Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Visualization training

My run home from work today was a mental battle. It was hot, sunny and so humid it felt like running through honey. My eczema was driving me up the wall again and the itch progressed to stinging pain all over my arms, legs and torso.

Last night, I had almost no sleep because of the skin condition. So propelling myself to run uphill with a backpack after a long day at work took some creative motivational techniques.

When I'm feeling sluggish, I like to use visualization techniques to get me through the rough patches. They really work. Here's how to do it:

1) Think of a big race that makes you feel inspired. For me today, this was the Athens Olympic marathon, won by Stefano Baldini of Italy.

2) Imagine yourself as a lead, elite running machine, even if you actually feel like a tub-a-lub slug.

3) Now pick a point partway through your race of choice and picture yourself running alongside the front-runners.

4) Sound out the play-by-play TV announcer in your head. "...and Michal Kapral of Canada has joined Keflezghi at the front. Kapral is on pace for a personal best, even if this searing Greek heat!"

5) Go through the rest of the race and visualize yourself pulling away from the leader at the end. "Kapral's gong to take the gold! Check out the look of determination on that Canuck's face!"

6) You win the gold medal. You feel great. And you got through a tough training run.

4 comments:

Steve said...

Excellent suggestion. I've read a few generalised articles about positive visualisation, but this is the most concrete suggestion I have read.

I cycle long distance and often my biggest enemy is myself as I can easily talk myself out of performing well. I'll give your "recipe" a try.

TrainingTime Inspiration Log

The Joggler said...

Hi Steve,

I useed to use the same visualization tricks back in my cycling days (imagining Tour de France stage wins and such). I think it's even more useful for cycling because you're out there longer and it can be pretty easy to get demotivated, especially if you're riding into a headwind or facing other adverse conditions.

Michal

Perry said...

Michal,

Just wondering...do you joggle with a backpack? I've tried and had a heck of a time doing it.

Nice post by the way. Love the visualization tricks. I use them when I'm on a treadmill.

During my run I "watch" myself running outside along a familiar path. It's strange but I usually end up going the same distance in my mind as the distance on the treadmill. This happens even when I don't look at the treadmill display. Very strange.

Perry, 44

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