, like you and me, BUT do AMAZING things and kick butt all the time!
Let’s see what each person said (Listed in alphabetical order)
1.- Tyron Godwin – Seeking Boston MarathonConfidence: means that the hardest work has already been done and you're merely executing what you're already capable of if I've trained right. This applies to a race. During a training run, I'm either confident I can take on the tough training assignment from my coach, or it will help build confidence.
Family: This applies more to what I think of when I'm at a tough part of a race. I think of family members; quite often I think of my kids and want them to be proud of their dad. I will also reflect on loved ones that have passed. This helps me block out whatever perceived obstacles I have.
Reward: On a grueling long run, I will often envision the food that awaits me when I'm done. A cold glass of chocolate milk, or a plate of pancakes with bacon if I really deserve it. In a race, I push myself (sometimes too hard) and think of the PR or podium that's possible if I push myself.
2.- Christina Hebert – The Knitty TriathleteThe 3 words that help me to “dig deep” during a race or training session are: HEART, HARDER, DECIDE.
"Go HARDER, Chris. Listen to your HEART. Just DECIDE".
As a heart rate based athlete, I not only rely on my HEART for telling me how muchHARDER (or not) I have to go, but also reminding me that I have poured the heart of who I am into my training. So when things start to burn, or I don't want to wake up in the morning, well its times like those that I need to DECIDE if I am going to be a bad ass that day, or a quitter, and I'm no quitter.
3.- Thomas Neuberger – Believe In The RunGlide: when feeling the low and exhausted, I think “glide" to make me feel lighter and concentrate on smooth turnover
Believe: trust your training and the work you have done to get you to the spot you are in, believe that every mile transforms you for the better.
Finish: finish what you start. Don’t quit, drag yourself to the finish if you have too.
Trust / In Trust It Should Be
4.- Connie Richards – Trail ChixNever Give Up: Aim to finish every training session and race no matter what (however I have had a DNF hopefully not to many more)
Its always "money in the bank" when training on tired legs.
Fun- I am a big believer that when it is not classed as fun anymore, then why do it! So I always like to keep it fun!!
5.- Crista Scott – Run.Eat.Create.RepeatI Am Strong: When I run, sometimes I experience self-doubt. Sometimes all I want to do is curl up alongside the trail and tell myself I can't do it. To combat that, I tell myself over and over that I am strong. That I have trained for this. That I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to. I also remind myself that my mind will give up a thousand times before my body ever does. So...I just keep on keepin' on.
Never Give Up
6.- Linzie 'Sharp' Starr – Sharp EnduranceKeep Pushing Through :I use those words because they remind me that I've already come THIS far. What’s just a few more miles?! Finish strong!
7.- Scott Wrigley – Scott Wrigley FitnessMy Best Today: reminds me to give the best I have to every session and race. We get so caught up in numbers with our technology and connected society. My best may not be a PR as far as the numbers for that particular session or race. As long as I give "My Best Today" I will be satisfied no matter the result.
"My Best Today" is a go to for all three sports. I also use mantras for single sports whether training or during a race. These are bring me back to focusing on form instead of the pain anf help me to push through during tough/low points.
Fast feet and Glutes, Glutes, Glutes: when running
Relaxed and efficient and Circles: while cycling
Quick smooth strokes: while swimming
8.- Kim – This Runners FuelBoston: I am currently training for the Columbus Marathon and my goal is to grab my BQ, so when runs get hard and I need to dig, I think "Boston" - this effort will help get you to Boston!
Mile By Mile: my newest strategy is to literally run one mile at a time, focusing on simply hitting the pace for that particular mile. It helps me get through those really long runs without focusing on how many miles as a whole I need to run. It's working like a charm ;) take care of the mile pace and the average pace takes care of itself.
Where I Want To Be: while running my last marathon I told myself this over and over "you're right where you want to be". I had the course segmented out knowing where I would have to be pace wise to break four hours. I was calm relaxed and never panicked if I had a bad or particularly hard mile. It ended well and I hit my goal!
9.- Nadia Ruiz – Nadia The RunnerThe 3 words that help me dig deep are: Push, Dig, Believe.
Three phrases that help me dig deep:
- How bad do you really want it?
- If it were easy, everyone would do it.
- You put in the work, now make it hurt!
10.- Me! Hugo Mendez – Boulder Training MeccaFocus, Think Strong, Good Form: I think about these when I feel physically tired and distracted. These words help me to become aware of what I am doing and also work on improving my form and technique.
Pain Is My B#$tch: pain is not going to beat me, and rather than trying to avoid it, I embrace it, because feeling pain is going to make crossing that finish line even sweeter and more memorable.
Celebrate: Race Day is a celebration of all the hard training that you’ve done during the last months, enjoy it! I learned these words from my coach and good friend Tony DeBoom
Different Words, Same GoalThe thing that fascinated me the most about reading people’s answers is that even though we all use different words or even have different motivations, at the end we pursue the same goal: be able to go through those rough patches and believe again that we can keep going and finish what we started.
What Are Your Words To Dig Deep? What are the words that make you Dig Deep? I would love to hear from you! Share them on the comments line or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to thank Ty, Christina, Thomas, Connie, Christa, Linzie, Scott, Nadia and Kim for time and great input. I invite you to check out their blogs and adventures on social media. They motivate me to strive to be a better athlete every day!
BonusI just came across this amazing video from The North Face about the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc (103 mile race through 3 countries). Don’t you just want to go out on a run after watching it? Enjoy!
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Posted in Motivation, Training