Canada’s world indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon silver medallist Brianne Theisen-Eaton reflects on her outstanding multi-events career so far, and offers her words of wisdom.
1. The Olympics is like any other event
”At my first Olympics in London [where Theisen-Eaton finished tenth] I thought I was going to have this big epiphany, but it never really happened. I went into the event thinking it was going to be something crazy different to any other meet I’d competed in, but the reality was it was just another meet.
”Of course, the events were in the same order and in the same way, it just had the title the Olympic Games. However, I went into the Games much more tense and nervous than I should have been and feeling like I really had to prove something because of this attitude. For me, this was a really negative approach.”
Theisen-Eaton put Olympic disappointment behind her to bag world silver in 2013 and indoor world silver in 2014
2. Trust the process
”When my coach Harry [Marra] breaks down an event to the basics there will often come a point when I become frustrated with doing, for example, all these tiny little throws in javelin and I will say can’t we just do some big throws – big mistake.
”I often get ahead of myself, instead of just trusting the process and plan that Harry has put in place. When I jump ahead, it just sets me back even further when I should just go with the flow.”
It's not always about the big throws
3. Be patient and have confidence
”In the past I think I’ve trained almost too much and I think that comes from a lack of confidence. A month or so from a competition I would panic in my quest to be 100 per cent fit and hit training even harder.
”I have learned you can get a lot of work done in a month by relaxing and having faith. There is no point in gunning it for a week and then being out for a week and a half because you are hurt.
”Sometimes it is better to feel you could complete one more rep at the end of a session rather than pushing every single workout and pulling up injured. It is slow and steady wins the race.”