Using your 3s
Take yourself back to my first Mindfood post. Do you recall the 3s? Have you noticed anything on before, during or after your runs since completing the exercise? Have the 3s come to the forefront of you mind at times? Have you thought “I’m sore today”, “It’s cold today”, “I’ve got too much washing to do this morning” and instead of not going for your run because these thoughts flood your mind. Has your mind wandered to your 3s and you’ve gone out and nailed it?
This is the reason why we do our 3s exercise. To change our mood as we anticipate a hard training run or race where we’ve set high expectations and are afraid of failing. The second part of the 3s is to know who you are going to message, phone or email when you achieve either your best or just complete something that seemed so extremely difficult (it doesn’t always have to be a run too).
Sometimes the result may not be everything you’d hoped for, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t achieve anything from that run. You won a serious battle over your negative thoughts and fears. You did it when the little voice was telling you that you might not be capable. Sometimes the little voice can be inside your own thoughts and sometimes it can be a real human – either way the 3s will help you!
Who’s tried to visualize winning a race, running a particular time or conquering the finish line of an event or training session for the first time? In your mind you are feeling amazing, running along, perhaps in a way that appears to feel effortless. When you cross the line you hug your closest friend, your kids, your training pal and you aren’t even sore. You skip off to celebration ice creams or drinks feeling like you could conquer the Great Wall of China or complete a marathon shopping spree.
In real life the race arrives. You are on the start line. You start to tell yourself that your legs feel like rubbish, and the negative thoughts start piling on. There’s no effortlessness here, you drag your butt as best you can, huffing and puffing with sore legs and a grimaced face thinking to yourself, this is not how I visualized it, extremely gruffly.
You’ve thought about stopping 4 times already, perhaps even stopping for ice cream as you pass the convenience store on the right. Trouble is there’s 25km to go and you really want to get that finisher medal.
To stay motivated and to deal with the reality of chasing your personal best my number one tip is don’t waste time visualizing the outcome. Visualize how you are going to achieve just one thing every race or every training session. More on that in the next blog! For now, focus on your 3s!