Friday, October 3, 2008

The last 10% of 100%


Here are some thoughts I have had in the last 24 hours - I find them interesting (you may or may not):


- The next workout often seems like no fun and a lot of work but the last one was always great.

- 6am Masters is twice as hard to get up for if I can hear raindrops falling outside.

- In the first minute or two after a test I always think I could have managed a bit more/faster etc.

-  The last 10% of 100% effort is 100% mental.  Read it again if you have to....

- Sometimes 90% of the result is in the final 10% of the effort.


I could go on....  there are a lot of these.  If I could go back in time I might take a few Sports Psychology courses.  I love this stuff....  the best workouts are tough mentally.  They're the ones you dread the most before, and the ones you love right after.

For a couple of years I have been working on that last 10% of performance.  Call it the "Killer Instinct" or the "Warrior" or whatever....  If you've ever really emptied the tank, you know what I mean, and you know how hard it is to achieve.  The brain fights it - maybe out of innate self-preservation...

I am getting better at squeezing the most out of myself - sometimes it will result in a fine performance, sometimes not really.  But this is the only way to guarantee a personal VICTORY regardless of the result.  If I get into that area where it hurts, and where I'm not sure I can continue I feel pretty satisfied even if the results aren't there yet.

EXAMPLE:

Fitness Test

Beep Test:  9.5.

Last time I got to 10.5.  I was disappointed to be lower, but I hung on till I wasn't making the line anymore...  I didn't "quit".  More importantly, I hated the workout - it was wet, I was worried about slipping and I did slip, I could definitely have bailed, even part way through....  but I got out there and did almost as well as I did in the sun a few months ago.  THAT was killer!

Timed Push-Ups:  34.

It's hard to stick to the fast cadence on the CD.  It's easy to hate these tests.  It's definitely easy to hate the number 34....  it's low.  I can do 50 or 60 straight and I hate managing only 34 but the cadence is so damn fast.  This test screws with my head and triggers all the wrong emotions.  I don't know how many reps all that mental baggage costs me but I would like to find out.

Timed Sit-Ups:  108.

This is my best event.  I go in with nothing but positive emotions.  The cadence is fast but I can nail it.  I can start to hurt and keep going.  It is AMAZING how different this one feels to the others.  I think it's mostly mental.  A little success goes a long way and you can build on it...

Timed Burpees:  13.

This one is my nemesis.  "I'm not built for burpees", "I'm too tall for burpees", waa waa......  It's true but Steve Nash isn't built for basketball either.  I can't think that way.  I was dead in the water before the word "go" with this mindset.  I'm not saying that a positive mindset would boost me to 60 but it might get me a few more...

 
AND, why does this all matter?

In December I will be racing to be selected for National Teams and World Cup Races - the right mindset is critical.  I can't be thinking about stupid rules, or selection criteria I may or may not agree with.  Similarly I can't be defeating myself with perceived disadvantages....  

The real takeaway from these tests is not the data....  it's in accessing that final 10% that is all mental.  It's just like Lance says, you have to "Kill the coward within."

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2 comments:

Jan Schjelderup said...

I'm tired just reading about all your workouts!! (smile).

You are a true inspiration to us all, Meyrick, both physically & psychologically. We will be on the mountain to cheer you on towards your dream.

Cheers,
Jan

MJ said...

Thanks Jan!