On Monday at the meet Don asked Victor and me a very simple question, "What race do you think will be your white cap swim?" In no time at all I would have told you my first white cap swim will most likely be in the 50 Free, it is the race I am the most comfortable with and the fastest at.
And then my brain started to think. And after two days of thought I have come up with my answer. I have no clue. I have absolutely no clue what or when that race will be and frankly I don't want to. Racing is still something I am trying to figure out; it is like a secret formula with each ingredient being just as important as the last and no more important than the next.
And although I have not cracked the full formula I have figured just a few small parts; Sleep well before, Eat well, Warm up, don't breath, kick hard and many more. And here is my problem, what does every one of those things listed have in common? None of them are mental. Such a crucial part of my race has gone unnoticed. Much of my thought has been consumed in what mentally needs to take place during a fast race.
With help from Rebecca I have learned that in order to have a fast race you need to make your mind believe that you will/are having a fast race, mental conditioning of sorts. And this is something I have struggled with in the past year, getting into the race I am swimming. This weekend may not have been the best meet of my life but I learned two very important things about my swimming, first: if I believe I am not going to swim well I will not swim well. Second: if I truly believe I will have a great race, guess what, I have a great race. Getting a best time with pneumonia unshaved was primarily due to the fact that I was tired of two lousy days of swimming and I wanted to do well and believed that I could do well. I knew I put in lots of work over that past few months and that my body was ready to swim fast, all I needed to do was lean into it.
Because after all is said and done, training, speed camp and taper, it all depends on how you swim at the last meet. How you swim on that one race. It could be the 50 free or the 1650 which ever race I am ready to swim both mentally and physically when I truly believe that I will swim fast will be the one I will walk away from with a white cap. This could be next week or in 4 years; I have to decide.
TK is one sharp guy…and of course he will get his white National Team cap since he is unlocking the secrets…thanks for sharing big guy!