Supported by:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

WEEK 21 - THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING IN SPORTS

This week I decided to talk to you about the strong Power of Positive Thinking in Sports, in fact you can apply this to an every day situation.  This idea came up to me on Friday, while I was going to get assessed as part of a career course I am on now.  A lot of very important people were gonna be present, although I don't usually get nervous over things like that, I wasn't set for this level of scrutinizing as I was ready to get tested on a complete different weapon range and last minute it got changed.  I had to reorganize myself in one day.  Not a problem, got it done, but no one like to have 2 or 3 big wigs looking over your shoulders to see if you do every step right. 

So on Friday morning when I walked through the front door of the shake, I told myself my peers that: "today will be a great day, things are going to go well and I will have fun".  As I was walking toward the truck to bus on and move to the ranges, a staff on my course told me, "MCpl Prud'homme, finally what is going to happen... you will get to the range, run your range as we assest you and we will get out of there before those VIP shows up, thecandidates from the other course will take care of the VIPs".  So all the sun, the pressure dropped, go to do my test, did well, came back to the shake and out of my uniform in 2 hrs flat.  By 9h15 am I was in civilian clothing, ready to carrion with my week-end.



THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING IN SPORTS


You've heard about this theory before: If your mind can conceive it, and you believe it, you can achieve it.  Positive people are more successful than negative people because they are, well, more positive. Kind of obvious when you think about it.  Elite athletes are able to recover from failure without nagging guilt or destructive self-blame. "People who are exceptional have developed that skill of positive thinking. It goes beyond confidence." - Judy McDonald, Researcher at Ottawa University 

video


So if Michael misses the big shot right at the buzzer, he's not fazed for long. The next night he's eager to make the big plays again. One miss doesn't dint his armor or self-confidence. It doesn't brand him as a failure in his mind. Some guys are afraid to go for the big play again after they miss, but not superstars like Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky. They want to be right in the middle of all the action when stress is highest because they thrive on it. They love the stress. 

It has been researched and proven that Olympic and Professional Athletes, share the following skills: 

  1. A powerful ability to visualize a coming event, mentally rehearsing it in super detail again and again;
  2. An ability to focus intensely on a goal, shutting out all distractions; and
  3. A high level of commitment and near- obsessive dedication to their sport. 

A training programs should be developed to boost the mental readiness.  Athletes can apply the mental aptitude to achieving their goals. Remember, "Believe enough and it'll come true" - Leanda Cave, Female Triathlete of the Year 2012

Some aspect of your training to take in consideration are:

  1. Stress Management Training (SMT): In an SMT session, you should point out the positive as an integral piece of that session.  If Positive Thinking is about being positive, SMT should not mean denial of the reality if something went truly wrong, but on the opposite allow yourself to take a personalize approach to those difficulties and unpleasant series of event that lead you to the unwanted results with a more productive attitude.  Using a rationalized method over an emotional approach.   Emotion will drive you further down and rationalize will let you resurface with an action plan with a positive output on the event.
  2. Self-talk session: (organized) "The human mind is bombarded with an endless stream of conscious and subconscious thoughts each day that are called self-talk.  While much of the chatter is based on logical thinking, many of the thoughts are rooted in preconceptions and misconceptions. Ideas learned in childhood often represent a good portion of the notions held as fact." - livestrong.com     
    During a self-talk session, you don't need to let anyone know, you don't
     need to talk to yourself out loud, its just you and your internal voice having a quick little chat.  The important is to stay on track almost like when you present a school project, you have a q-card to help you guiding yourself, well in a self-talk session, you should have a format, ie first I will talk about the hole situation, second about what I did that need improvement, then what I did good, next would be about those things that I had no power over such as the weather or a crash in front of you and finally what you must do to improve and what you must continue because you are doing it right.     
    It is also very important to make this a routine, for good or bad days/events.  You should also practice this in training so you know what works for you and improve your technique just like any other skills.


