In case you haven’t figured it out yet I love reading, writing, talking, absorbing as much information about running and any other fitness related thing that I can get into. It’s what I love! However it’s also a well known fact for myself, I overthink things. If I need to put together a running schedule for myself I get bogged down in it that I become so frustrated that I just want to explode. When I’m running I’m constantly thinking Am I running too fast, too slow, shoud I be doing speed work, am I doing too much mileage, not enough?! You can see that I am very much a mental runner. It’s who I am, it’s built into me and part of my DNA. So instead of fighting it I work with it. Last year I discovered the joys of having a running coach. It really has been one of the best things I could have ever done for my running. (YAY Coach James!) I knew instantly when I got my first schedule that I was doing the right thing for me. It allowed me to run without the pressures of planning. This mental runner was able to just be a runner!
Well………recently I came across this …….
Mental Tricks for Endurance Runners and Walkers: How to excel as an endurance runner or walker by following time-tested mental tricks! By Kirk Mahoney
I’m all about anything that will effectively help me stop being such a head case! It’s one those things that won’t be replacing anything (or anyone) but rather it gives me another tool to have at my disposal.
Yogi Berra said, “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” The same could be said for running. While running programs and running books often make a bow toward the mental aspect of running, e.g., the hardest distance in the race is the six inches between your ears, they almost exclusively focus on the physical aspect of the sport.
Mahoney, Kirk (2010-07-17). Mental Tricks for Endurance Runners and Walkers (Kindle Locations 2-5). . Kindle Edition.
I have to agree with this. I get in my way all the time and it’s not a physical thing its that stuff between my ears that holds me back. I’ve known this for years but another passage in the book really got my attention
A 2007 University of Hertfordshire study by British psychologist Richard Wiseman found that 78% of all resolutions — such as those made by many people at the start of a new year — ended in failure.
Beyond the matter of negative, unconscious beliefs contradicting (“counter-intending”) one’s conscious intents, the prefrontal cortex of the brain — just behind the forehead — could be partially to blame for this statistic because this area of the brain deals with several tasks, often simultaneously:
- keeping us focused;
- solving abstract problems;
- handling short-term memory.
So asking it to ensure that you keep your resolution to run or walk more often could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back — unless you limit your other simultaneous demands on the pre-frontal cortex.
Mahoney, Kirk (2010-07-17). Mental Tricks for Endurance Runners and Walkers (Kindle Locations 285-291). . Kindle Edition.
This is what I got from this statement, overloading ourselves with resolutions, trying to stay focused on day to day task and trying to stay on the latest and greatest diet will eventually set us up for failure. Our precious little heads can only handle so much at one time! And I am so guilty of overloading myself with wants, wishes and demands.
I must admit, I’m not finished with the book. I have gotten so much out of this little gem already I just had to share it before I could finish it. Even this first chapter really got my attention.
#6 – Introspection Endurance racing requires introspection. You must be brutally honest with yourself about many things, including:
- Whether you are completing your core training runs or walks
- Whether you are asking for help from training buddies
- Whether you are offering help to training buddies and fellow racers
- Whether you are paying attention to your running or walking pace
- Whether you are hydrating adequately
- Whether you are giving yourself sufficient time to recover from injuries
- Whether you are taking needed days off Whether you are cross-training
- Whether you are completing speed-work sessions and other supplementary runs or walks
- Whether you are eating properly
- Whether you are getting enough sleep
- Whether you are visualizing
- Whether you are stretching adequately
These introspective activities are not necessarily fun. But they are crucial to your success as an endurance racer.
Mahoney, Kirk (2010-07-17). Mental Tricks for Endurance Runners and Walkers (Kindle Locations 197-204). . Kindle Edition.
It’s not a long book, 218 pages according to Amazon, I have no clue. I read alot via my Ipad with Kindle app so sometimes I have no clue how many pages I’m working with. It’s just enough to read a little bit, think on it , rinse and repeat. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I am.