FALL IN LOVE WITH TRI
Do what you like, because you like what you do, says Exeter Tri’s
Simple tricks to keep your affair with three disciplines going strong.
Motivation can be categorised into two sources: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic sources are things like winning the first material prize, or, in some cases, avoiding a punishment. Intrinsic motivation usually comes from within and can be characterised as pure enjoyment or love for triathlon.
Psychologists have noted that intrinsic motivation is the best and most compelling reason to excel in an activity. Many years ago, psychologists, Malone and Lepper, identified factors that increase intrinsic motivation as things that challenge you, you are curious about, you control, involve cooperation and competition, or you have recognition for.
More recently, psychologists have seen extrinsic motivations clashing with the intrinsic, causing confusion and lack of focus. For example, the triathlete who loves competing, and wins, may next time be more focused on winning than enjoying the process.
Psychologist Richard Griggs explained how intrinsic and extrinsic motivation sources can actually conflict in your mind. He says: “A person’s intrinsic enjoyment of an activity provides sufficient justification for their behaviour. “With the addition of extrinsic reinforcement, the person may perceive the task as over-justified, and then attempt to understand their true motivation (extrinsic versus intrinsic) for engaging in the activity.”
Ultimately, it makes best sense to do triathlon because you like doing it. In swimming, cycling and running, your technique will improve if you relax and focus the energy into the muscles being used. If you ever wonder why you are out on a cold morning at 6am, smiling is a great way to help you feel more relaxed and positive; immediately your face relaxes, having an effect on your thoughts and feelings. The way to get good is to love doing what you are doing and keep smiling.
Here are some tips on how to focus your mind while training and do it because you like doing it:
1 Smile during and between reps.
2 Keep your training interesting change the routes, do pyramids or a variety of rep distances. Change the intensity.
3Do training sessions that you find fun, not just what you think are best. If you like the sprint session, but are training for Ironman, then include some sprint sessions.
4 Focus on the races you think you will enjoy the most, not just the ones you think you may win.
5 See triathlon as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualise your potential.