Do what you like, be­cause you like what you do, says Ex­eter Tri’s

Triathlon Plus - - Contents - Pete Wilby

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.

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