The Mind's Gym

This was posted to a running board by someone and forwarded to me. I really like what it says.

"I saw an interesting piece on 60 Minutes about Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria. No doubt, the man has great talent; however, he went unnoticed until college. He went from being a pretty good high school ball player, to one of the best in the Major Leagues. During college, he started to train his brain. It was that training that paid off for him.

I could not help but think that training for and completing a marathon or a half marathon takes more than just running. We also need to train our mind like we train your body. Willie Mays once said, "What you are thinking, what shape your mind is in, is what makes the biggest difference of all." And, more simply put by Yogi Berra "it's 50% physical, the other 90% is mental". Mental training teaches us to think clearly and use our mind effectively. We must learn not to chase bad thoughts. Each week visualize yourself completing a distance you knew you could reach. Don't think things like, "How do I expect to run 26 miles when I can't even run 5, 10 or 15." Imagine yourself doing things well. Make your images as vivid and as clear as you can. Learn to turn your negative critic into a positive coach. On your training runs, learn to train your brain by not allowing yourself to think negatively. Stop saying "this is hard" or "it's too hot", and replace with "it feels good to be alive" and "the only thing hotter than the sun is me".

Some other thoughts, learn to forget and stay in the moment. If you made a mistake or just had a bad training run or race, learn from it, but also forget about it. You can't change the results. And unfortunately, beating yourself up for a poor run simply does not help. In fact, it may just set you up for more struggles in future runs. We need to stay in the moment. When lined up for the marathon, I can't let myslef worry about what happened in the last marathon or training run.

During a marathon or a half, you'll have a lot of time by yourself. At some point, you may question the sanity of the situation or just simply will feel uncomfortable. Just let that thought or feeling go, think positively, and finish what you started. Keep telling yourself that you're strong, well prepared, and will succeed. Go back to your visual images of success. To be honest, I have on many occasions allowed the negative thoughts to take over. Some of those negative thoughts just creep in almost unnoticed. Before I knew it, the race was over and I've been defeated. Conversely, I have had some races that were getting tough, but by staying positive and focuses in on the moment, I've had some great success.

A lot of these thought and statements came from a book called "Mind Gym." If you ever get a chance, read it. Personally, I need to do more mental training for distance events."


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The Man Who Thinks He Can

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win, but you think you can't. It is almost certain you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you've lost,
For out in the world we find success begins with a fellow's will. It's all in
the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are.
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before you can even win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man
But soon or late the man who wins is the man who thinks he can

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