Program yourself for success... From Jeff Galloway's book, Mental Training for Runners, Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2016 When I told her I was writing a book on motivation, my wife Barbara asked “for what do you want to be motivated?” At first, most runners tend to answer with specifics: to finish a long run in the upright position, to run faster at a given distance, to finish ahead of a sister, neighbor, age group competitor, to qualify for Boston, or, my favorite, to enjoy every run. The specific goal helps the runner maintain cognitive focus at the beginning of a goal-oriented program. the major challenge in maintaining motivation is maintaining focus as the workouts become more routine and the stress increases. A successful mental training program will reduce stress to a manageable level so that almost every run can bring joy and personal empowerment. The stage is then set for planning a realistic approach to your goal. Have a goal for each run. This cognitive mental action can activate the executive brain as the warm-up switches on the good attitude circuit. As you think about each aspect of the workout, you can keep the human brain in charge. Without such focus, mental action will often drift under the control of the monkey brain which turns negative under stress and releases hormones that stimulate negative messages, such as “I’m too busy to run,” “I’ll get too tired,” “It’s not my day,” and “Why am I doing this?” "I can do it!" So by acknowledging the stress, maintaining mental focus, and using mantras when needed, you’ll produce positive peptides each step of the workout. The next step is to set up an ongoing mental training program that will “run you through” the anticipated challenges each day through a series of doable steps. This will desensitize you to the negative messages, while also giving you a plan with thoughts and words that will help you stay in the frontal lobe during that workout. As you refine and repeat the plan, you reprogram the brain to continue under adversity. This improves your sense of belief in the system, which will stimulate positive attitude circuits and hormones. Jeff Galloway was an average teenage runner who kept learning and working harder, until he became an Olympian. He is the author of the best selling running book, Galloway's Book on Running, and is a Runners World columnist, in addition to being an inspirational speaker. Jeff is the creator of the Run Walk Run® method and has authored over 20 books on running, on of which is The Run Walk Run Method. This blog was brought to you by CPG News & Information Services. For further details, please contact us or give us a call at 317-352-8200
By Gary Dudney, author of The Tao of Running: Your Journey to Mindful and Passionate Running Running can seem very much like a “just do it” kind of thing. You run. You sweat. When you’re done, you’re happy with yourself. End of story, move on. Why would you need to get all thoughtful about it? Why would you need the case for reading running books? Well, because for many people running becomes a lot more than just getting a little exercise. Delve more deeply into what’s going on in your mind out there on a run and you’ll be surprised at the richness of the experience. Why is running such a stress reliever? Why do you feel so empowered after a run? Why does running give you such a blast of self-esteem? Understanding the mental side of running can help you answer these questions and not incidentally help make you a much better runner. It can also make you better at handling stress in other areas of life. Over the past 20 years, I’ve run 52 one hundred mile races. My record for the first 26 hundred milers I ran was 16 successes and 10 failures. Not a great record. But then I reeled off 26 straight finishes to get to my total of 52. The difference wasn’t in any physical changes I made, like more or different training. The difference was that I thoroughly studied the mental side of running and got my head right for dealing with the tough challenges you face when you run hard or long. If you’re running, you should be reading about running. There are many very inspiring running books out there nowadays about people who have transformed their lives in amazing ways through running. And then there are books like mine, The Tao of Running: Your Journey to Mindful and Passionate Running that help you focus on the mental journey that running takes you on and offers strategies for overcoming the toughest challenges. These strategies help you run better but they can also be applied to other challenges in your life. About Gary Dudney Long time columnist for Ultrarunning magazine, Gary Dudney is thrilled to share his hard-won understanding of the mind of the runner from being “out there” himself during 40 years of running. He’s written advice pieces and adventure stories for all the major running magazines. He’s completed over 200 marathons and ultramarathons, including fifty 100 mile races. This blog is brought to you by CPG News & Information Services.