I did my first race for my new club on Sunday - a 10 miler. Despite knowing that I missed a lot of training last year, not having properly raced since the summer and putting on unnecessary weight, there was still a part of my brain that said I ‘should’ still be able to run close to my previous pace… Luckily for me, I kicked that part of my brain into touch and thought, ‘it doesn’t matter where I think I should be, what matters in where I am’ and that was 20 minutes down overall over 10 miles!
Using statements with the words, can’t, can, should, must, ought, necessary etc. causes us to limit our thinking and therefore our choices and our behaviours.
If I had said ‘I should run this race at close to my previous pace’ and therefore was way off, does that mean I shouldn’t have finished? Should I have pulled up after a couple of miles knowing I wasn’t going to be close? Surely better to finish (without causing injury) and face the reality of where I am and therefore target my training on knowledge and reality than beat myself up about not being where I should be…
How we speak to ourselves is important throughout training and competing. I will get back to my previous pace and with a mix of running, cycling and swimming will probably end up fitter than I was before and I will be keeping a check on what statements and language I use on myself.
If you want to know more about how language effects our thoughts and feelings, then contact me.