Your thoughts are seeds that you plant – Dr Wayne Dyer.

So recently I was listening to “The Sport Psych Show” with Dr Noel Brick, the Podcast was talking about ways in which we can all use strategies to help maximise performance during running.
This got me thinking …

I often have runs that are fuelled by self doubt, it doesn’t matter if I am at the peak of my performance or struggling for motivation self doubt can creep in.

I remember one race in particular back in 2017 the Vitality Mile, the race is as you guessed just 1 mile near Buckingham Palace. The race is broken into waves due to it’s popularity, well as it happened on the day I got off to a flying start & some how managed to get into 1st place in my wave, I was running well until I saw the 100 meters to go sign “BOOM” … I actually forgot how to run, my legs wouldn’t work with my brain & I crumbled, 1st place turned to 2nd place and ended up with me finishing 3rd overall. Now in the grand scheme of things 3rd in my wave was still a great achievement for me but also begs the question … what went wrong ?

During the Podcast Dr Brick mentioned something he describes as “ANTS” Automatic Negative Thoughts & then it clicked, this is me, this is what I do & I bet it is what 1000’s of other runners go through on a regular basis.

There is a lot of scientific background & terminology that can explain the point that Dr Brick was making but to simplify it, you have to focus on something else other than the task at hand, don’t think about the miles but think about other factors.

Pace – Be consistent

Breathing – Breathing heavily – Slow down / Breathing easy – Speed Up

Rhythm – Find a comfortable rhythm & settle into it

The surroundings – Lose yourself in the surroundings & let the mind wander

All things that we take for granted when we are running & especially when we are racing, the sole focus is on the miles & getting them done as fast as we can.

When Dr Brick runs he repeats a mantra “Strong And Powerful” on his foot fall, not only does this give his mind something to focus on, it is also a positive statement, positivity drowns out negativity and in turn can help bring positive results.

If you look at the GOAT (IMO) Eliud Kipchoge he doesn’t look like he has a care in the world when he is running, the positivity and self belief oozes out of him, not in a cocky or egotistical way but in a positive way, you can see that all of his ANTS have been given a massive dose of ant killer for breakfast & today is the day the race gets won or the record gets broken.

People said that there would never be a sub 2 hour marathoner, Kipchoge disagreed and in 2017 at Monza he ran 2:00.25 and proved with a few small tweaks it was in fact possible. Fast forward to Vienna 2019, Eliud runs a 1:59:40 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Now I know people will say it wasn’t an official race and that it doesn’t count … Well I say 1 man, 2 legs, 26.2 miles, he ran the fastest time over marathon distance ever and until you can do better I suggest you hold your L.

Even if you go further back and look at Sir Roger Bannister nobody believed that it was humanly possible to run a sub 4 minute mile, well Bannister did and in Oxford on May 6th 1954 he ran a mile in 03.59.04 and to prove Bannister’s point even further the record only stood for 46 days before it was broken again !

So I guess the message that we all need to keep telling ourselves (more so now than ever during the current climate) is that “Your thoughts are seeds that you plant” …

Think negative and the outcome will always likely be negative, believe in yourself, tell yourself that you can do it and you never know … it might just happen.

Stay safe guys