Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wherever You Run There You Are

That time is upon us--it's time for me to submit my next OS&F article!

I am in the middle of my draft, but I'd still love your input. Who knows, maybe I'll even quote you!

This month's topic is how learning to think in the moment can help us to race faster. I have always struggled with the mental aspect of running. Ask mrp. He has told me time and time again that my brain is the biggest impediment to my running success. I have had some success with thinking in the moment. It helps to keep my mind from going bonkers worrying about what other people are doing or getting down on myself with thoughts like, "you need to run faster!" or "you're running too fast, you're going to die!" or "there's so and so and you you can't run faster than him\her." As you may know, I struggled for a while with stitches in the middle of key workouts or races and mrp and I are convinced the stitches were a physical manifestation of the tension caused by my loony-tunes inner critic. I am definitely a work in progress, but I am getting better (or was until my racing got put on hold a few months ago!)

The other thing that I wouldn't mind weaving into my article is how yoga might help us race more relaxed. I just started practicing yoga (yeah, I am VERY late to that party! I know!) and I can definitely see how the meditations and connecting the physical movements with breathing might really help me get into the moment and relax in races.

Have any of you experienced something similar? Do you have a mantra to keep your mind from racing faster than your legs? Has your racing improved after practicing the mental aspects of yoga? Do you have another way of tuning out the distractions and negative inner voices to focus on the task at hand mid-race?


Mama Simmons said...

Last year something that really helped me was having success at track workouts. And not just the physical part of getting faster- but the mental game of pushing pushing pushing and teaching myself (teaching my brain!) that my body had the capability of hitting the right splits. Then when race day came I had a ton more confidence. :)

DC Running Mama said...

I totally struggle with mental weakness during my running. I convince myself that I really don't care about the race and just slow down because it doesn't really matter. Going to the track has really helped me because now when I'm in races and it hurts I remind myself that I've been at the track and it hurts and I survive.

jessica said...

I don't have the racing experience, but in training I can definitely speak for the mental role. Simply saying "this pace is not beyond me" has made a huge difference for me in breaking barriers lately. I'm still bad about backing down too early sometimes, but I use that disappointing memory to get mad and attack it the next day.

I haven't thought to draw on yoga habits during running, interesting idea.