Sometimes a runner’s already won the race before the gun’s even goes off. Questions. Doubts. Insecurities. None of these belong at the starting line; starting line of a race or a workout. A runner needs confidence. NEEDS it… no amount of physical endurance, speed, or fitness can make up for it.
Running as an underdog rocks. Being an unknown is easy, and it’s just as fun to shock people. But shock wears off and then expectations can start to build. The thing is, EVERYONE has failures, set-backs, off-days and that’s when the critics start. The underestimating.
Dealing with nay-sayers comes in running and it comes in life. The thing is, you can USE those crappy words to your advantage. Let them underestimate you, let them think you’re not capable. Flip all that crap into motivation to prove them wrong.
The times you get into trouble are when you start to doubt YOURSELF. Everyone have doubts, those moments of weakness, but the key to keeping those moments fleeting is by looking within yourself and believing. Believe in your abilities and your goals. Much easier said than done, certainly…kind of like saying running is just putting one foot in front of the other and then go really fast.
I’ve talked a lot about how important confidence is for runners. When you step to the line of a race, and any workout too for that matter, it is confidence that helps quell those nerves. You tell yourself that you’ve battled through excruciating pain before and you’ll do it again to get to the finish line certain you left it all out there.
Confidence is often a tricky because in order to build it up you have to have accomplished certain distances, workouts, and runs. Though, in order to conquer those workouts you’ve got to have enough
confidence guts to get out there attempt them, and then kick their butts. So it’s a bit of a revolving door, chicken and egg thing. Thankfully running gives us ample opportunities to cycle through those revolving doors (ie: umm, every day! Hehe) so if you do have a weaker workout, get through it and look forward to the next workout which you can demolish. The key here is, in order to escape bad workouts with your confidence intact; you have to LEARN from them but then push them out of your mind.
Being patient sucks. Waiting for what we want isn’t fun, but the reality is that often times we are forced to wait. Even more often is it that rushing things will ultimately leave us more frustrated in the long term.
As runners, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just lace up and make our next race/workout/run a PR? If only, right?! The natural tendency to want those faster times and better fitness TODAY is the breeding ground for injuries, overtraining, and slowed progress. Beautiful irony there, right?
Every runner has been guilty of it, and hey, some things you just have to learn yourself the hard way. (Sometimes a few times to really NAIL that lesson home.) Being patient sucks…but we need to learn to embrace it.
Moments before the gun. All other runners slip away, left one.
Talk about one cute chicker from the weekend!! This super fast runnerchick was the top female and 5th overall in just her first 5k!! Can you say natural born runnerchick?! At least her Ezzere Get Chicking Tee gave them a warning…keep on smoking those runnerboys. 😉
Our minds are experts in construction. They will build up fences quicker than nobody’s business. It’s actually a survival method, the brain ‘thinks’ it’s looking after our best interest, keeping us safe by setting limits.
The problem is that this survival method is archaic and antiquated, most of the fence-building is stopping us from pushing ourselves in work or running rather than stopping us from trekking too far from our caves, getting lost, and gobbled up by a dinosaur. 😉
In breaking down your fences you are freeing yourself. Because on the other side, THAT is where you can push yourself to your best. The other problem with fences is that they stop you from even dreaming, or imaging that something epic is ‘out there’ that YOU could possible accomplish THAT! Fences keep you safe, in a comfort zone, they also suck because they rob you of really feeling and experiencing.
To run and race your best it’s critical you’ve got the right mindset. Dr. Jim Afremow has made it his mission to help runners and athletes of all sports hone their mental training. Just as important and the physical workouts, an athlete’s mind can create a champion or turn into one’s own worst enemy. I wanted interview Dr. Afremow both because I respect his body of work and level of expertise and also because, let’s be honest, the psychology of our sport in straight-up fascinating! Often time elite athletes have trouble putting into words exactly how they get into gamer mode…so read on to hear a mental game’s coach put words to the ability:
For runners, finding that perfect taper and method to peak right sure can be difficult! Which sounds kinda crazy because taking the taper at face value, one could think, “Well, I just need to cut back. I’ve done all the work, so let’s just coast on until race day and wind up with fresh as daisy legs!”
If you’re a runner and you’re not still reeling after the Boston Marathon maybe check your pulse. Epic.
Sorry my International friends, but as an American, seeing Meb Keflezighi take the title and bring Boston back is spine-tingly. Scroll through some of the pictures that have been shared of him crossing the line, the poignant olive wreath placed upon his head, medal around his neck, eyes moist. Raw emotion. An image captures so much more than thousands and thousands of word could ever portray. I’ll only waste an effort with two: #meb #epic
Shhhh…I’ll tell you a secret. Every runner has doubts. It’s just human nature. EVERYONE has that little voice in their head that’s willing to be insecure.
The thing is though, while you can’t control the presence of doubts, you CAN control if you decide to listen to them.
Don’t. You’ll run better when you tell your doubts to shut the h*ll up.