Run Perception || Runners’ Seen

Interesting how we as runners perceive other runners’, isn’t it? One of my friends commented on his neighbor who apparently runs every single day, come rain or sunshine and then reflected on his own running, as he struggles to get his minimum of 2 or 3 weekly runs in 

But actually, they both have more in common than they think about my friend and his neighbor . how’s that 

Sawubona Welcome to the running blog

Do you want to run, faster, longer, feel better after a run, hey even look better whilst running then this blog is for you, because not only do I want to inspire you, we will make our way through these topics and help you dig deep and gain deeper insight so you can make & take better decisions. 

Why make and take? Good question: to make a decision can take time, leading through a whole process. Like whether you will enter a certain race or not. Taking a decision only refers to the decisive moment. For example, do I turn right as planned and head on home, or do I turn left and run an additional 5 kilometers. 

The show is about running, not archery, not curling, no, not golf, all great sports. Here we focus on running and sometimes swimming. So if you are an aspiring run or triathlon coach, a beginner runner or an age grouper, stay tuned.

But there is a catch here: we don’t advertise, promote or focus on training plans, not on equipment, not even nutrition.. ok might be sometimes we do touch some of those topics, but there are other great sites out there that address the training plans, or review equipment.

What we will be focusing on is that one single place.. that place where all improvements, ideas, motivation, and inspiration come from. Where your biggest, and easiest wins in terms of low hanging fruit can be found.

Where is that? 

You guessed it. Your brain, how your state of mind affects our running, how understanding and learning what processes are hindering you, and then:

How to perhaps adjust and tweak them and thereby improve them with new powerful thought processes.

Wait Don’t jump to conclusions, don’t text your friend hey, there is this new motivation blog for runners and swimmers it’s not a motivation blog. Although the content will give you that sense of inspiration which comes with high quality leadership content

It’s an authentic show, me and Heiko sharing 35 years of running, swimming and coaching experience, combined with hypnosis and brain training developed for runners’.

But back to the original question. What do those two runners’ have in common? The one who runs every day and the other one that struggles to get going?

They both have a certain image in their mind. 

And this image leads to a mindset. 

Now here is the strange part, that scientists cannot help you with. The process of building this image, and the mindset is exactly the same for each runner. 

Both use pictures or images that are stored in their minds, and they both have only a certain time and a certain number of steps they will perform. 

And the struggle for the everyday runner might be that he wants to improve his overall 10K time. That might be his struggle. Whilst my friends struggle is to just get out and start running. 

Now this is important because and this goes for both of them, if there is no improvement, there will be mental decay. You see this often, runners that never participate in a race. Or you hear people tell you they used to run, but then 

That’s the mental decay.  

Back to the image in the mind. If you like to picture a triangle, and the first point is the way a runner perceives himself. Or how a runner thinks of himself. Second is the way a runner interprets others’ perceptions of him/herself. And last, the way a runner would like to be.

These three elements are key to any runners’ self-image. 

  1. The way a person perceives or thinks of him/herself.
  2. The way a person interprets others’ perceptions (or what he thinks others think) of him/herself.
  3. The way a person would like to be (his ideal self).

5 minutes.

In case you haven’t thought about this, perhaps this evening, just take some time, use a notebook, and write how you perceive yourself. Say what? Yes, think about it first, and then write down those exact first thoughts.

If you are completely drawing a blank here, let me give you some questions to get you going. For example, ask yourself:

  • Are you a treadmill or outdoor runner?
  • What outlook do you have on your running? Optimistic, worried?
  • Do you run the same route and distance, or does it vary?
  • Do you prefer to run alone or with others?
  • Do you prefer running in hot weather or in ice cold weather?
  • On a scale of one to five, how satisfied are you with your running?
  • How often are you thinking about injuries?
  • How often do you explore your endurance or speed?

Now just read off your answers: I am an outdoor runner, with an optimistic outlook and run various routes. I prefer to run alone in hot weather, and am extremely satisfied with my running, hardly think of injuries, and regularly explore my endurance.

In case this honest self-image reveals a negative picture. I congratulate you for your honesty. Being honest with yourself is something many people are not. Now before you start celebrating, stop. If it turns out you are critical of yourself, perhaps have thoughts like: why am I so slow. Or why am I struggling to go for a run? Maybe you found out and admitted to yourself you are beating yourself up over your performance. Really getting angry, annoyed, even frustrated with yourself.

Why on earth would this be important, or maybe you are telling yourself: this negative picture drives me to run harder and longer. Here are some scientific facts: the research suggests that being kind to oneself switches off the threat response by reducing the heart rate and sweat response, and puts the body in a state of safety and relaxation, which we can see by an increase in the heart rate variation.

You see, this part might just be one of the biggest gains you make.

Same if you are on the other side of the spectrum.

