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I'm doing xc rn (season got moved to spring) and i've been racing pretty shit for the last few races despite doing really well in practice. Does anyone have any strats for overcomeing a slump in sports? Also its not overtraining since i've been overtrained and it feels way different than that.
For me when it comes to xc, I do a lot better when I try and have a bit of fun during the race rather than focusing on my time, it removes some of the stress and I usually run faster. Although I don't know what level you're at so I'd understand not wanting to do that if you're trying to go for anything sub 17, but it works for me and I run around 21:00-22:00.
You could also just pick a person to stick with the whole time, and no matter how much your body complains, stay with them.
You need to take your easy days easy and your hard days hard. You can't be going hard on runs everyday. I'd recommend doing casual runs with friends for most of the week and then once a week make sure you're doing track workouts. Try and pick workouts that will aid you in what distance you're racing and make sure you time out when you start these workouts. What I mean is pick a point in your season you want to peak and make a training plan that works backwards. Have your track workouts progressively get more intense so that your harder workouts will be at the time you want to peak in your race season. Also make sure to take recovery days after workouts and before meets.
Also this is assuming that you're doing xc running not xc skiing. I would think you could take a similar work ethic to xc skiing because the sports are similar in a lot of ways.
You might just be burned out. I used to race Mountain Bike XC and got pretty competitive and competed in some national races like Sea Otter Classic and NORBA. Eventually I just got to a point where it was not fun anymore and thrill of racing/winning was overshadowed by the monotony of training etc. Unless you have that edge to really push yourself in a race past the suffering then you just kind of flatline and get into a vicious cycle.
If you want to stay in XC running I would find a way to remind yourself that running on a trail in itself is pretty fun. Maybe go find a cool technical trail and run it and find all the ways to make it as fun as possible like jumping over rock gardens and stuff like that. Then when you race you can have the mindset that you are using the race as a means to force yourself to bomb that trail as fast as you can rather than running on a trail fast just to win a race. That was one of the things I really enjoyed about racing mountain bikes, finding the perfect line every foot of the trail to be just that much more efficient and eek out 2 second in these rocks, or 3 seconds on this turn etc. On the pre-race rides I would ride the same technical sections like 10 times just to perfect it and it felt so good to nail it in a race and look back to see your competitor have to drop a foot or something and lose time.
Personally, it took me years to loop back around and learn to just have fun on a mountain bike again. You just need to figure out how to get the passion back because without that you will not be able to push yourself to the brink to be competitive.