Saturday, October 16, 2010

Trust and Believe

This morning I heard one of the best comments I could ever hear as a running coach from three of my half-marathon runners just before the start of their race.
"I'm not even nervous. I'm excited, but not nervous."
As a coach, it's great to hear that because you know the runners feel ready physically and mentally for the race. They're confident in their athletic abilities.

These runners have worked hard the past 12 weeks. For two of the runners, it was their very first half-marathon and the third was shooting to break a previous time and PR. During the training, they'd every once in a while express a little doubt about achieving their goals, but I kept reminding them to trust in their training. And they did. The two half-marathon newbies both blew away their projected finish times and the PR-hopeful, did in fact break his previous half-marathon time and not by just a few seconds, but by several minutes!

It's normal to have some doubts during your training. One bad run, and that little pesky voice of doubt can slip in and begin it's taunting"Am I going to be able to do this?" "If I can't even do this short run, how in the world am I going to make 13.1 or 26.2 miles?" 

Training for an endurance event is kind of like the stock market. If you're looking for a big return in the short-run, then you'll probably be disappointed. You may even lose some money. But, if you hang in there and let some time pass, your stocks will probably begin to give you some good returns. The same thing applies to running. In-the short-term, you may not see a lot of growth. You may even experience what seems like a set-back as your body acclimates to new training intensities and/or mileage. But give it some time. Trust and Believe. Your reward will be at the end of your training on race day.

I'm not sure who said it first, but "running is about 90% mental and 10% physical." Whether that's scientific or not, I don't know, but there's a lot of truth in that statement. Trusting your training and believing in yourself as an athlete will help ensure that all the hard work you've put in over the past several months will shine through.

"Trust and Believe" actually makes a great mantra. When you're running and you're climbing a tough hill or you're beginning to fatigue, say to yourself over and over, "Trust and Believe." If that pesky little voice of doubt begins to creep in, kick it to the curb! Even say it out loud. "Go Away!" Of course the runner beside you may think you're a crazy nutcase, but hey, whatever works, right?!

There are always factors out of your control that may affect race day (crazy weather, extreme temperatures [hot or cold], illness, injury, etc.). When that happens, it's frustrating, but you just have to roll with the punches. Don't let it discourage you though. As soon as you can, set a new training/racing goal.


Dena Harris said...

You're a great coach and your team kicked butt! Congrats to all runners.

RunnerDude said...

Thanks, Dena! You ran an awesome race there yourself! And Watchless!

Mark said...

I share Dena's sentiment. It sounds like the comfortability factor has to do with great coaching. Congratulations!


RunnerDude said...

Thanks Mark! Hope you and the family are doing well!!

runcharlotterun said...

Great Job runners and coach! In the movie Running the Sahara someone said "running is 90% mental and the other 10% is mental". I don't know if I would go that far but it seems like trust in training makes a world of difference on race day.

Unknown said...

Trust makes such a huge difference. Your runners obviously have great trust in you.
Love the mantra.

Unknown said...

It's almost 5am, I'm getting organized to head to the start line of my second marathon. Your post is the first thing in my Facebook Feed. Coincidence?

My Garmin died on the way to the start of my first. My mantra that day was "Time doesn't matter". I cramped up at 26k and mostly walked to the finish. My time didn't matter, I finished laughing at smiling at the situation. I was so happy I didn't have to look at my watch that day.

Today. Trust and Believe!

Thanks Thad

RunnerDude said...

Thanks Charlotte and Cynthia!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Jeff! Man, I need to figure out a way to bottle your outlook on life! Good luck and rock that marathon today!!

Rachel said...

love the stock market analogy - so true! congats to your runners, they had a great coach!

Wayne Ball said...

Great post RunnerDude! I enjoyed the stock market analogy too. We all rocked the half marathon thanks to a great trainer (aka RunnerDude), dedication, friendship and teamwork!

Fruit Fly said...

Excellent post! And it actually made me more excited and more confident going into my race on Saturday! I totally have always believed that for me the biggest obstacle is just my mind. I know my body can do it ... and today my mind knows it, too!

Julie @ HotlegsRunner said...

I'm glad I read this post. As my first marathon fast approaches I've been battling with a lot of self-doubt lately. Feeling much better now. Thanks!