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Training Tip: Worried Man Blues

This time of year is my time of high anxiety. The Tour d'Organics is less than a month away and soon I'll have hundreds of cyclists waiting at my doorstep looking for a safe route and good food. Fortunately, this is the 6th year (and last year for me), so most of the processes are in place. I still worry about it.

It's around this time that I get injured and burnt out. My motivation for training lags. Daily workouts become weekly. Often, as the case is now, I get some sort of tightness in my back or neck that manifests as an injury in my ankles or knees as well.

In his latest sports psychology article, Marvin Zaudere talks about anxiety as an obstacle to believing in yourself: "Why should you believe in yourself if believing in yourself moves you closer to something that makes you feel uncomfortable? Your brain is going to try to protect you, unless you override it." [As a matter of synchronicity, I received an email about this article as I was beginning to write this post]

How I override anxiety.
I have a 4 step process I use to work through anxiety of preparing for a big event.
1. Meditate: When in doubt, I go in. Spending just 10 minutes on the zafu each morning does wonders for my mental state.
2. Brain Dump: As something comes to consciousness that I either want to do or need to do, I write it down. Whether the thought is a task, idea, goal, or daydream, I try to make a note of it.
3. Prioritize and organize: Checklists of what must get done keep me on track and less prone to being distracted by the unnecessary.
4. Act: Checklists are useless if you don't actually check things off!

What processes do you use for overcoming anxiety?