We all know that to run well you have to put in the training and log miles. Hill repeats, tempo runs, intervals, fartleks, they’re all part of the plan… but is that the whole recipe? Next we add in nutrition, bodywork, stretching, etc. Still we don’t have the full formula.
I have heard so many elites say that an integral part of their training program is visualization. Yet for many of us that still seems to hold kind of a weird voodoo, holistic, crunchy granola quality. “What? You’re supposed to imagine a good run?”
As kids we’re great at sitting in our imaginations. (Sometimes I feel kind of embarrassed when I think about the goofy fantasy scenarios I came up with, yet I can’t wait to see what Alex dreams up.) As we get older we find it harder to do this, letting thoughts of bills/responsibilities/duties as well as would’ve/should’ve/could’ve fill our minds.
To help focus the mind you can use audio guides. They have them for all types of things, yes… even running.
Developed by psychotherapist/runner/coach Joseph Renguso, Trance State Running is an audio recording that guides you through a meditation-type practice that helps you learn to stop feeding negative thought patterns that keep you from reaching full potential. This isn’t something you listen to while running, it’s another component of a well-balanced training plan. (You need to address your mind to be healthy!)
I liked the flow of this and it can be an effective part of your training even if you are physically hampered in some way. It teaches you how to quiet the mind as the body enters a physically uncomfortable place in running. Supposedly the more you practice it, the better you get. (like most things!)
My issue with it is the length. I’m not an elite athlete, so unfortunately part of my job isn’t to nap & visualize. I did find it hard to set aside 45 minutes to focus on this before having the baby and it’s virtually impossible now!
I think it would be really powerful to have a shorter version that runners could listen to before a race, maybe while they’re standing in their corrals waiting for the gun. That’s when my mind really starts to go berserk!
It’s an awesome concept and I think more of us need to learn how to quiet the internal naysayer. This could be the tool for the job. I look forward to seeing what else the company releases!