a study on mental approach to training and racing.....
It struck me this morning when listening to Ultra legend Scott Jurek’s inspiring book Eat & Run that when faced with athletic challenges many of us see it as an obstacle - something that will be hard and inflict pain while others see it as an opportunity – something to use to overcome and get better…. Scott is amazing in his dogged determination – his ability to carry on when others falter…
Having read quite a bit about Kenyan runners recently, I am convinced that this is their secret – not genetics, diet, altitude or barefoot running to school – but motivation, grit and determination the ability to suffer and to see a long run or a hill session as an opportunity to improve – to get better, not something to shirk or complain about…
Also what about the Brownlee brothers - they clearly are this kind of athlete - Alistair's 10k run in the Olympic Triathlon was epic and he has subsequently said it was the most painful thing he has ever done... And his brother Jonathan ended up in a wheelchair after the race - he buried himself...
What do you think – are you an obstacle or an opportunity kind of athlete?
I'd say I'm an obstacle kinda girl. But I would view that as a bad thing. I like overcoming obstacles - there's a sense of achievement in it. I guess it just depends what sort of spin you put on it
I view the tough runs as opportunities mostly, but sometimes, if I'm really struggling, I get the "What the f**k am I doing this for when I could be at home in front of the telly" kind of attitude. I can usually get through that though. I actually surprise myself occasionally with what I can force myself to do (mainly through fear of chickening out).
I definitely try to use the 'opportunity' outlook when faced with a big hill. I used to dread it and grind to a halt. Now, during training at least, I try to keep the mindset that this hill will improve me as a runner, so I keep going. I'm usually half dead when I make the top but the satisfaction is great. I actually quite enjoy hills now. If I have to walk, I have to walk but only if I've given it everything to keep running.
Great answers…. I think both of you embody “opportunity” rather than “obstacle” Sarah I think that your desire to overcome obstacles is a powerful motivator.
I guess that like Matt to an extent fear drives me to go the extra mile – whether that be fear of wimping out, fear of failure, fear of gaining weight, fear of not being ready… But I do know that when I enter the gym or strap up my running shoes, I’m not looking for the easy option but the option that is appropriate and ultimately brings the greatest reward.
Visit the official Runner's World page
Follow Runner's World on Twitter
Other Natmag-Rodale Sites
Run For Charity
About Runner's World
Runner's World is a publication of Hearst Magazines UK which is the trading name of The National Magazine Company Ltd, 72 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 9EP. Registered in England 112955. All rights reserved.
Website powered by: Immediate Media Company Ltd. | © Runner's World 2002-2013 |