Everyone has a bad day now and then. Not everyone hits a homerun every single time they’re up to bat, and excellent grades aren't just handed out without hard work and studying.Sometimes, you can end up beating yourself down when things go wrong, or saying something you’ll later regret to friends and family when they make mistakes. This is negativity, and as I just mentioned, it’s actually worse than the thing that made you feel bad in the first place.

I have a personal really life experience that prove just that.
In 2006 at the World Lifesaving Championship, I made it in the final seeded first, next to me was the world most known lifesaving athlete, Lutz Heimann, the best Lifesaving Athlete according to anyone who knows about the sport.  Well that morning I was faster then him and my PR was also faster the his, some my moral was high.  I was read.  That evening I race 100m Manikin Carry with fins, I got to the wall first, but struggled with the manikin and gave an opening to Luts which he took it and got few meters in front of me, I worked super hard and closed with but just not enough and Luts won the race, I was devastated, upset, I did not like to lose ever.  I let that go to my head instead to enjoy my second places finish.  The next day was the 100m Manikin Tow with fins, the same situation occur to make it in the finales.  And again Luts won over me, I was furious  so upset I was outrage, I tossed my goggles and my fins, and said some bad words to myself.  An official heard the comments and reported to the chef of competition who had a talk with my mission officer about athletes conduct and that I was out of line.  My action almost got the entire Canadian National Team suspended from the Championship.  I then realized what I had done, let that thinking go from bad to worst, and everything went south and this got out of control for other athletes.  I decided to publicly apologies which saved the team opportunity to compete.  But the official remembered my name and in every race in this championship, I was scrutinized by everyone, which lead to being disqualify in every other races I took place in for technicality.  That championship, I won 2 silver medals, but I lost so much more.  And this could have been prevented only by Positive Thinking.

I will leave you with this quote and my idea of its meaning...
“We can’t escape pain; we can’t escape the essential nature of our lives. But we do have a choice. We can give in and relent, or we can fight, persevere, and create a life worth living, a noble life. Pain is a fact; our evaluation of it is a choice.” - Jacob Held, Male Triathlete of the Year 2012

This can be related to sports, when you are in a race, your heart is beating so hard it feels like it will rip out of your chest.  Your arms and legs are full of lactic acid and your feeling of pain is so strong that you start doubting yourself in your capabilities to continue   Remember that everyone else feel the exact same way, its up to you to make peace with the pain, and carrion.  The best way to make this happen is the think positively, think on what you got to do, not what is happening.




Ref: The Power of Positive Thinking for Athletes in Sports & Bodybuilding by www.fitflew.com
The Power Of Positive Thinking & Stress by www.livestrong.com

WEEK 21 - TRAINING OF THE WEEK

MONDAY 18 FEB 2013

0530-0615 Crossfit Endurance upper body centric

1600-1715 3k Swim hypoxic trg
1930-2030 8k Run Tempo (half)

TUESDAY 19 FEB 2013

0515-0600 Crossfit 15min AMRAP

1400-1500 Spin Z2 trg
1600-1700 3k Swim IM trg
1845-1945 Mobility WOD & Core trg

WEDNESDAY 20 FEB 2013

0515-0600 Crossfit Strength Legs

1600-1700 3k Swim Mid distance trg
1900-2000 6k Run Drill/Accel & Endurance Sprints repeats

THURSDAY 21 FEB 2013

0515-0600 Crossfit Strength Upper body

1445-1545 Spin Seated Climb trg
1600-1700 3k Swim Active Recovery

Evening to rest (lower back not doing too great)

FRIDAY 22 FEB 2013

Morning off as I am a little worried about my back.

1400-1500 6k Run low intensity trg - active recovery
1600-1700 3k Swim Mid distance trg

SATURDAY 23 FEB 2013

0800-1000 6k Swim Intensity trg
1000-1100 Crossfit Endurance in memory of fallen soldier US Amry Spec Adam Hamilton from Kent, Ohio

1500-1700 2hrs Spin/Run Bricks

SUNDAY 24 FEB 2013

1400-1600 Mobility WOD & Core trg

Next week is a well deserve active recovery week.  Time to heel, and finally go home after 6 weeks away.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

WEEK 20 - MENTAL TRAINING

As you know, I have been sent to CFB Gagetown in NB for a career course.  Usually when you go on course you expect to learn something, but this course its more about being assest on things you already have learned to see it your ready to move to the next level.  So without any issue I will come home with this new qualification which feel pretty much like a big waste of time, that being said I would be able to get promoted without it.  The reason why I am telling you this is because I am bored here and it affect my training.  Waking up tired without any desire to do anything, resemble very much like being over train or maybe being burned out.

