Update+ Tactics to maximize mental energy. Part 2:

Update+ Plans:

Hi All!!

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving and is enjoying the transition from fall to winter! I’m Currently in Silver Star, British Columbia (Canada) for our first big races of the year! Things have been really busy for me since I last wrote, and the race season is already upon us! I finished a great altitude block in October. Came back to Alaska to find good skiing up at Hatcher pass, and only had about a week of dryland training in Anchorage before the snow fell and we were able to ski in town! Since I got back to AK, the training has been ticking along quite nicely, without too many hiccups to speak of. We’ve had a few time trials over the past few weeks which were a good start in getting those race feelings back, and to rev up the race engine felt good! With the start of the race season, comes the end of the fall school semester, which I am looking forward to. Less than 2 weeks to go!

This year, the first period of the Super Tour is packed with racing. (7 races in 12 days kind of packed!) Here in Silver Star we will race November 30th, December 1, 3, 4, with a classic sprint on Wednesday, 10km skate mass start on Thursday, skate sprint on Saturday, and 10km classic individual start on Sunday. You can follow results for these races at ,zone4.ca.Then, on Monday, December 5th we’ll make the 14+ hour drive down to Sun Valley, Idaho where we race 12/8-10-11. From there, it’s home for Christmas before heading up to Houghton, Michigan for the 2023 US Nationals! After Nationals, there are many avenues the season could take, so stay tuned!

Part 2: Tactics to maximize mental energy.

Last time I wrote I gave some ideas of how to maximize your mental energy in order to get the most out of yourself. I think it is an important aspect to take into consideration, and unlike some other topics, is something that is applicable year round. Here is the second of this two part series.

1. Listen to some entertainment during training: Whether it’s music or a podcast, I often find that listening to entertainment can help especially when energy is low. However, I would not advise it in situations when you need to be paying attention, i.e. roller skiing, biking or running in traffic laden areas.

2. Be Flexible: Hard to have a title for this one, but sometimes when I’m tired and I have an easy session on the schedule in a modality that doesn’t excite me, I’ll swap that modality out for an alternative. For example, recently I had a distance session of a run/ bike combo on the schedule, and all I really wanted to do was ride my bike on the trainer, zone out, and watch a bike race. Both options served the same purpose, physically, but in doing what I felt like doing, I was able to save some mental energy.

3. Have proper gear: For me personally, having proper gear really comes into play especially when I’m up in Alaska and the conditions are very challenging on a regular basis. I don’t know what it is about rain, but even when I know I can have a good session, will stay warm, dry, etc, my excitement levels wane for training outside. The couch then starts to look more and more comfortable. Having the correct clothing, skis, rollerskis, poles, gloves, etc, to face the necessary conditions can help you combat the elements and your desire to tuck away on your couch.

4. Proper fuel, sleep and recovery: Just like your mental condition can affect your physical condition, your physical condition can affect your mental condition. If you’re low on sleep, fuel, or haven’t recovered adequately from previous training, you will end up using more mental energy to make up for your lack of physical energy. For during training fuel I use PowerBar and have found that it makes a huge difference in keeping consistency in training! Use code: GB15 at ,PowerBar ® | Sports Nutrition for Athletic Performance for 15% off your order.

Hope you find these tips useful and will implement them yourselves! Anyways, I am still in disbelief that it’s already the first race week of the season, but on the flipside, I’m super stoked and optimistic to get things rolling for what will be a season filled with fantastic racing! Now that I will be racing most weeks, you can expect more, regular updates from each race/ series. I’ll include links to follow results as well as any possible live-streaming. More news & future race plans to come.

Until next time,

Garrett Butts

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