If it turns out you have an unstable self-image. This leads to less empathy for others. And those others, look, it’s your family’s time too. Having children, and then spending the best part of the day going for a run, is not going to make you dad of the year. Nor is the lack of understanding for various common projects you have planned with your spouse. At the end of the day, going to a race is not really something your family or friends really want to do. Well, not on a cold, rainy or windy day. Plus having an unstable self-image will eventually lead to boredom, and mood swings. And I can honestly admit that I can relate to this. Years back preparing for events, I definitely wasn’t the nicest person to hang around with. As it was all about running, training, times, distances. 

And here I want to address all female runners’, especially my daughter’s if they ever read my blog. 

This question, of your self-image, is especially important to you ladies who enjoy and share in the sport of running, or swimming. Some shocking statistics for you. Did you know that according to a study, please don’t ask me which one? I would have to spend valuable talking or running time researching but you are welcome to check it out yourself. You will find statistics that 7 out of 10 women felt more depressed and angrier than before after watching images of fashion models. Ouch. 

Now if you have many negatives heads up my running friend this seems to be normal. There is hope, don’t hang up your shoes just yet. There is a process you can undertake to build a different self-image. But that’s only if you come to the conclusion that your self-image needs work. But that’s something between you and you, nothing to do with anyone else. Now if you want to improve this, there are many quick fix it guides on google or YouTube. Search that term on YouTube and from that moment on your recommended videos will include anything from psychics, right up to Asian monks training in the snow-covered rivers in the Himalayas. Now before you fly to Nepal and go on a 4-year quest to find yourself just start one simple exercise.       The important part is that you not only start but make it a habit. Because the more often you repeat something, the more it decreases resistance.  What should you do? 

Again that notepad, or notebook you have. Start right now by writing down 5 running achievements you are proud of. It can be a big race, or the fact that you had a 4 day running streak., or finished a sub 3hr marathon. Now the more detailed you write this, beware. Be sure to remain and use positive formulated statements. Sometimes when we do this exercise in a workshop environment some runners end up getting a bit carried away and if I would have focused on getting a negative split, then I would have no! Detailed but positive formulation. If you want to add some more meat to your story, recall a time where you overcame a difficult patch, or where you overcame a bad patch of sitting on your sofa with your two best friends Ben & Jerry.

Next recall and document 3 occasions during a run or in a race where you were proud of yourself. Perhaps where you wanted to give up, but you didn’t. 

Now recall three instances where you overcame adversity. For me, this is an easy one, how about this after cleaning my running shoes, it seems I might have accidentally forgotten to put in the insoles. You know those thin cheap looking soles. Well who would have figured that they make such a difference. And you know what you feel that pain pretty soon once you start running. Even if it was a half-marathon ouch, biggest blister ever.

This routine will have an enormous effect, simply because you are looking at yourself from various angles, and this provides you with more details.

Did you know that watching American football on TV wasn’t very popular in the early days of live TV broadcasts? Today it is a multi-million industry, televised across the globe. What happened? Well if you have ever been to a live game, sat in the stadium, you would have noticed that sometimes you were not paying attention, you missed that decisive move. And now you are just watching whatever is happening after the stoppage. And that is frustrating, because you don’t know what happened. You missed it. Thank goodness for slow motion, and multi shot camera angles. Once the number of cameras and slow motion was added, football’s popularity just kept on growing. Because now, even if you missed it, or didn’t have a clear view, you could rewatch it, again and again.  

 The more honest you are with yourself, the more detailed you write, and the sooner you develop the routine, you will feel the effect. You don’t need years of therapy, it’s just your self-image in relation to you being a runner, ok? So, don’t get worked up. Just start working on your self-image.

If for example, you are stuck, and just about contemplating not doing the exercise. Perhaps you can recall back when you were an adolescent, because that is a time when your running form was most probably pretty correct and beneficial. That body position you had when you sprinted: “race you there”, that was your perfect stride. What has changed since then? It’s still you in that body, isn’t it?

That’s why now is the time to take and then start to make a decision. Like my friend and his neighbor 

Rather than just reading to the blog, I would recommend you do this with any advice be it blog or blog you are following. Check it out, who is the person giving the advice? Is it solid what is the person’s background, and based on what grounds? See, before the internet (and yes there was a world out there before the world wide web) not just anyone could be heard, write a book, or get an essay publicized. 

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Nowadays, anyone can blog, start a blog or a blog. Which is great right up until you realize how much material is out there without any kind of standard or authority. So I invite you, readers to the “about me” blog, where I explain about the brand RESET, the certification and give you more detailed information about who you are actually reading to, and your benefits are. 

If you want some additional information, go to our YouTube Blog, advanced endurance coaching, where you will find different playlists, especially if you want to run a non-mainstream German marathon  and let me ask you to please leave us a 5 star rating, it just helps other runners’ find us, and if you like head on over to our Instagram, advanced_endurance.

Thanks for reading, stay tuned for the next blog where we will look at how others perceive us.

Take it easy,

Heiko

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