I ran my first marathon in 2004. I’ve run one most years since then. But I’m not convinced I’ve ever really tried to run one properly. In fact, I’m pretty sure I haven’t because while being a sport psychologist is fantastic for helping you understand how you can improve in your sport, it is awful for exposing you to your weaknesses. When you spend all day with people striving to be the best in their sports or fields there is no hiding your self-awareness as to where you don’t stack up. I know I have an inner Homer (Simpson) and my spiritual home is the sofa, not the treadmill. I know I negotiate with myself that as long as I’ve done something (even though it is not the session my coach set) then I’m happy with that. As a positive it means I am rarely anxious about my sport and enjoy racing.
In fact, this process; trying to put my sport in context, seeing it as clearly just a hobby and not feeling like my race times define me is a great strategy. It is one I often recommend with athletes who are becoming overly anxious about their sport. But… it leaves me with a niggling feeling I could go faster and I’ll never know. So, for the next 13 weeks I’m going to try and go down the other strategy I sometimes suggest; going all in. Setting a goal that really matters to me, preparing properly, putting in place all the techniques and activities I would suggest to the athletes I work with.
I can’t ever share what we do with athletes, but I can share what I do myself. So over the 13 weeks I plan to share:
12 weeks to go: Explain how I’m shaping my goal
11 weeks to go: Creating my performance profile
10 weeks to go: Developing my goal setting
9 weeks to go: Highlighting how I incorporate my values into my training
8 weeks to go: Identifying my weaknesses – and how I will try to overcome them
7 weeks to go: Identifying my strengths & turning one of these into my super strength
6 weeks to go: Using a training diary properly
5 weeks to go: Developing a magic mantra
4 weeks to go: Working on my what if plan
3 weeks to go: Designing my imagery around the marathon moment I’m most scared about
2 weeks to go: Chunking down my race and planning out tactics for each section
1 week to go: Creating my confidence booster
And to keep myself accountable I’ll be blogging it weekly – because I hope knowing that I have to type about it will scare my lazy self into following exactly what my coach sets. I know it won’t be easy. I have a business to run, amazing clients to see, an awesome three year old daughter I love hanging out with and a book deadline five days before Marathon date (yup – genius planning there!) but I’m genuinely excited about the challenge and knowing there might be someone out there following my journey should give me the kick up the bum I need to stay focused and diligent and consistent until April 5th when I get to run Paris…