Saturday, May 06, 2006

Pumping Yourself Up!

Let me ask you a question. How do you pump yourself up?

This post is not just about running, but running is the medium for my explanation. While running along with Tara today, she asked me how do I run up hills. I explained how I imagined I was nordic skiing (my inner Sven) and pump the arms in unison with my legs like a cross country skier. This is one of the methods I use to tackle this topic .... imagination or visualization.

Another way I use to pump myself up is inspiration (Hmmm .... "imagination" and "inspiration" .... starting to see a pattern and a need to keep using "I" words). Inspiration can come from learning about the feats of others but also from overcoming my own barrier, achieving a goal and then taking the feeling through into the next day.

The reason I'm putting this post together, is that I see a lot of my friends are working against injury, looking for motivation and I hope I can help them in some way. It's been a tough week for many and you know who you are. Some injuries have been going for a long long time and it gets you down.

I also had a moment of realisation, that simply telling myself I feel good, can't be faked because deep down I will know it's a scam. When I have done this (just telling myself I feel good) in the past it hasn't worked. I have to believe it and truly get lost in the imagery from my mind or challenge myself to a physical session/workout to inflate that positive vibe.

Sometimes I pickup Sammy's training diary and look at what he writes. "How did you feel before your race?" ..... "How did you feel after the race?" For me, it's all about the feelings and capturing the positive ones and using them. But like I said, this isn't just about running, it works for me in other ways too. Maybe later I'll post about my inner Giovanni, the opera singing, red wine swilling, pasta chef. It might not make the food taste better and scares the dogs, but I do feel good about making dinner.


P.S. Please share you mind tricks if you would like to or blog your own post on the subject.


Blogger Black Knight said...

A wise system to get the inspiration but I hope that when you make your job of clever executioner you don't use the imagination but you do the real thing!

9:19 pm  
Blogger Habeela said...

My mental tricks are to use a goal I achieved and how I got through that. And if that doesn't work there's always my favorite mantra:
Don't stop - it doesn't hurt less!

12:48 am  
Blogger massoman said...

good question. have to think about it a bit. most of the time i imagine i'm a dog sticking my head out the window of a speeding car with my ears and tongue flapping. i guess its time for some speed and form work.

8:17 am  
Anonymous Sammy said...

Very innovative, intelligent, and right on target. Keep up the good work.

11:03 am  
Blogger robtherunner said...

I usually think of other runners that I admire and think of what they would do in the situation. If I really need to dig deep I get in a deep conversation with God and admit all my weakness and failure.

I tend to use reverse psychology on myself as well telling myself that I am weak and worthless and then fighting through the pain to try and prove myself wrong.

Or, I ask myself one simple question in tough situations. "What do you have to do right now to be able to look yourself in the mirror tomorrow morning?"

12:23 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

The injury was starting to get me down until I realised for the first time this century joy of sleeping in. I'm hope I don't find my motivation ;-)

11:49 pm  
Blogger CJ said...

My inspiration comes from music. Failing that I remember the feeling of running down the finishers chute at the Itonman - that's a pretty good feeling!

12:17 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

I use the word GLIDING as I head up a steep (or not-so-steep) hill. It really seems to do the trick for the most part. I also tell myself that I'll cut back just a tiny bit at the top, and that's usually motivation enough!

12:32 am  
Blogger psbowe said...

Great post, for me I usually talk me through the tireness or tough situation..maybe a little prayer helps too.

2:11 am  
Blogger E-Speed said...

For hills I use mental deception! I look about a foot in front of my feet so that it looks like I am running on flat ground!

7:23 am  
Blogger Clairie said...

I do exactly what you say not too.

I tell myself I feel bloody great. Even when I don't, I make myself smile and before you know it my whole body is smiling and the pain has gone.

The mind is a powerful tool and don't underestimate it's ability to trick the body.

Anyhow....on to more serious matters. What are you running this Sat? Are you doing Warwick? Are you doing GC Marathon or Half? How is Katie?

Hope you are both well and happy and I miss my training runs with you. Will be back this Saturday but maybe not for as long as you will be running.

8:28 am  
Blogger Reen said...

What a great post! My injury has been getting me down - I really appreciate the thoughts!

For many years first thing every morning I would say to myself "Damn - I'm good". Sounds kind of corny but it got me through some tough times. So - the whole telling myself what it needs to hear is my trick! I haven't done this in a while but I'm going to start again!

Thanks for sharing!

11:24 am  
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