Archive for the ‘TriAthlon’ Category

The next time a fellow competitor yells a scathing insult at you, be sure to thank them.

They are actually doing you a favour – in fact, their insult is beneficial to you in THREE ways!!


BENEFIT #1:   People have all sorts of reasons to be angry, frustrated, emotional, or irrational.  It is never appropriate to behave unpleasantly towards others, but it happens.  Benefit #1 is a REMINDER to you that not everyone out there competing is ‘sportsmanlike’ or ‘sportswomanlike’, and not everyone behaves appropriately, or pleasantly.  In life, in our own little bubble, the perfect world we try to make for ourselves, we tend to forget that there are nasty, rude, angry, and ill-behaved people out there.  A good reminder is always helpful…!!


Because it keeps us from living too much in our bubble and becoming ‘soft’.  It keeps us on our toes, reminding us that there are always tough challenges out there.  Nothing like a little boost of mental toughness in the form of an attack from an outsider!



BENEFIT #2:   That insult got under your skin.  Made the veins in your neck pop out, made your face turn red.  But rather than muster up the perfect response to the person who yelled stupid things at you, and rather than focus on how to respond or react – you should take this externally created energy and apply it to your riding, swimming, running, or whatever you are doing at the time.

Look at this as a gift!  You now have a huge burst of strong energy in you- and it can be channelled wherever you’d like it to go.  Might as well speed up your stride, or pack on more power…

Yes, the best benefit is that you can now use that energy that is welling up in you, not to REACT to the attacker, but to ENHANCE your performance at the moment.  This is energy that you didn’t have to dig up, you didn’t have to eat an extra power bar to obtain, you didn’t have to take a rest to get.  This is bonus energy.  Use it wisely!  Run/swim/bike faster and pass the insulting offender EVEN FASTER!!  Heheheheheh!



BENEFIT #3:  It never hurts to work on your own behaviour, comportment, finesse.  Work on your patience at every chance you get.  Work on your drive, focus, concentration, and distraction-control every moment that presents itself.  If you are yelled at by an insulting competitor, here is an OPPORTUNITY to PRACTISE that strong, resistant dignity and focus.  It helps you to perfect your own qualities.  Use that insult to your advantage.

For example, when I play golf, I welcome every opportunity to play a sand shot.  It’s a difficult shot to play, and generally, we never get quite enough time to practise it well.  So when my ball rolls into a bunker during a game, I don’t get upset and anxious.  I am grateful and welcome this chance to practise my sand-shots.  I look forward to it.   I am happy when it happens.

So the next time someone yells at you during a race, remember to thank them!  Narrow into yourself and transfer your anger and shock into new energy to fuel your race…be grateful that you are one of the ones who behaves well and that there are tons of people out there who don’t (for whatever reason – and the amount of compassion you feel is up to you), and remember that you are only able to perfect your toughness and other qualities when you have a challenge and an opportunity to do so.

Looking forward to more challenges and opportunities!


You are a competitive endurance athlete (triathlons, marathons, etc.) who frequently wins or places at local/regional events (takes competing quite seriously), and are having an issue with shortness of breath in the days leading up to big events.

You describe it as feeling like your airway is constricted but your doctor has been unable to identify any physiological cause. You believe this feeling is linked to the anticipatory stress of racing, because it goes away after the race and will not reappear until the days leading up to the next one.

You are concerned both about the discomfort that the shortness of breath is causing, and also about the possibility that this breathing impairment may be hurting your race performances.

As a triathlete, I experience the same thing although unlike you, I don’t actually win the events or even make it to the podium!!

This constricted breathing also happens to me when I am highly stressed in other situations. It has happened at jobs I’ve hated or before meetings with people who made me uneasy.

What I most experience is this strange inability to complete a ‘yawn’, so I’m forever attempting to yawn, often, and with my mouth wide open for a length of time, while on-lookers certainly find it amusing.

It first happened to me in Israel in the 90’s and it was diagnosed there as “Behavioural Breathlessness” or “Psychogenic Dyspnea.”

Some of the other suggestions of diagnoses included acid reflux, anxiety, and vocal cord dysfunction.
None of these were the cause, but they often are for others who go through this…so check these out!

Nevertheless, it was suggested to me to read about Hyperventilation Syndrome and so I did.

The context of your problem appears to be mostly anxiety-related, but before you pop an anti-anxiety prescription drug, please consider reading up on Hyperventilation Syndrome and see if it possibly fits your case.

Click here for a fairly technical article describing the syndrome.

Although the article seems to be more about excessive breathing than shortness of breath, I feel that if you are at this high level of fitness, your condition could be catalyzing the conditions upon which this disorder lies.

For less complicated reading, here are other articles (some more technical than others):

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Article 4

My coping mechanisms revolved around whole body progressive relaxation (while awake, sitting or doing other activity, focus on all body parts in a sequential fashion, then systematically tighten and relax the muscles), diaphragmatic breathing with the exhale longer than the inhale, and standing with my head tilted back, open mouth, and deep breaths in and out (3 usually), then place head back in neutral regular position.

Hopefully, this will give you some information from which to make a deduction. Or if it’s not this, you can cross off one more possibility from your list while you attempt to discover the cause of your problem. Feel free to comment on this blog, or even to contact me personally for any assistance with this situation.
I wish you all the best!

Good luck,
Anna Weltman

You can be critical of your performance, or you can be thankful for such a

Race and train for your own reasons, not others’ expectations.

Great races are made up of one meter and one minute at a time. A ten hour
Ironman is six hundred efficient minutes. Every minute spent thinking about
someone else is not one of those efficient minutes.


I was really well trained for a race last winter…was ready for a chilly bike ride, freezing water, etc…I trained in just a skin suit for the ride and run…so I felt that I was TOUGH!!

Well, I got sick the week of the race but decided I’d do it anyway…and just accept that I’d stay sick a few days later.  But then it rained all the night and morning leading up to the race.  That was overboard for me – beyond my limits.  Swimming in Fiesta Bay (in San Diego) after a full night’s rain AND having a sick body was not a good combination.  All of that training and anticipation – GONE – out the window!  But I’m glad – because with a low body immunity and high bacteria count in those waters, I’d not just have been sick for a few more days after; I’d probably be REALLY sick for weeks to come.

Remember that sentence we learned as kids and (grew to despise)  – Short term pain = long term gain?  So miss a race now, but race the rest of the season.    Or in  your case, short-term “holding back” will = long term “going full out forward”!!

Have a great season and remember that every training season is comprised of ups AND downs.

Those downs, slower sessions, boring sessions, repetitive sessions, and recovery days all have a place in an athlete’s complete training plan and must ALL be present.

Stay tuned for my special section on REST, TAPER TREATS, RECOVERY and REGENERATION!!

This is from an Ottawa Triathlon Club posting:

“…I ordered a “Pool-Mate” watch have been swimming with it for 3 and a half months and …I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!

The Pool-Mate is the only swimming computer. A watch that will count your laps and strokes automatically it also give you speed and distance data, calories and swimming efficiency. Containing advanced motion detectors and our bespoke software the Pool-Mate brings swimming into the 21st century.

I’ll be honest..I used to just go through the motions with swimming I found it very frustrating..trying to count laps was a pain, I would constantly lose my count, and in turn lose my rhythm and concentration on a good stroke. Now I love to swim…I really enjoy challenging myself to swim further, faster and more efficiently, the stroke counter helps with that. I could already see great improvements in my speed and stroke rate after only 2 months…”

thanks for that info.  Anyone else tried this?