The power of positive thinking

The power of positive thinking

This morning I went out for a 14K run. I enjoy the feeling that I'm clever, going out for a run early on a Sunday morning, but the runs are always a bit tough mentally and physically. I decided to try a new tack, and a couple of times last night repeated "I'm looking forward to my run tomorrow morning. It should be sunny and nice". I've never tried positive reinforcement this early before, but felt I needed it.

It was foggy when I got up - real pea soup. So I tried some more positive reinforcement, something about so what if I don't see the fjord and see if I get to town before the ferry? I like to race the ferry from Copenhagen, and try to make it past the harbour before it docks at 9:30 and all the people disembarking block my way. - I didn't make it today.

The first 6K were hard going as usual, so I kept saying things to myself like "How well I'm doing!" Half-heartedly, especially as I was surprised by the splits my app was reporting, which were not as good as usual at this stage. And I know myself, my splits only increase! I decided to try to do tackle the problem by doing some fartlek. My app was programmed to give regular feedback, so whenever it reported a split, I'd speed up the same number of steps as the seconds reported. At first I decided not to speed up too much, as my interval workouts this week have been really tough and I saw how too great speed drains me, but towards the end I decided to push myself.

And something strange happened. I felt really good when I reached my target distance. When I checked my app, I got a huge shock. For the first time ever during a long run, I had achieved a negative split, and even had the same pace I had back in my New York HM in October. Considering months of having to run slowly because of the treacherous snow and ice, this is real progress indeed.

The only thing I think I did differently was attempt to program myself last night, and keep up the reinforcement while running. And what a difference it made!

7 Replies

  • I love the positive reinforcement idea. Well done for the negative splits! The weather will be getting nicer now, and you will beat that ferry next time.

  • I consistently get negative splits over shorter distances (5k). In fact my first km is always my slowest, or one of the slowest whatever distance I run. And I find if I set myself a target distance and steel myself to doing that distance, then I can do it. I always feel I couldn't take another step at the end whether we're talking about 10, 11, 12 or 13k, but I do it. Then at home I tell my husband it was tough and I don't think I can go much further. The next week I add another km and still manage. So there is a lot of mental stuff involved in this running lark. I shall give positive reinforcement a try.

  • This is so interesting. Haven't tried positive reinforcement before but maybe I will before my next run. We'll done for pushing yourself to a really good run.

  • Well done everyone loves a negative split.

  • That is a great pic, and I want to race the ferry, that sounds so exciting!!I think we have little idea of just how powerful our thoughts can be when running.... well done it sounds like a great run :)

  • Great post, I must adopt your attitude! I'm guilty of complaining to myself a lot, I'm sure it can't help. I'll try something more positive next time, thank you! Lovely idea about racing the ferry too!

  • That's great! Well done on the negative splits - what a wonderful thing to see :)

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