Happy Thursday everyone!
This week I read an article about training your brain for races (note how all my posts start with “I read this somewhere”? Suuuuuch a geek). This sentence particularly struck a chord with me:
I had never thought of it that way before. If you want to do well on race day, you better drink a ton of cement during your training and harden the *$%* up so you can handle yourself if you’re caught in the glare of the unforgiving enemy: The Wall.
Having not done a marathon, I myself have not met The Wall. Yet. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t huffed and puffed my way through races like I’m in the terrible twos at the age of 22*.
Mental strength comes into play at all times during your running career: during my first distance run in 2005 (City2Surf, Sydney), my aim was to finish the run without stopping. One training session I ran the race distance, was mortified at how long it took me, but I was definitely prepared on race day: I gleefully ran up the infamous Heartbreak Hill and achieved my goal. I may have been beaten by an old-timer with a t-shirt that read on the back “I may be old but I’m faster than you”, but that doesn’t matter.
Now, whenever my hip starts to hurt, or my IT band, or I wonder why the heck I left my nice warm bed on a Saturday morning to run, I focus on a point in the distance, and concentrate on my stride and breathing rhythm. Or, as this lady puts it, I just shut up and run. It calms me down and distracts me, and before I know it I’m back in my little world of rainbows, glitter and pop music.
This week we did the final in our three week running technique course. We did 4*200 metres concentrating on the whole running technique of lifting, planting and pushing, whilst trying to get our cadence faster.
Cadence is the rhythm of your run, or how many steps you take in any given time. If you work on your cadence, you contribute to your energy reserves – for when you need to dig deep in those races. I upped my cadence from 103 steps in a minute to 110 steps, which doesn’t sound like much but I felt like I was literally flying across the path!
I’ve definitely found the course helpful – it has made me aware of how I naturally run, and what I can do to become more powerful.
Finally – for July I am participating in this thing I saw on instagram (follow me on ellieinuk), plus it fits in with my new years resolution.
I wanted to share Day 2 with you because it’s ace:
Everyone will have their own mental focusing technique – what’s yours? A mantra? Thinking of your reward at the end?
Ellie B 😀
*OK,I admit it, I’m not really 22. I just liked the sound of “terrible twos at the age of 22”. And that Taylor Swift song. But don’t pretend I couldn’t pass for 22…. right?