Los Angeles is beautiful, even on a cloudy day. After yesterday’s wet 23 miler I was craving an easy no plan run. I took off from my apartment with my book and went exploring.
I’m about an hour from finishing How Bad Do You Want It? Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle by Matt Fitzgerald. Emily recommended it last week on our long run. We all know the best athletic performances come from the mind, not the body, and Matt Fitzgerald helps us understand how we can improve our mental fitness. He defines mental fitness as “a collection of coping skills—behaviors, thoughts and emotions—that help athletes master the discomfort and stress of the athletic experience, mainly by increasing tolerance for perceived effort and by reducing the amount of effort that is perceived at any given intensity of exercise.” He does this by sharing engaging race stories from elite athletes. It’s a great read, and can help you with your mental toughness whether you’re a runner or not.
Here are my top 5 takeaways. I could list hundreds, but I’ll stick to 5 🙂
- You’ll aid your performance if you prepare yourself to feel terrible during a race. The flow state, that amazing feeling when you’re working hard but it feels maintainable, is real and often occurs when you accept that the experience is going to be painful.
- You’re better off training with a group and competing around a crowd. Thank you audience effect!
- Time goals are the way to go. Apparently my chipping away at time vs. going for massive PRs works! You’ll feel more confident in your goal because you feel more certain and that translates to a higher level of effort.
- If you obsess over a goal you risk choking. Stay in the moment and focus on the specific task at hand.
- Your attitude in life is the attitude you bring to your race. The happiest runners who continued racing beyond their 30s are all joyful and positive people. Think Deena and Meb. No coincidence.
This week was a heavy training week. I’ll definitely think about this week’s 6:15 paced mile repeats and the 10 mile run with 5 at a 6:40 pace when I’m charging up Heartbreak Hill in April. Confidence in training brings confidence on race day.
In my non-running world I’ve been trying to stay dry.
Ellen gifted me a Green Chef box. So far we’ve made the Asian Rainbow Salad and the Patatas Bravas. I was worried they’d taste a little too healthy, but they were both filling and flavorful. Thanks Ellen!
And tomorrow is another day of rest. Back to the grind on Tuesday.