There is value in sacrifice. I remember explaining this to one of my athletes leading into an Ironman in which we both were competing. We were discussing nutrition and how I cut out certain unnecessary foods (sugars predominately) for the several months before the race. The impact of those foods on my performance is debatable, but to me, there was value in the sacrifice.
It is no secret that I believe in the power of the mind. Proper training can only get you so far – the best coaches know how to get their athletes to peak with the mind as well. Sacrifice is one part of preparing the mind for race day. Sacrifice makes race day matter more. Through sacrifice, we become tougher, willing to fight harder, and more invested in the end result. Sacrifice leads to better performances.
Part of this is simply recognizing that you have made sacrifices coming into race day. All athletes have made some form of sacrifice to prepare – be it social time, sleep, junk food, etc. This should be recognized coming into a race and used as motivation.
What do you need to do to be ready to give your best on race day? You might find this in sacrificing something, rituals, or something else that simply triggers the mind that it is go time. I encourage you to explore what works for you and test it on a small scale with key workouts so you know exactly how to exploit it on race day. To be your best, you have to take your mind along for the ride.
Be More. Live Red.
EF Founder & Head Coach
PS – I am not encouraging unhealthy sacrifice in any way. Athletes can take this too far, sacrificing things that will indeed lead to poor health, life-balance, and performances. The key is sacrificing things that actually can lead to better performance and not take it too far.