Visualization for Athletes

Thursday, 17 January 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

Experts say that visualization helps in achieving one’s goals. The individual simply imagines the desired outcome, every single detail in that ideal situation from his/her feelings to actual performance, and this puts him in a place of confidence and calmness increasing his chances of actually achieving what he intended to do.

Many elite athletes practice this. We’ve heard of olympians imagining themselves winning the gold medal even before the race started or runners visualizing themselves crossing the finish line first. The strategy works not just in competition, but also in training.

Now, just because we’re not elite athletes, it doesn’t mean we can’t employ the same technique in training and in races, right? Right! So, I thought of doing the same.

During the first week of 2013, Coach Andy Leuterio sent me my training program for the next eight months. The training program will prepare me for two A-races: London Marathon in April and Ironman 70.3 Cebu in August.

When I saw my program for the first time, I was left in complete shock. Okay, perhaps shock is an understatement. I basically stared at my mac for 30 mins., weeped over the suffering that was to come, hyperventilated, attempted to swallow a few leftover kwitis from New Years Day, then laughed extremely hard about how crazy I am for actually looking forward to all this.

The program is quite unique. Sure, I’ve got the required easy runs and long runs, the spinning, intervals, and long rides. No swims yet. And, Monday as rest day where I actually take Bikram Yoga. But, what stands out are the titles of my workouts. On Monday, I must do a “Chuck Norris,” a “300” on Thursday, and “Fight Club” on Fridays. (Now you understand why I laugh-cried when I first saw it?!) I won’t go into the details of what these workouts are (Er, you’ve got to sign up with Coach Andy if you want to find out. Hah!), but, suffice it to say, it scared the hell out of me!

Last week though, when Week One of my training started, I realized that, by employing visualization techniques, I had more confidence to accomplish the workouts and, more than that, finish them strong.

Here are the mental images that filled my innocent and wholesome mind for the past 2 weeks:
– Chuck Norris! Photo: –

– Sparta! –
– Brad! Photo: –

See!  Now you know why I was so inspired to work out so hard!  Nothing like images of burly men with six-pack abs smothered in sweat and grime to keep a girl like me pushing myself during each workout, right?  And, when the going got tough on the road or on the treadmill, I would tell myself:  “Fight!” or “For Sparta, for freedom, to the death!” or “Chuck, please save me!”  Okay, I’m kidding on the last one.  Seriously though, you ought to try visualization.  It may work for you to improve your performance and help you achieve your goals this 2013.

Now all together:  “Sparta!  For the glory!”