As you may have read in my other triathlon psychology pages (triathlon psychology, triathlon free tips, triathlon articles) stress and anxiety can be common - and understandable - in triathlon. This is especially true of open water swim starts. It is the most common area that I work with with triathletes.
Stress, anxiety and panic in triathlon: A recap
Your frame of mind has a large bearing on how you perform and the outcome of your race (your times, position in the field and your enjoyment). Much of this depends on how stressed you are during the entire event (e.g., your race weekend). By stressed, I mean:
- How much tension you hold in your muscles. Tension will impair your movements and biomechanics – how efficient you swim, cycle and run.
- How much adrenaline is coursing through your veins: some is good, too much and this can put you out of your comfort zone, distracting you from your performance, swim stroke, swim navigation ... as you wonder what the hell is going on with your body.
- How positive you are: even before the triathlon starts are you expecting things to go badly, to start poorly, to go behind, let yourself or others down, make a fool of yourself…?
Of course, pre-race tension builds in the hours and days before an important (to you) event. Your mind, diet and sleep are all affected by your rising levels of stress. How you manage this lead-up and during the race will have a big impact on the two most important areas:
- Your personal performance
- Your personal enjoyment and satisfaction
If you wait for race day to start managing your stress, you will almost certainly be too late to do anything significant about it. I have developed a Triathlon Stress Management Programme on audio CD (or as download) to tackle your stress, anxiety, panic, tension…
My stress management programme tackles the three important areas:
- Physical tension: with not just one, but three proven physical relaxation techniques. Plus there are rapid version for you to apply right when you need them (at the swim start?)
- Stress-related thinking
- Unhelpful stress-related behaviour (what you do or don’t do)
All this for less than £15. Go ahead and order your stress solution today.
Effective · Tailor-made · Professional
Dr Victor Thompson