Roughly every 4th week of my training plan is a test and recovery week. The training volume drops, but I have a series of benchmark session to do so the coach and me can see whether things are moving in the right direction.
So there I was one Wednesday evening in my basement on my trusted turbo trainer churning out my monthly 80k time trial. By now I have a fairly high boredom threshold when it comes to turbo sessions. When I first started I would barely last 20 minutes! But for sessions like that I load up my mp3 player with podcasts, and tune out the world with those beautiful Sennheiser headphones that drown out most outside noise. That particular evening it was IMTalk I was listening to, and they were talking about the mental tricks you can engage to get through those tough sessions. That in turn made me think of what I do (which admittedly is fairly similar).
So here are my top 5 in no particular order:
Counting and numbers, and by that I mean anything. Just keep your mind busy. During hard interval run sessions I find myself counting my foot strikes, forcing myself to get to 100 before I will look at my watch again. During swim sessions I often work out the percentages of the total I’ve already swum. I count pedal revelutions too. It all helps.
Breaking things up: 2000 m swim test sounds tough? You lose count easily. How about thinking of it as 5×400