About Me

My photo

I am an experienced direct marketer who is now perusing a graduate degree in Entertainment Business with a concentration in Sports Management and a master's degree in Internet Marketing.  One day soon I will be a Director of Social Media Marketing for a major sports organization.   I am avid runner who in the next 6 months will run at 2 full marathons and 3 half marathons and that doesn't include the training runs. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

That Voice In Your Head

I recently received an email with the following quote:

"Today I told myself I was going to run for 60 minutes.
I wanted to quit after 15, but I told myself to make it to 30.
I wanted to quit after 30, but I told myself to make it to 40.
I wanted to quit after 40, but I told myself to make it to 50.
I wanted to quit after 50, but I told myself I only had 10 minutes. When I was done, I had ran five and a half miles.
But something whispered... make it to six."

Runners, new and seasoned, have a voice in their head that talks to them. The voice tells you that today will be that day where you will run a mile longer than you ever have before.  Today is the day that you will PR or in many cases the voice tells you that today will not be your day. 

For the new runner just starting out this voice starts within the first 3 minutes of running, it’s the voice that gets your shoes on and opens the door.  For a half marathoner the voice usually starts around mile 8 and for a marathoner, the voice is called the wall which occurs at mile 20.  Many would believe that for an ultra-runner, who runs races that are well over 50 to 100 miles, there is no way that they have a voice.  A voice that tells them to stop or that the pain in the right small toe will prevent you from finishing a 50-mile run. 

Every runner has a voice.  The question is, has your training prepared you to turn the voice off when negative and make it louder when positive.  What training rituals are you going through for the mental preparation?  You buy the right shoes. You run the required long distance run on Saturdays and your training includes the speed work required to improve your times.  Have you trained your mind to believe that every training run and every race is YOUR day?  Do you visualize crossing the finish line or running up the bridge and lifting your arms in victory? 

One way to turn off the negative voice in your head is by breaking down your run into small increments.

  •  New runners focus on the first 15 minutes, then go 15 more. 
  • Half Marathoners break it down to 5 miles, another 5 miles and then an easy 5k.
  • Marathoners can do the same with 7-mile increments and an easy 5-mile.  Bringing you past the 20-mile wall. 
  • Ultra-runners break it down by half marathons. 
If during training you hit the wall enlist friends to come along for a half marathon or a marathon during your race. The help of your friends will silence the voice.

Just like buying the right shoes, hydrating and speed work practice improves your form. Training your mind to believe in the possible is just another item in your running toolbox.