You've probably heard a few of these before:
1. Your only limit is yourself
2. You limit yourself when you speak negatively about yourself, your body, and what you are capable of.
3. It's all in your head
4. Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right
5. Fear is what truly limits us
6. Your brain is a powerful tool and can make or break your training and race
7. Your state of mind can make or break a workout
8. How you think about yourself determines your success
9. Limits exist because you create them for yourself
10. You're scared it will hurt and you will fail
Is there any truth here? Absolutley. When you think about it, your mind is one of the most important parts of your body, especially when it comes to bettering yourself with regards to running. Why is it so important? Your mind makes the decision to get up instead of sleeping in. Your mind decides how hard you're going to push. Your mind decides if you're going to give up midway through the workout (or even try to begin with), and your mind decides if you're going to go that extra mile. Basically, without your mind, your quads and calves are useless.
Your brain controls your muscles and it becomes more efficient with repetition. So, the more you do something, the better you become. So, harness this power. Do drills, speed up the last part of your run, etc. Basically your brain can help you build strong neuromuscular connections that will start to become automatic when you run. Remember there's a flip side to this as well. If you teach your brain that "easy" is the pace your body should go, you'll have a hard time pushing on race day.
Your brain can also tell the difference between pain and discomfort. It can also help you recover from a bad run and celebrate the success of a race done well. It can also help you learn from your mistakes and adapt to new training routines and regimens. It can help you figure out how to go about changing your training plan if needed. Your brain is your most important tool, and if used wisely, it can make your performance.
The way you talk to yourself as a runner is very important. If you tell yourself you can't do it, you're the slowest in the group, you'll never make it, you can't handle the pace, etc - guess what? You won't be able to do it, you'll continue to be the slowest in the group, you won't make it, and the pace will be too fast. Remember that the next time you start to doubt what you can do.
So as you prepare for your summer and fall races, how will you utilize your mind? Will you harness the power of the brain for your benefit, or will you let it get the best of you?
Remember, you create and set your limits and whether you think you can or you think you can't - you're right.
See you Tuesday!
Who Picks the Topics?
Each week, we notice different things. We try to incorporate the questions we are receiving or the training issues we are noticing into our post(s) for the week. If there is something you'd like us to cover, let us know!