Monday, March 26, 2007

I can see it in my head . . . .

I used to be one of those people who didn't get the idea of an elite athlete spending so much time and money on the idea of visualization.

I've read the magazines, training books and web sites, but it all seemed a little to new agey touchy feely for me.

Picture your goal, imagine yourself achieving this goal blah blah blah. . . why don't we light some incense while we are at it!

Now that I think of it, I guess to some extent, I've always done this sort of visualization automatically. I've just never quite realized what I was doing.

So yesterday, fresh off of skimming a section on visualization in one of Joe Friels books, I was about 1/2 way through the 12km run of by 4hr brick. The body was hurting a bit, and I had obviously misjudged my nutrution a little as well. Not dying, just not having too much fun.

I decided to give the visualization thing a go. I started to think about what my ideal outcome of one of the races I am going to compete in this year would be. I mentally started on the swim start, and carried through to the run. I ended up finding myself racing a fellow competitor for an AG victory, and winning.

Now, I often daydream while running but this was a deliberate mental activity on my part. By the time I reached the end of my mental race, I started to realize what was happening in my body.

All the concerns that were building in my head were gone. The legs were feeling great, the tummy was a non issue. I felt awesome. Not too mention that I had just completed two sub 4 minute kms as well. I was able to maintain that momentum for the rest of the run.

The weirdest thing was that I actually found myself acting like I was racing. The adrenaline was up, and the thrill was there as well. Not just out for another long training session.

Now, I don't know how often this sort of thing will work for me, but I now realize what sort of benefit it can have.

You still won't find me in any YOGA class anytime soon, or humming some sort of mantra, but I do have a bit more respect for what the brain can do!

By Syd Trefiak

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