Updated: Mar 19
This blog is an excerpt from our input into The Marathon Marcus blog. Marcus and I have been working together for the last few months in preparation for his sub-3 hour performance in Berlin and we enjoy being able to share some of that journey.
Duncan: As you complete your training this week, I want you to focus on what you are thinking and telling yourself throughout your runs. This involves bringing a level of consciousness to your thought patterns. These can be organised into 3 categories – effective, neutral and unhealthy.
Of course, some will be situation dependent, there may be a time when you really need to go in on yourself to spark a reaction, but for simplicity, think about it like this: In most situations if my coach or best friend said this to me while I was training, which category would it fall into.
Get an A4 sheet of paper and create 3 columns based on the categories. After each training run document your thoughts and words to yourself. As we become more aware, we can realise our current habits, and then begin to focus on creating new, more effective mindset habits.
Marcus: For Wednesday’s sessions my internal chatter was mostly unhealthy, in terms of focusing on the difficulty, the early start, not a lot of sleep etc. Whilst they were valid reasons they took more space than they needed to.
But I was more aware of my unhealthy thoughts from Wednesday for Sunday’s run. I felt when I had unhealthy thoughts on Sunday, I could recognise it for what it was and turn it around much quicker without staying in a space that didn’t best serve me.
I didn’t hit my average mile target, but each mile I just started from zero and gave my best effort, regardless if the last mile was on or off pace.
There’s still work to be done but this exercise was really usefully highlighting my conscious thoughts, and helping me learn to win the ugly moments.