Your body is a machine. You put fuel in it, and it does work. Some of that work is basic maintenance: breathing, heart beating, digestion, etc. Some of that work comprises the exertion we put ourselves through: swim, bike, run, all the rest. There is, though, a finite amount of work that a body can do at any given time.
We have been working on controlling the controllables and not getting stressed about the things you can’t control. What if it pours with rain on race day? There is NOTHING you can do to prevent that, but you can control your reaction to the conditions – think about your clothing choices, test out all the potential kit you might use so you are comfortable with whatever you need on the big day.
What if you get a puncture? Bloody annoying. Easy to allow something like that to derail your race, but there is no point getting stressed about the possibility. Much better to think about how you would react in a race situation and, if needs be, practice.
At the Double Brutal, I was aerobically fit enough to complete the race, but my body let me down. I was not biomechanically fit enough to reach the finish line. As I plan the next great adventure, I know that I have to address this issue, and that’s how I ended up talking to Alice Frewin of Sano Physiotherapy in Morley, with a notebook in my hand, reading out a laundry list of physical problems.
Anxiety is a normal part of life – it’s a primeval human instinct that stops us casually walking off a cliff, or trying to stroke a cute looking sabre toothed tiger. Controlling that anxiety, managing it and mastering it – these are difficult skills, but ones that can be learned with practice. You learned how to swim. You learned how to run through transition holding your bike. You learned how to wee in a lake. You can learn this too.