My Philosophy, the 3 P's: Progress, Perform, Play
Progress, Perform, Play
As an endurance coach and athlete, these are the three things I am focused on above all else.
Being in a state of progress is the fundamental reason people do endurance sports. The medal at the end and the t-shirt are nice, but deep down I think the satisfaction of improvement is one of the greatest things you can possibly have.
A funny thing happens to people after the months or even years of training when they try to put it together on race day, they panic. Pre-race butterflies are a pretty normal thing, but too often it turns into a detrimental anxiety. The reason, or at least the reason I come across most often, is that in training the focus is on progress, which is really a focus on the process, i.e. doing the right things. But on race day, the focus shifts to results. Results are definitely important, but instead of results I have shifted my focus to performance. If you think of a theatrical or musical performance the technicality of it is important, but equally important is the feelings that performance generates. So even on days where I know I am not going to have the best result, I can still have a good performance if I can be brave enough to smile, encourage, and revel in the fact that race day atmosphere is one of the most interesting atmospheres I will ever be a part of.
"A man's exercise must be play or it will do him little good. Exercise that is drudgery is worthless." - George Sheehan
Endurance sports are hard, period. But that doesn't mean that they can't be fun. In fact, the conditioning and physicality that endurance sports bring often allow athletes to move and enjoy life in ways that they were only able to do in high school. Almost anything can be made into a workout, and almost any workout can be made into a fun challenge. Endurance sports are definitely intrinsic sports, but sometimes it takes an extrinsic motivation to get fire started, or even throw a little gasoline on it to spark it back up. This is something that I have personally neglected before, so I know how important it is to keep the element of fun and play at the forefront of training. After all, enjoyment leads to consistency, which leads to progress, which leads to performance, which leads to an awesome and vibrant life.