Avoiding the Euphoria-Despair Roller Coaster in Endurance Racing

As I approach a weekend with a DB Athlete undertaking another massive challenge (their second 100 mile Ultra in 6 weeks) the subject of managing your mindset during a BIG event is clearly on my mind.

So… I’m sharing one of my favourite concepts, first introduced to me by ‘The Iron Cowboy’ James Lawrence during his “50” challenge where he completed 50 IronMan distance triathlons in 50 US States in 50 days.

This is the Concept of: “Don’t Get Too High. Don’t Get Too Low”

The ability to regulate emotions and maintain an unwavering mental focus can separate the champions from the also-rans in grueling endurance competitions.

While physical preparation is crucial, how you manage your mindset and psychological state during the inherent ebbs and flows is equally vital.

This emerging philosophy emphasises cultivating a even-keeled, balanced state of mind – steadfastly avoiding the pitfalls of overconfidence during high points and despondency during low points.

Here are some key aspects of this mindset approach:

  1. Emotional regulation:
    Endurance events involve physical and mental ups and downs. The theory suggests regulating emotions to avoid getting carried away by momentary feelings, whether positive or negative, which could disrupt pacing and focus.
  2. Consistency:
    Maintaining a consistent level of effort and concentration is considered ideal, rather than expending too much energy in bursts of over-enthusiasm or letting negative emotions drain commitment.
  3. Pacing:
    Getting too high can lead to starting out too fast and burning out prematurely. Getting too low can cause one to slow down unnecessarily or even give up. An even pace matching one’s training is recommended.
  4. Objectivity:
    The idea is to objectively assess the situation at each point, without the extremes of over-optimism from temporary good feelings or despair from temporary setbacks.
  5. Resilience:
    Avoiding emotional peaks and valleys can help cultivate resilience to overcome the inevitable challenges that arise.

The ultimate goal is to stay level-headed, stick to one’s race plan, and persist with determination throughout the ups and downs until the finish line.

Proponents believe this balanced mindset allows athletes to perform closer to their full potential over the entire distance.

If you want to truly become the best athlete you can be, you have to first master and the weaponise your mindset and this is a key asset.

About Liza Smith

Liza: The Endurance Expert – Unlock Your Peak Athletic Potential!

Dedicated to endurance, particularly in extreme events like Ironman, OCR and Ultras, Liza stands out not just as a coach but as an emblem of determination and tenacity.

With a reputation for moulding winners and transforming raw potential into prowess, Liza is the top pick for those aspiring to reign supreme in their sport.

Liza’s coaching philosophy centres on the power of the mind. Her five pillars – Control the Controllable, Find the Positive, Focus on You, 100% Effort, and Extreme Ownership – guide athletes to both mental and physical excellence.

Whether you're just starting out or vying for the gold, Liza ensures your hard work delivers results. Train with Liza and unleash the ultimate athlete within you.