Why do we run the way we do?
Having been sick with a cold this last week, I was uncertain about lining up for a local club race they like to call the Ironman. True to its name, it is certainly a challenge – 25kms of undulating back roads, adding up to over 500m in elevation in Tasmania’s north west. And it’s rare we back away from a challenge, so I really wanted to race it for the first time.
But this isn’t a race review – that’s for another story!
If you follow #Runphoria you’ll know where our running’s at
While the honeymoon period with running will likely never be over, we look for additional challenges to pump up the motivation and feeling of reward. Those challenges include going faster, further, higher, cleverer, – so many things! Races produce more goals, which we train towards, work for, and often deliver – which then perpetuates the cycle.
This particular race was entered on a whim. There was no specific training, no challenge set. The result? Out there on the road, in the toughest parts of the race – both mentally and physically, it became very easy to discard reasons to achieve, to push it, to perform. My brain wasn’t aware of what it was supposed to do as I hadn’t programmed it.
I hadn’t thought of a goal, visualised it happening, talked myself into it.
So when it counted, the brain allowed me to slow to a walk up hill, justifying with every reason under the sun; “you’re tired from being sick”, “you won’t be fastest girl today and it doesn’t matter”, “you’re running out of energy”, “you can stop and pull out if you like”. All negative self-talk – exactly the opposite of how Gabby and I usually approach things.
So the epiphany? Goals matter!
Specific race goals. At whatever stage we may be at in training and fitness, a goal may be simply to finish a race, run at a certain pace, achieve a place, a time. This creates a reason for doing it, a motivation, a hunger even.