How elite athletes target high performance physiology from the get-go
Have you ever started off your season where running is just plain not fun and warming up takes forever? Or perhaps this sounds like all of your training runs. If so, you’ll need to speed up the warming-up process, so you can step in where you left off in your last run, relaxed and in the Zone—whether it was last week or last year—and avoid the pain and potential of injury.
I used to run as a means to cross train for karate. I’ll be honest. As a martial artist I disliked running, but it gave me the fitness and stamina advantage I needed to stay at the top of my game. So, when I stopped competing in karate, I stopped running and stopped the ‘torture’, as there now seemed no good reason to continue. All too soon I could feel my fitness slipping away and the weight piling on.
So I started to run again and it was the same old, same old. In virtually every run I suffered through 20 minutes of mental anguish until I found a reasonable groove for about the same amount of time. But the last 100 meters was pure joy—light, gazelle-like, powerful, adrenalized. I loved it—but that was only a few seconds of my run. So here are the three steps I took to resolve the problem:
1) Divide and conquer: This part is easy and although you can divide your run into a myriad of parts, keep it to three. The three parts can be of varying lengths and times. My first part was about 20 to 25 minutes, my second about 10 minutes and my third a few seconds.
2) Analyze each phase: In the SportExcel system, I teach athletes to go to the outcome first. In other words, you have to know what you want. For example, I want my Ironman triathletes to be able to see themselves crossing the finish line in the Zone and full of spirit. So in this step, I needed to find examples of the kind of physiology I wanted for my whole run. So I analyzed all three parts of my run, found the obvious best part (the end) and noted my physiology. (If you have no examples of great physiology, you’ll have to call me for another exercise). In my last few seconds I noted how my hips were moving…my shoulders…my core. How did my arms move? What was my breathing like? How did I feel? I wrote down and itemized all noticeable components I remembered about my physiology at this point.
1) Apply the findings: Once I had noted my physiological attributes, and literally had goose bumps via the memory, I applied these attributes to my next run, right from the get go—the rolling shoulders and extended hips, right down to the softness of my facial features, and the peripheral gaze of my eyes. And it was amazing. I got into the Zone in less than five minutes, not the usual 20. By changing only my physiology, I was able to trigger my high performance form in all parts of my run. And the best part? If ever my run started to flag, simply triggering one of the attributes would return me to the Zone.
So, before your next run, follow the three steps and divide, analyze and transform. Whatever you find in your physiology, it holds the key to making your whole run efficient, enjoyable and sustainable.
Give it a try, and if you want to learn more strategies, call us—877-967-5747. www.sportexcel.ca