So I had to do something about it.  Change the way I do things.  In my swimming career I have practice Mental Imagery, Mental Preparation and alot more techniques that I have been taking for granted lately because when you are on a high, and everything is going your way, you usually dont take the time to think of this very important aspect of training and/or competing.  While in experience plays a huges part of your total preparation and also to maintain sight on your goals.  Imagine you have goal that are many years away and you do not practice mental training, this is the best way to lose yourself or to get side tracked by everything and everyone around you.

So I have prepared some idea to consider but do not stop there, mental training is different to everyone and you should read more about it.

MENTAL TRAINING

There is Nine Mental Skills which play an important part in an athlete's training/racing capabilitie to become a successful athlete, here they are:

  1. Choose and maintain a positive attitude;
  2. Maintain a high level of self-motivation;
  3. Set high but realistic goals
  4. Deal effectively with people or other athletes;
  5. Use positive self-talk;
  6. Use positive mental imagery;
  7. Manage anxiety effectively;
  8. Manage their emotion effectively; and
  9. Maintain concentration.
In order to improve those 9 skills, you should work/train yourself in groups, if you try to work on those 9 at the same time you might have a hard time, but few at a time is a recipes for success.

When comes to setting goal, I have a way that always made me successful.  First you most write them done in the right order, start by writing down your long term goal, long term will very in reference to how long you are planning to compete or what is your ultimate goal, for example, a teenager who's goal is to go to the Olympics, this could be his long term goal.  Second, write your mid term goal and finally your short term goal which should be those things that you would like to accomplish within the year.

Always make sure you have some doable goals and maybe some that could be a little harder  This will make sure you have something to strike through and something to reach.

Then write down the list of what you need to do everyday in order to accomplish those goals

Finally post that list somewhere you can see it as often as possible, you accomplish a goal, keep it there, strike it through and mark the date, this will remains you how far you've come and make you realize that even if your on a plateau, you are still on track.

Check this out, this is a short from of my goal list:

Goals:
Long-term: Ironman World Championship
Mid-term: First page finish at full Ironman competition
Short-term: Dropping body weight below 200lbs

Daily need to do:
  1. Always train with a purpose
  2. Train smart
  3. Train Hard
  4. Stay concentrated throughout the trg session
  5. Follow the plan
  6. Make compromises
  7. Never forget who is supporting you the most "Family"
  8. PAIN does not exist.

MENTAL PREPARATION ROUTINE

Hopefully now you are convinced of the important of mental training, I would like to talk about your routine, or as I like to call it, Mental Prep Routine.  It is critical to consider the benefits of developing your personal mental prep routine and use it consistently to your advantage, change it, tweek it and improve it as you go.

Your mental prep routine, can start few minutes or few days before your race, some peoples cant be in it for more then few minute/hours at a time otherwise they go crazy, they need distration, and other absolutly need alot of time in their head getting ready.  This may include:
  1. Meals pre-race (one to three days prior;
  2. Race kit routine;
  3. Relaxation & mediation;
  4. Short training session the days before and stretching / mobility trg;
  5. Bed time routine;
  6. Feeding & hydration pre-race; and 
  7. Warm-up.
You can have more or less this is you mental prep routine, so make it your own.

Other subject to think about:
How will you attain your ideal mental zone?
How will you reach a high self-confidence toward your race?
How will you control your mental energy?
How focus do you need to be or should you need some distraction?
Etc..


