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The mental challenge part of the race (Read 1275 times)

    Yesterday I ran a 5 mile race. My pace for this race was 8:44 min/mi compared to 9:30 for my previous (and first ever race, a 10K, in April). While I don't hope to be competitive, I do want to keep improving and eventually reach my personal best. I pushed myself and felt I put in a good effort. Towards the end, I didn't know how to make my legs go faster, though something tells me I could have. 5 minutes after the race was over, I got on my bike and biked home. So Know I had energy left in me. Does anyone know of a good book that deals with the mental challenge of "pushing" yourself that last part of a race? I'm talking about the mental skill of overcoming pain and the voice in you that says "Quit, quit!"?
    Will be weightlifting and running to get into the best shape I can before turning 40. Here are my progress pictures: http://tinyurl.com/584qwt
      Does anyone know of a good book that deals with the mental challenge of "pushing" yourself that last part of a race? I'm talking about the mental skill of overcoming pain and the voice in you that says "Quit, quit!"?
      The Bible.

      Ricky

      —our ability to perform up to our physiological potential in a race is determined by whether or not we truly psychologically believe that what we are attempting is realistic. Anton Krupicka

        I think experince helps alot as well!! I stil have problems with going outside my comfort zone for too long. But the more races I do the more I'm learning how too!

        Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson

          Experience definitely helps. But also there is always the tendency after the fact to think that you could have gone faster, even when in reality you had nothing more to give. I think part of this is your survival instinct to quickly forget how much discomfort you were in, so that you'll be able to do it again.

          Runners run.

            ...there is always the tendency after the fact to think that you could have gone faster, even when in reality you had nothing more to give...
            I agree with this--out of the hundreds of races I've run, I've only had the feeling that I couldn't have gone faster a few times. And none of those times were PR's. Running a PR often has more to do with running relaxed and letting your body do what you've trained it to do than with conjuring the sensation of giving your all or "pushing through the pain." The pain is a secondary phenomenon in racing--present, but much less related to the outcome than your body's ability to hold itself together when tired. I think that a common mistake that runners of all levels make is that they concentrate too much on pain while they race, instead of what's going on around them, their form, their splits, their strategy as it unfolds, or the other competitors. Enough attention to these things and you might even forget about the pain--even as it occurs. We've all had this experience--the reason why you do not notice the sensation of your butt in the chair is because you are focused on other things; your attention is elsewhere. So should it be with pain when racing. I think this is a better explanation for why we don't remember the pain of racing afterwards--because on our best days, we weren't paying attention. Watch an elite track meet, and you will rarely see signs of suffering. Intense focus, yes, but on running, not pain. At least that's the story I tell myself. It might even be true.
              You might find The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training useful. I'm not a triathlete but I heard an interview with the author on Endurance Radio that made it seem interesting. Overall, I liked it but it didn't stick to my ribs that much. I probably should have bought it rather than checking it out of the library. He recommends a series of visualizations that would probably help you out, including how to visualize a way past that feeling you are trying to overcome. Good luck!
              2008 Goals
            • Run 1250 miles
            • Get down to 135!
            • Break 5 hours in the NJ Marathon
              • Thanks everyone. I'm looking forward to putting all your advice to practice. Wink
                Will be weightlifting and running to get into the best shape I can before turning 40. Here are my progress pictures: http://tinyurl.com/584qwt
                sheil2009


                21:00

                  It is only ever that last race of the season where I can fully push myself to a fantastic kick, and then the next season I have to start to process all over again. So really Id agree: experience helps
                  anewland112


                    The Bible.
                    Amen!!! When I run I quote over and over to myself.. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me...." That is when I am not quoting..."yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..." Smile
                      I think experince helps alot as well!! I stil have problems with going outside my comfort zone for too long. But the more races I do the more I'm learning how too!
                      I agree. I've got to work on pushing myself during races. One mental trick of torture is reminding myself of just how short of a time it really is and in just a matter of how ever many minutes are left, I'll be standing around like nothing happened...so I might as well make the most of it.

                      Michelle



                        When Jim Spivey set the American record in the mile, Seb Coe yelled out at the bell: "Just relax!" Spivey attributes his record breaking run to that reminder. Here's Spivey's description of what it feels like:
                        For the "just relax" story - all true. Seb helped me with a lap to go, to focus on relaxing, rather than becoming tight. Floating is an art - ask Ray Flynn (Ireland, 3:49 miler). It is about looking at the guy's back in front of you, letting them do the work, and not concerned about time. Detaching yourself from the race, and just running for a feeling. I know - it sounds too simple. But, it is focusing on the person in front, and down the track, rather than how you feel at the moment. It is like looking at the tree, or the next turn in a cross-country race, and not how you are feeling where you are at. Maybe the way to explain it, is when you drive somewhere, or start a paper, you have an end in sight. You know what the paper will look like when you finish, or you know where you will be when you get there. By focusing on the outcome, rather than the present, you can relax and do what you need to do. Ray called it being in the Hoover vacuum. Pulled along. Running in Oslo, with 26,000 on top of lane 6 in the back stretch, yelling, pounding on the adverts of metal on the sides of the stands, clapping - you cannot hear yourself breathe. All you can do is see the track, and the people in front of you at 57.0 pace. If you slow down, you get out of the vacuum, and then you realize how hard you are breathing. Effortless floating. I think that is why Coe's first book was entitled "Running Free." js


                        A Dance with Monkeys


                        I've got a fever...

                          Running a PR often has more to do with running relaxed and letting your body do what you've trained it to do than with conjuring the sensation of giving your all or "pushing through the pain."
                          Definitely true for me. With the exception of 800m, which is always painful, all of my PRs were set in races were I felt relaxed and in control. Races that felt really painful usually had painfully slow times.

                          On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                            What book/chapter/verse? Wink
                            Here's a few good ones Smile: Hebrews 12:1 - ...and "let us run with patience the race that is set before us". James 4:7 - "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you". And by sig. verse below. Wink

                            Ricky

                            —our ability to perform up to our physiological potential in a race is determined by whether or not we truly psychologically believe that what we are attempting is realistic. Anton Krupicka

                              Here's a few good ones Smile: Hebrews 12:1 - ...and "let us run with patience the race that is set before us". James 4:7 - "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you". And by sig. verse below. Wink
                              What about the one's directly related to running the race (Life you know)? Dang, cant find the exact verse... I'm looking... something like... casting burdens and worries aside... which hold one back. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1st Corinthians 9:24-25 Link with race analogies My favorites But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 1st Timothy 6:6-7 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; Romans 3:10 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23

                              Vim

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