Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Positive mental attitude

While I said in yesterday's post that I was going to mix up my running routes, today I went out for a run along my usual 7km loop. A slight confession here, this is actually my first run since last Tuesday's session on the treadmill.This has been due to a mixture of medical ailments and family commitments. Real life does get in the way of training sometimes and obviously you have to be flexible about the fact that you may have the odd week where things go slightly awry. And sometimes a bit of a rest can do you good. Anyway, those are my litany of excuses, feel free to use them anytime you want.

So, back to today - I finally managed to get out for a run and mixed things up a bit by running the loop in the opposite direction. By this I mean starting where I'd normally finish rather than running backwards. I'm not trying to compete with my Chinese friend from Amsterdam.

During the first five minutes I thought my running fitness had abandoned me, after my week long running sabbatical, but it got easier as I warmed up. One of the reasons I decided to run the loop in the alternative direction I normally would is that I think it's a little bit easier. This could be a psychological thing as whichever way I go it finishes with a bit of a hill climb. I was generally pleased with my overall performance (and perhaps felt a little fresher during the run for having a slight break) I again struggled with the final incline. At first I was a bit annoyed with myself as I felt that after four weeks of increasing my running I should be able to do that route without having to walk any of it. Also, as I've mentioned before, this is a route that I'll be running on Boxing Day and I want to make a decent improvement on my time. I had a moment where I thought that if I can't get up these hills without walking now then I'm probably not going to be able to do it in December.

Stuart Pearce misses a penalty: sad
But then I thought back to a presentation we had at EGTC a few weeks ago on having a winning mentality. In a nutshell it examined how the brain is bombarded by negative messages and you have train it to filter them out to focus on positivity. This is massively simplifying the ethos of the presentation but it boils down to seeing problems as challenges that can be overcome in the future. So rather than it being a case of "I can't get round this course without having to walk up a hill" it should be "I can't get round this course without having to walk up a hill yet but I will be able to do in a few weeks."

Stuart Pearce scores a penalty: happy
It actually occurred to me that a few weeks ago when I started writing this blog I had to stop and walk up several of the inclines. But now I'm beating myself up about the fact that I couldn't get up the last part of the final hill rather than focusing on the improvement I've made in the last few weeks. So rather than bemoaning my inability to run up the last hill I need to channel my efforts on introducing more hill running into my training. Now I am miserable.

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