What 3 simple things can you do to improve your run on race day?
1) USE IMAGERY
In training and in the quiet moments prior to race day, put yourself ‘in the moment’. Imagine yourself on the course on race day.
Put yourself on Kedumba. Imagine the persisting descent and the gravelly surface beneath as it weaves it way down the escarpment to the valley floor.
There will be people there, some with you, some watching and cheering. What can you smell and what can you hear?
How do you feel and what is your pace like and how is your body moving? Build stories like this, little segments of your future.
Research has shown that the mere visualisation of a muscle movement in the mind can create electrical activity in that muscle even though there’s no actual movement in the muscle itself
2) POSITIVE SELF-TALK
“You’re Doing Well”
“Push through this”
Simple interventions during activity have been shown to improve performance.
Imagine yourself on a treadmill running as hard as you can. About to fail and fall off the back suddenly a screen is pulled away to reveal 2 dozen of your closest friends and family all cheering for you shouting words of encouragement. Without any physical change you are able to ‘hang on longer’. You suddenly push harder and maintain your pace better. No one did anything physical to you, it was all your brain. Whether it come from a crowd of onlookers or from yourself, repeating words of encouragement will have you running better and faster for longer.
3) GOAL SETTING
This is one of the most important skills taught to athletes in order to help them achieve optimal performance. The goal-setting process helps athletes understand where they are currently and also where they want to go.
Whether your goals are performance based (I want to run a time, beat a person or rank in age-group) or process based (I want to run well and have fun), the simple act of setting challenging but achievable goals has been shown to improve performance.
Having process goals can be a great way to keep you focused. When the going gets tough during the race, refer back to your goal and work on implementing that, e.g ‘my goal is to run well, what can I do at the moment to ensure I am doing that?’
Perhaps your goal is to run to the top of the next rise, to maintain a run for the next 2 minutes or just make someone else smile or get a high-five from a spectator whatever your goal, if you set one and achieve it, you run better.
If you need help with any component of your training, planning, racing or recovery get in touch with us at Squadrun.
Psychological Determinants of Whole-Body Endurance Performance.
How mindfulness practices have been shown to improve your performance.
Abstract here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25771784
Full meta linked below should anyone want to read the research in it’s entirety (it’s FASCINATING).