Here are a few things to remember the next time you go out for a run.
- Work to put yourself in tough situations in training. If you always avoid what is difficult in practice then you will have little experience to draw upon in races. If you can sometimes make training more difficult than what you expect to happen in racing then you will increase your opportunity for success.
- Accept that negative self-talk will enter into your head in both training & racing. Once you have accepted it then throw it in the trash. It doesn’t help and only begins to send you down the path to failure. Accept that you are human and your mind is engineered to steer you away from tough situations. However, also accept that you can control which path you go down so sometimes taking the difficult road is what you need to reach new heights.
- Understand that you are an emotional being. Do not deny the role that emotions have in your life. The more you understand your emotions and how they can sway you without direction the more you will then learn how to control them. Remember that you are the driver. With practice you can change your perceptions of tough situations. So… get out there and start practicing.
- Remember that your frame of mind is everything. As my coach said to me when I was competing… “If running was that easy then everyone would do it and everyone would win. It’s not, so get out there and get tougher. It’s the best way to get you what you want out of this sport”.
- If you don’t see that the opportunity for the reward is not greater than the risk of failure than loss is imminent. The pursuit must be worth it. Think big, train hard and be ready to handle the situations that will occur.
- Nervousness, fear, anxiety are the inevitability of sport. Without these it is not exciting. Without these are adrenaline levels don’t rise and our performances will not reach their peak. Embrace these feelings as drivers towards success. Use them to give you added energy to go faster, go longer and reach new levels of performance.
- If you can’t see it you can’t do it. Start to see it happen in your mind while you are training and while you are relaxing. Mental confidence to hit a goal comes over time. It is as much a part of the training plan as the physical work. This confidence is what elevates training on a daily basis. It helps to make smart decisions on and off the track. If you can clearly see yourself reach the goal then it all becomes about connecting the dots on race day