I have recently started to listen to podcasts, as a way of passing the time walking to the train or when I am out and about. Unsurprisingly, I have been listening to ones about running. This podcast from Run to The Top, introduced me to Matt Fitzgerald, which led to me buying How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle.
So much of sport is your physical ability, your nutrition, your training but so much of it is also in your head. Your perception of yourself and your ability also plays a huge part. Personally, I find belief is very important. For so long me breaking 46 minutes for a 10KM was my nemesis. Going into the race with the right mental attitude made all the difference.
This quote certainly hit home for me:
While my legs and lungs had put me in a position to win, it was my mind—particularly my ability to absorb the shock of the novel sensations I felt and my willingness to suffer a bit for the sake of winning—that had carried me over the top. The essential challenge of long-distance racing, I understood, was mental.
Whilst I will never be winning a race, for me to PB in the way I want to next year; I will need to get used to suffering. As the cliche phrase goes, pain is temporary, pride is forever. Put simply, How Bad Do You Want It. Are you willing to suffer for a short period of time, to reap the benefits of your training. Are you willing to train in a tough way, that will hurt?
Only then did I realize that I had previously operated inside a sort of comfort zone within discomfort, an illusory “100 percent” that I had no choice but to move beyond if I was ever going to be the best.