Trigger Words and Mental Mistakes

Marion set a good course for AOTC this Saturday on Telephone Track which was a great opportunity to redeem myself after my messy runs at Tour De Peninsula. My session aim was to use my trigger words consistently to drive technical process and forget about the bigger picture of my training and performance. I call this process focus.

Firstly take a look at my GPS on my DOMA page.

I was relaxed at the start and ran very smooth through the first 7 controls with a stable and thorough technical process of simplifying the route, identifying the next feature to look for, looking for the feature, and finally using my compass to confirm my direction. I began to lose some focus on the way to 8 and was immediately disappointed that I had deviated from the straight line and these thoughts began to take over my mental space. This happened again leaving 8 until I triggered my process again. My thorough here navigation helped me handle the strange mapping at 10, but my process there after fell away again as I tripped over, got a distracting spider web wrapped around my face, and was also faced by the recently felled area which wasn’t looking entirely fun to run across. Here I totally lost contact with the map because my mental process was non-existent. Effects of this also included having a poor visual image of proportions within the control circle at 11 and no planned exit direction. I stopped for 15 seconds, relocated and fumbled on to the control. BAD!!!

I made 2 small technical errors, one just before 18 where I drifted to the left and again leaving 18 where I drifted left again. They were purely technical errors because despite planning and executing my process I was not accurate enough with my compass. I made 3 more small errors later on the course which were all mental errors, and not technical errors. You can see my deviation from the straight line on the way to 22. This was me regretting that spicy pizza my flat mate gave me the night before – my suffering insides were easily enough to take my thoughts of my process. The deviations before and after 27 were because I was thinking about running harder and not actively looking for the next feature, so 2 more clear mental errors there.

So it’s very clear in my mind that most of my mistakes are in fact mentally derived while only a small number of them are technical/navigational errors and working on my process focus will remain a major component of my short term goals.

Marion's extended middle distance training course

Marion’s extended middle distance training course

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