the brain is just like a muscle. you need to train it as well.
In any triathlon of any distance, the mental side and the physical side need to work together in unison. without them working together, it does not matter whether your are Hercules or Zeus, nothing goes. that for me is the fascinating thing about triathlon.
the high requirement of substance and maturity on the mental side is the reason why triathletes are at their best when they are a bit older.
to train the mental side, I train by myself. only when you are with yourself, you recognize, see and learn how to follow your patterns. having people around distract from this process of self discovery. but one shouldn’t be alone the whole time.
in training when I prepare for competitions, I use the tool of the visualisation. what does that mean? I imagine/portray a picture or a sequence of pictures in my head of a certain situation that occurs in a race i.e crossing the finish line as a winner, cycling through a technical part of the course, the start gun etc etc. the key for this is to visualize as many details as possible and to train it frequently. the more you train it, the easier it is for you to see it.
especially in the latter stage of races the mental part becomes more important than even the physical part.
I am able to take full advantage of my mental/physical strength because I am honest with myself and others about triathlon and my intentions about pursuing the sport.