Tuesday, 21 May 2013

A confession and How to Train your Brain and for a big event...

I have a confession before I get into my post for today... I ran... 6kms.... And I also walked... 2kms. I said I wouldn't because of a niggle in my hip/groin area that I want to get better before doing too much running. I couldn't resist! Oops! Ok, confession over, thanks for listening. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that.

Not going to lie, today's challenge for blog Every Day in May is kinda lame...

Day 21, Tuesday: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

It's lame because all my posts are my favourites! Just kidding. Most of them are lame anyway. But what I have actually decided to do instead is link in some posts from my archives to the topic which I am talking about in this post. And the topic is How to Train your Mind...

Creepy picture that I got from here
I have done a few posts which you can find over here about mental and physical challenges that I have faced with my running, as well as challenges that arise from time to time when training for a long distance run (whatever distance that may be - for some it's 5km, for others it's 50km).
Did you know that negative thoughts take 15-20% of your physical strength away? Hence it is important to train your brain to have a stronger, faster, more positive race eversource
So here are some great tips from, as per usual Runner's World, all about training your mind for the big event...

Mental toughness requires practise and consistency. Pair these tips with any training plan to get your mind and body in top racing shape.

1 Select a performance goal.
Decide what you want to achieve by the end of your training: a particular finish time, completing your first race, not walking mid-race.

2 ID your weaknesses.
Are you negative (you doubt your abilities and low-ball your goals)? Do you make mistakes you want to correct (going out too fast, losing focus)?

3 Set process goals.
These are the specific, measurable actions you do every week to help you reach your performance goal. Examples: do one speed session per week. Run a minimum of four days a week. Finish long runs (no shaving off kilometres).

4 Develop focus tools.
These are words and actions that help eliminate negativity, calm anxiety, build confidence, and keep your mind on task. Examples: mantras (strong, cruise, do it), focusing on your body (breath, footfalls) or environment (sunrise, mountains), visualisation (seeing yourself passing others), and positive self-talk (you’re doing fine, you can handle this). Use focus tools anytime you have negative thoughts, feel fatigue or anxiety, or catch yourself falling off pace.

5 Sync it up.
Train your brain as you train your body. In a diary, track your mileage and times as well as the self-talk and the mental-training tools employed.

6 Practise, practise, practise.
Repetition and consistency are key to building mental skills. Throughout your training, review and adjust (if necessary) your process goals. Recognise when a negative thought creeps in; refocus by applying your focus tool.

7 Reinforce process goals.
For example, if your weakness has been slowing at the end, finish the last 400 metres to three kilometres of every workout fast and write down what enabled you to do that.

8 Prep for race day.
During your taper, determine what you’ll wear and where you’ll park; look up the weather; learn where the water stations are. Completing these tasks reduces prerace anxiety.

9 Visualise executing your race plan.
Five minutes, every day while you taper. See yourself on the course, hitting your paces, taking in fuel, responding to challenges with your focus tool, and meeting your goal.

10 Stick with routine.
On race eve, have the same meal you had before long runs; race in the clothes and shoes you trained in. Routine offers a sense of control that calms nerves and boosts confidence.

Generally, people only train their body to prepare for a race. We neglect our mind and don't realize how important it is to have a strong mind to achieve our goals. That is why these are some great tips and things that I always will do.
I think all of these steps are sooo important, however the article talks a lot about self-talk and positivity. I know these can sound a bit lame (esp. the self-talk bizzo), but trust me, this is so necessary for success. I am not saying you need to chant out loud how great you are every time you are out running (no judgements if you actually do this though - whatever floats your boat!), but have positive mental thoughts and self-talk will really get you a long way in your training. See this post here for more info about what goes on in a runner's mind, or what should be going on.

So there are some links to some of my previous posts, and some great tips. Remember these tips when you are next considering training for a big event and they will definitely help you.

How do you train your mind for a big event? 

Anything you do that's not listed here? 

1 comment:

  1. I DEFINITELY do the self-talk and positive thoughts. I actually started doing that when a random person I was talking to about running said "you know, running is a mental game too. If you tell yourself, 'I'm going to run until that tree', then you run until that tree. Keep doing that until you can get to miles." And that literally changed my outlook on everything. Now when I go out, I say "I'm going to run X miles." And I don't stop until I do!


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