So on Wednesday we had the second of the #sub50project twitter chats on the psychology of running. This is a very broad topic so I was unsure how it was going to pan out, but we had some really interesting points raised by all. Big thank you to those of you who joined in and made it happen!
Listening to audiobooks or nothing at all may be preferable to music
Interestingly, quite a lot of you said that you prefer to run without music to take in surroundings, listen to your body and savour the silence. Victoria mentioned that running is her ‘me’ time so she has ditched the music. Also, on race day, if you have headphones on you can’t soak up the race atmosphere, which can bolster you along. As an alternative to music, some of you mentioned listening to audiobooks and Chris suggested podcasts instead.
Would you ditch the music or do you ‘need’ it?
Running and anxiety: PB chasing and compulsive Garmin checking may be detrimental for performance and spoil the fun of running
Can checking our Garmin’s frequently help or hinder performance, raised Helen? I for one can become obsessed with checking my Garmin and we wondered if seeing a slower pace than expected could cause anxiety and actually have a negative impact on running performance. Also, getting wound up about running all the time takes away the enjoyment of it. We all agreed that for short runs, we can leave the Garmin at home, but it’s more important for longer runs (10k and over) to ensure we are on track to meet target time. Steph suggested Parkrun as a good run to try running without the Garmin.
Could you run without the Garmin or are you surgically attached to it? How about giving it a go at your local Parkrun this weekend?
Adding your name to your race shirt makes you feel like a rock star – fact!
By adding your name to your shirt on race day and hearing random spectators shouting your name out can really lift your mood – got to be a good thing right?
Uncontrolled pre-race nerves can be a bad thing
Steve mentioned that his best races have been spur of the moment race entries with poor preparation. John mentioned that nerves are good as thing as they increase adrenaline thereby increasing speed, but you have to be able to control them.
We need to bask in post-race successes rather than focus too much on what could have been
Lisa, Danny and I all confessed to focussing on the negative after a race – should have drank more, taken a gel, eaten more, or sprinted sooner/later etc. Shoulda, woulda, coulda! This seems to add extra stress and stops us enjoying the run as much as we should.
Are you guilty of this?
Having a mental strategy can help provide focus during a run
Lots of you mentioned breaking the race up into bite-sized chunks – eg, half marathon into 4x 5ks, making it seem much more manageable. In addition, others mentioned mantras that they say to themselves such as ‘I love my daughter’ and ‘just keep going’, etc. I visualise my disappointment at failure and that spurs me on, while others think of positive thoughts to get them through. Others picked a person to try and stick with for the race.
Thanks again everyone for contributing and giving us all food for thought for the next run.