Running. It's all in the mind

by Clive Walker

At the weekend, I took part in a 10 km race in Horsham. It was a course that I’ve run before and I was hoping for a better time than 48:27. In the end though, I ran it in 49:01 and, at first, I was a bit disappointed. I had it in mind that I would be able to get close to 48 minutes, you see.

After the race, thinking about how I ran, I realised that I had “psyched myself out” halfway through the race. I was following the 50 minute pace runner but at the halfway mark, I had trouble keeping up and fell behind. At the time, I immediately started thinking negatively. “I can’t keep up with the 50 minute pace”. “Woe is me”. That sort of thing.

In actual fact, the 50 minute pacer ran the race in 48:45 which was faster than intended. So, not keeping up wasn’t a reflection on me, just that the 50 minute pacer ran faster in the second part of the race.

I should have realised what was happening but it’s not always so easy to think clearly in this situation. Next time though, I’ll try and ignore negative thoughts and “keep strong”. More positive thinking needed! Perhaps, just thinking ahead to the next mile, rather than further. Maybe, concentrate on my running technique. Focus on my split times, not what someone else is running.

I’m not actually too disappointed with my time. You can’t run a personal best at every event, after all. But, thinking more positively during a race is definitely something I want to improve.

I’ve been very focused on physical training. However, it’s more “mind training” I need!

Anyway, there’s at least one lesson learned from the weekend’s run. Onto the next race in a couple of weeks!

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