WEEK 20 - TAPER & TIME TRIAL WEEK

MONDAY 11 FEB 2013

1830-1930 Crossfit WOD

TUESDAY 12 FEB 2013

1400-1530 Run 7k Tabata Run (long w-u/c-d)

WEDNESDAY 13 FEB 2013 (OFF @ the Range all day till late)

THURSDAY 14 FEB 2013 (5k Time Trial Day)

0930-1100 Long w-u w drills / acceleration etc. 5k time 19m44s

FRIDAY 15 FEB 2013

1600-1700 Swim 4k distance work
1900-2000 Spin Active Recovery

SATURDAY 16 FEB 2013

0800-1000 Swim 6k kick work/long intensity trg
1000-1130 -Mobility WOD
                  -Crossfit WOD (HOPE for Kenya)
1500-1630 Spin(1hr)/Run(15min)

SUNDAY 17 FEB 2013

1000-1130 Mobility & Core trg

Sunday, February 10, 2013

WEEK 19 - HIGHS & LOWS

First and foremost, GOOD JOB RAVENS!!!  Someone ask me who I was for in the Super Bowl and I said without hesitation, RAVENS.  Their immediate reaction was !!WHY!! with that, what a weird dude, look on his face.  So I explain that the stats are pretty much the same and that the 49ers really never lost once when they get to the bowl so the only thing that can happen is them losing.  Otherwise it would be almost like a merical and I don't believe in those.  So the only other option is for the Ravens to win.  So the answer was, your crazy go sit in that corner...  Well guess what...  Thats right, I was right and he was wrong and I made a point to tell him that CRAZY GUY!!!

So the week started pretty easy, we got told Sunday afternoon that they're wouldnt be any PT Monday morning, so that open the door for me to perform my personal training and not be bothered which happen as planned.

MONDAY 04 FEB 2013

0530-0615 6k Run (Z2 to bottom Z3)
1900-2000 Spin 3x (4mins Z2/4min Z3/4min Z4) in the bottom of each Zone

Both trg session were good, other then the collision with an idiot who didnt look before crossing the track.  I say idiot as I am trying to stay polite as he made sure I was aware that he was an officer after swearing at me the way he did.  So I had to tape my ankle all day to help with the pain.

TUESDAY 05 FEB 2013

Another morning to do PT on my own, great!!  Then in the freezing -30 all day.  Thanks to unissued kit I was warm the hole day.

0530-0615 Crossfit WOD

1830-2000 -Mobility WOD
                  -Core Trg  spending lots of time on the GHR machine

WEDNESDAY 06 FEB 2013

Today is not as fun, the crse had to go back to crse PT doing the same old and boring thing, BUT SURPRISE! SURPRISE! Would one of the staff read my blog??  The 100 pushups/100situps/15lap & 20 pullups has changed.  Now its 50pushups/50situps/50dips/15laps/20pullups, so basically same shit.  Lots of imagination.

0530-0615 Circuit trg

1900-2000 Spin - Minute of Hell - I love that one, it hurts but it doesnt last long and repeat.

THURSDAY 07 FEB 2013

SAME OLD CIRCUIT TRG IN THE MORNING i dont know how to tell an full of himself staff that he has no idea how to run PT.  So I tell myself, only 3 weeks left of that then I can go back to where I belong.

0530-0615 Circuit trg

1800-1900 Tabata Run 6k total including w-u/m-s/c-d
1900-1930 core trg

FRIDAY 08 FEB 2013

0530-0615 Crossfit WOD

1400-1515 Spin HST 88
The day finished early so lots of time to relax and meet some friends for a coffee.

SATURDAY 09 FEB 2013



Like most of us living in Ontario/Quebec/ and on toward the maritime, I got woken up by gushing wind whistling in the cracks of the window.  Wind surpassing the 75kph.  Last time I saw that it was in Norway during a FTX in the mountain above the tree line.  We had to build an emergency snow cave to get shelter from the blizzard storm out there and we were stuck in there for days.



Then I get up for a swim practice with the local team, to find out that they have cancelled the practice in prevision for the storm.  Who cancel a swim practice while its done inside.  There is no snow or wind in that pool trust me.  So I show up, wait and wait again, no one showed.  But thats ok, I had a plan.

