Thank you for joining me on today’s blog, for giving me your time. If you are a regular reader thank you for your support, hey give me a share would you? And if you are new, and you want running advice that you wont find anywhere else… hang in there… let this content grow on you.
Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it. – Do you know who said that… Oprah Winfrey.
Do we talk about runners’ needs? I mean it says “got you covered”, so do we talk about shoes? About socks, no wait let me guess, you will give advice on dry fit running gear? No, hang on running watches gps watches, or my favorite runners sunglasses.
Wrong wrong wrong, it is not that I am saying those things are not important. To a certain degree they re of course. Same as where you go running. You run the same route everyday, do you vary? Perhaps you run a set distance in your neighborhood,
Techniques for challenging times.
Share with you to become perhaps even a happier runner.
If you are depressed, you need to consult your doctor, ok. Increasing your running performance actually only requires regular effort over a certain period of time.
Yes we are teaching scientifically proven methods, but they are broken down into simple usable instructions. Using powerful psychological techniques.
You will create a strong powerful mindset towards your running, every day. It is those moments where you will find more satisfactory recollections of running.
Because, to be a happy runner should be a natural state. It’s a same state like boredom or apathy. And I tell you nearly every runner can be happier whilst running.
Being happy is not just a sensation… it is actually a choice and imagine it for a second, it is like a route or a trail you decide to run. Once you get on it, and realize it does have a positive effect on you, you will continue to run on that trail wont you?
This does not mean that you will not feel any pain, or suffering during your run. Doesn’t mean you are going to be running with a wide grin on your face, like you ate a banana sidewise.
Also it has got nothing to do with being positive all the time.
Let me be honest here, I used to enjoy running during my childhood. Growing up in South Africa, we had to do compulsory national service. Means you most probably ended up in the infantry.
Oh in case you are disappointed, no not special forces, LOL, Infantry was difficult enough. Anyway point is, it was here where we as recruits where sent everywhere running. And in order to get us used to obedience, and discipline, the run’s where used as a form of punishment.
Do you think I or any of my fellow recruits and by the way shout out to all those that made it through Infantry school in Oudtshoorn. Do you think I we enjoyed those runs?
Do you think we where happy? Ha Ha, laughing sharing jokes?
No way Jose.
Definitely no joy. Definitely no talking laughing anything like you see in those glossy sports magazines. Do you thin k we had correct running form? Nope, neither.
But you know what, I managed to create a technique in my mind to overcome those difficult moments. Those occasions where you had nearly convinced yourself you cannot go on.
And from this moment on I set out start developing a mental map, a technique that allowed and still allows me to get into a happy state whilst running.
This I have been successfully sharing and teaching with runners for the past years. Listen up, I am a runner and really get great joy out of this sport, and have invested a lot into it. That’s the bottom line No hidden sale gimmick, or aggressive sales pitch.
This is not theory
How about letting me help you experience that same feeling? Often a healthy and fit runner comes to me and says he or she is out of form. And usually we get to the point where its clear, the physical side is really fine, it is the mental aspect that it is as though perhaps just for a second imagine what it feels like to press the accelerator on your car, yes, got it? If you have a sports car, you might have just felt that acceleration.
Or if you have a 30 year old Golf …. Well you still know that feeling, or that response that is supposed to be there.
Now imagine if you cannot press that accelerator pedal all the way down, as though at about 60% or three quarter of a distance it doesn’t go any further.
You would notice it immediately… hang on, the speed is not there. It is too slow. But I am pressing the pedal. What’s up? And then as a runner you start to think about this lack of performance. And usually we think negatively. WE perhaps even start to catastrophize. Is that even a word? No idea. Anyway we use our imagination, thank you Steven King, to think of the worst possible outcome.
Then you start to think about this even more, during the day, and on your next run. And the times continue to proof to you that the bad news is real. And this leads to the map in your brain to change. Same principle that tells you touching a hot stove isn’t a good idea… if it works there why shouldn’t it work in other areas?
So what to do? Start learning a new sport? Archery, or perhaps Curling… I still haven’t understood it… honestly still waiting for a listener to explain the whole point of using a broomstick and considering it a sport.
No there is hope… you can actually start to give your brain a new mind map. A set of building blocks that lead to a change of direction, and this change of direction will replace or overwrite your current hindering thoughts.
Means getting that accelerator pedal all the way down again.
