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Motivation & physical exertion

Clock face

Clock Face

Clock Face

Last edited: Sun 19 Mar 2017

How can we get ourselves to keep going and navigating well throughout the race?

Getting away from the navigation theme, here's something about motivation and physical exertion. It is a competitive sport after all!

I've previously talked about how easy it is to ease off the effort when no-one else is in sight. Here's how I try to keep myself going. I imagine a clock face. Whatever exercise I am doing I divide it up into twelve and imagine the hand going round once.

So if I'm swimming 30 lengths, each length is two minutes on the clock. If I'm cycling 50km, each 10km is 12 minutes on the clock. And if I'm orienteering a course with 15 controls, each is four minutes on the clock. As I do the activity, I imagine the clock going round starting from the top. From experience I know how I will feel when the clock is at 2 o'clock or 5 o'clock or 9 o'clock. I know in the first part of the activity I will be fresh and keen to get going.

By about 3 o'clock I'm starting to feel the strain. But I know that the race is won or lost in the middle third between 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock. I know I have to put in some mental effort during this part to keep the pressure on. I've no idea if this is useful for anyone else but it works for me!

Richard Sansbury

  • Skilling Up tip #28, from QuOnicle 164, Nov 2015