0800-0930   -6k Run (drills.accekeration etc)
                    -Muscle ups progression
                    -Core trg

1400-1500 Spin

SUNDAY 10 FEB 2013

Nice sleep in morning followed by an easy active recovery workout

1000-1130 Light jog & Mobility WOD

Than i'm done for the day, time to study for the test first thing in the morning monday.

ENJOY YOUR WEEK.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

RUN / WALK TRACK ETIQUETTE

It is my understanding that most of those athletes who read my blog don’t need my remarks on how to conduct training and specially the sports etiquette, but it is our duty to spread the word because I am sure that I am not the only one who suffers in silence of those issues.  Couple years ago I was talking to a friend who is a Social Worker and she told me, why instead of complaining don’t you do something about it, have a glass of wine and write about it.  At the time I walked away from that discussion thinking I wouldn’t be able to make changes, which nobody would care or help me changing anything.  Well boy was I wrong.  Few weeks ago I have wrote about Lap Swimming Etiquette and my blog post got well over 200 hits and more than one hundred shares.  Someone even made a condensed version and sent it to the local papers.  Now did it make a difference in the pool, maybe, maybe not “YET” but eventually it will.  So thanks for those who got involve and let’s hope this blog post will also spread like wild fire.

So while I was talking to pro runner, competitive athletes and enthusiastic Sunday morning runners we all came up to few rules or guide lines if you will.  Doesn’t matter if its on a local dirt track or a high end Olympic calibrated run track, those are some accepted practices or like I enjoy to call it “Run Track Etiquette”.

video


Here they are:

1.  If you find yourself alone on a track it really doesn’t matter to anyone which direction you’re going, it’s also the perfect time to try turning right for a change.

In the presence of others athletes you should take the following principles in consideration.

2.  Some facilities have dedicated direction for the day of the week, if it is the case, follow that rule, same goes for the designated run/walk lanes.  In CFB Petawawa DunDonald Hall the direction change every day, and the walk/run lanes are marked in the track itself.

3.  Run counter-clockwise, to make it easy for you, you should always turn left. If you decide to run clockwise or turning right, it’s your choice but you should run on the outside lane of the track.  Stay out of the way of runners who are training and running in the accepted direction.

4.  Stay alert and don’t use ear phones or dime down the volume so you can ear if someone is saying something to you while running.  Very often will you know which side a faster runner will pass you by the sounds he make with his foot or plain and simple, he or she will tell you.  Look both ways before entering onto a track. Even the most experienced runner have been caught by surprise.



5.  Bicycles, scooters, roller blades, etc. should not allowed on tracks.  For the most part animals are restricted from tracks. Even if they aren’t, it is wise not to allow them for safety reasons. If you do bring a pet, be sure it is secured away from the running surface and of course clean up after it. Tracks are designed for humans to run and walk on. Just try dodging a straying dog while running full tilt is way easier said than done, plus if we wanted to dodge dogs we would go do our training on the road!  The fact is that even leashes aren’t secure enough nor short enough and as you think your dog is behaving very well, he will give himself some loose and that loose is just what you don’t want while you’re coming by on a full sprint. 

6.  The faster the runner, the more inside the lane reserved for him or her.  Tracks with lanes are numbered from inside (nearest the infield or field house) to the outside (usually near the bleachers or wall). Most commonly they are from 1-4 to 1-8 depending how big is the track.  In the case of a 4 lanes track which is the most common in the Canadian Forces; Lanes 1 & 2 are reserved for runners, lane 1 should be for the fastest ones, lane 2 is for the next faster runners.  Lane 3 & 4 would be joggers and walking.

7.  It’s ok for slower runners to run further inside but be alert to move when faster runners approach from behind. It is far more dangerous for a fast runner to change lanes and pass.  The main idea is, keep your Situation Awareness (SA) up at all time by looking and lessoning of what’s going on around you.  That also go for those who perform sprints, once the distance or interval has been reached and your slowing down quickly, look behind then change lanes if it is require and safe to do so, remember that a runner behind you might already started to adjust his course according to this SA.