Listen, as a runner you understand the brain body connection, yes? If you are tense you will not run smooth and loose, will you? I mean if you run barefoot on a beautiful beach, idyllic, the breeze just as you like it, sunrise sunset, take your pick… picture it…. Whow you are running just like those runners in those magazines. Now watch out, there is broken glass just peeking out between the sand, oh and there is more over there, and further ahead too. What does your running shape look like now?
But the more you think of and imagine you ideal run, beach sunset sunrise, forest, downtown, wherever, it is your favorite place, the more you picture yourself being loose, the more relaxed you will become.
Movement and posture is what creates a state of calm balance, and in this state is where you can expect to access your potential.
Imagine this, it is someone you maybe know or see regularly, perhaps a colleague or a stranger walking the dog. Shoulders slouched, head hanging a bit, eyes looking downward. Seems like, this imagine has to do with low spirits. Doesn’t it? I mean somehow I too doubt that this person is looking for his or her car keys everyday.
Try this during your next run… find a uphill section. Yes, sorry I know for our Dutch listeners… impossible, you are exempt of this.
Ha Ha, and I wonder why I have so few Dutch followers.
Find a uphill section, even if you don’t like running hills, or avoid them… do this exercise.
Run up the hill with your head hanging low, shoulders slouched forward, bent forward, looking down. Yes there you go a sorry site indeed.
Then walk back down the section you just ran, but during the walk, look up, straighten your back, and then..
With shoulders back, back straight eyes looking at the horizon, run up again and feel that difference. It is complete opposite. Baahmm, you feel good you feel more energetic, your strides, motion, all is powerful. Your body position is making you feel better.
Now if you want to add a turbo boost, smile.
Even a fake smile will do. And you know this, smiling produces serotonin, which in turn makes you feel good.
It is a actually another clue from our own bodies, that something good is happening.
In case you cannot stand the idea of smiling whilst running… most runners don’t by the way, haven’t you noticed? Of course, you have. Couple of points … it is not about the other runners’ now is it? It is just you and me.
And if such a easy step to accomplish will lead to a better result why would you frown upon it? See, the more you smile, you will start to smile at other. Which in turn will make you smile. Smile means what?
Serotonin, exactly, you paid attention. Congrats.
Now, to those of you who love to think negatively, who chose that path… I don’t mean run around grinning like a psycho, I mean smiling. A true and honest meant smile. Perhaps the first few will be more faking it, but fake it till you make it.
What is the point… your body can and should release neurochemicals, and they make you feel good.
But why doesn’t this work? I mean if it is so easy, then why do you often hear of people that struggle getting rid of some or other habit.
Well, exactly they try to get rid of something rather than replace it with a better one.
See, if for example you have the habit of cutting your runs short. What that means is, you plan to do a 10K but settle for a 8K. Or a 5 Miler becomes a 3 mile run.
And all this cutting short leads to unsatisfactory results, I mean who is happy doing that? No one. Then the solution is often a simple approach:
I am not going to do this anymore. And guess what, the runners that suffer from this, they struggle with this process, why?
Well just thinking about “not doing something” is a no goal. Please whatever you do now, DON’T think of favorite pair of running shoes. By the way what are they…? LOL.. see that no-goal requires you to think of exactly THAT what you don’t want to be thinking about.
That’s why, what we do during our workshops with those runners that have built this disabling or self sabotaging habit is, we help create new patterns of thought. That are helpful and generate energy.
Cutting a run short, and internally discussing and debating as to why you ran less miles, and looking for reasons to back that excuse up… hey that all takes mental energy, you need to think, come up with ideas…. So why not use that same energy you are spending anyway to come up with ideas and thoughts that will inspire you to change the situation.
Its adding such experiences to runners’ which has helped them achieve better run’s.
Build the habit of smiling during your run.
Smile or laugh… pretend.
Now before you come with a ton of excuses, and assure me that it is impossible to do…. Hang on, put your excuses to one side. Here is a suggestion that works for most clients.
There are two times in a run where you can smile. One, right at the start. And two, at the end. There you did it, you smiled twice already.
Then as you build that habit….. you will take that smile with you at the beginning and end of your run.
Try to smile every KM or Mile …set your gps watch to give you a signal every mile, or if you run without a watch, you will have a feel for the distance, so set a halfway mark, at least once where you will smile.
Take it easy.