The first step to running fast, is knowing that you can do it.
I had a really weird workout today. One where my body wanted to run faster but my brain was saying, “Dude, that’s too fast. You can’t do that!” If I want to get faster, I have to convince my brain that I can run fast. I don’t know why my mind tries so hard to convince my body that I can’t do it. Knowing and believing are subtly different word choices that I used in the title and in the opening of this post. For me, these words spark on the difference between what you see is possible and what you believe you can achieve. Several sports psychology studies with children (Duda et al, 2011) and with elite soccer players (VanYperen & Duda, 2007) highlight that what you believe is associated with success in sport is linked to both motivation and performance in sport. Convincing yourself that you have the skills to succeed is an interesting mental challenge. One that keeps sports interesting for me.
I think my challenge today stems from the fact that I’m just not practiced at running faster. Today, I opted to listen to my body and just relax and run. But the pacing was hard and not at all even because of my mental battle. From now on, I’m going to start believing that I can run fast … unless I can convince myself that I should go faster. Shoot. I’m not sure how my silly head will deal with that. Either way, it will be an interesting challenge.