8.  If you are the faster runner and you are approaching from behind, give ample notice and call-out (just like with cycling). The traditional phrase to use it “track”.  Which means move over someone faster is coming through.  You can alternatively use “on your left” or “on the inside” to indicate you are coming by on the inside.  Do not go whizzing by an inch from someone’s shoulder as if to non-verbally say “get out of my way”.  This is rude! It can also startle someone who then may in fact move into your path causing a full collision.



9.  If you hear “track” or “on your left” or “on the inside” either move directly off to the infield (in the case of just walking or having just stopped from your run) or move out to lane 2 or 3 or so.  If there are no lanes, move out about 4-6 feet.  But the most important thing to know if you don’t know what to do or simply didn’t understand exactly what was said, stay put or carrion in the same direction.  Keep your SA up before making a radical move.

10.  It’s ok to politely mention to someone on the inside lane that you will be doing a workout in lane 1 and would they mind moving out a lane.  Just stay polite and explain that you will perform intervals, sprint or high tempo training and you just want to make sure no one gets injured. 

11.  If a track team is working out on the track – they take priority over individuals.  If you can workout on the farthest outside lanes without interfering and the coaches allow you, then do so.  Otherwise, come back another time.  This of course is very frustrating.  If you are on a DND facility, you may think that as a CF member that track is there for you to use as you please but in fact if a team has booked the track, they most then likely have paid for it and they own it for the time being, and are liable for everything happening on the track while they use it.

 12.  It is always encouraged for responsible children and parents to come out to train. It’s good parental role modeling for the kids even if they aren’t running or walking.  It’s also something that many single parents have to resort to.  Bring balls and activities to keep them busy.  Often you can even get them to run some laps. However, not all children have the self-control necessary. You know your child best. Please consider all the others on the track and obviously your children, no one want to be the one who injured your kid and they are a the high to take seriously hurt if they get tangled in a runners feet.  

13.  Finally if you are playing sports inside the track, or what we call in the military, the field house, please always look in both directions before exiting that area.  It happens more often than you think that someone gets smoked hard and is off their training for a while because of it.  If you make a mistake which happen to everyone, apologies and leave it as that.  No harm no fowl.

Enjoy your next run and pass to word.



Sunday, February 03, 2013

WEEK 18 - EASY LEARNING TO KEEP MY WORDS TO MYSELF


There is many way to learn; the hard way, the easy way and from others mistakes/experiences or advices.  During the last week, I've been take part of some Physical Training with the school that have no purpose and aim.  As an athlete and coach the first thing I always say and practice is to never do any training unless you have a clear purpose, but sometime you have to follow along.  It burns your mind, gives you headache but on a the long term its good, so you don't get your number taken, you stay a grey man.  Military personal will know immediately what I am talking about.

One thing that makes me mad the most is to show up to a PT session that is completely unorganized so the outcome is 100 pushups, 100 situps, 15 laps run and 20 pullups GO!  I have no problem doing that once, but if after one week, you have done the same thing 3 times with the same instructor, who appear to be fit btw.  It hurt!


MONDAY 28 JAN 2013
0530-0615 circuit trg - sect competition
1800-1900 Indoor cycling Z2 trg
1915-2015 Crossfit KBS trg

TUESDAY 29 JAN 2013
0530-0615 circuit trg (core/upper body)
1900-2000 6k run with drills & good wu/cd  Sprint trg

WEDNESDAY 30 JAN 2013

When the army gets boring, the real soldier like to "MAKE IT FUN, LIKE THIS, DO THAT NOW!"  Make sure you EDI everything.











0530-0615 Circuit trg
1900-2000 Spin max mid Z3
2000-2100 3k Swim Hypoxic Trg

THURSDAY 31 JAN 2013
0530-0615 Rowing/core trg
Evening Off (just completly spent)

FRIDAY 1 FEB 2013
0530-0615 5k Tempo Run
Evening Off

SATURDAY 2 FEB 2013
0800-1000 5k Swim + core/upper body trg
2000-2100 light spin

SUNDAY 3 FEB 2013
1000-1100 Mobility WOD

GO! RAVENS GO!