yeap. IM BACK. because i started thinking about running after receiving emails regarding xcountry flooding my inbox.
P.S. i could still go more in depth but this is already a very long entry. (part 1 personal, part 2 a running article)
today we ran in mac ritchie. Since the start of this year, i’ve sort of been making parts of my mac ritchie runs personal, and have been pretty individualistic about it. It’s the only time i would ever dare to run alone. Sometimes, i try running with the group, but after a while i will start to break off somewhere so that i can have control of my own pace and have some alone time with the route. Part of me feels selfish about it, for not running with the rest, or not trying to improve myself by trying to keep up, or not being accomodating and etc..
(Just to let you know, one of the main reasons for joining cross was because i felt guilty when i discovered my sec1 classmates kept running 3-4x a week while i had a slack cca in air-con that was once a week and i would just stay at home and slog in front of the tv every other day which made me feel like a pampered lazy pig with a disgusting lifestyle. When i first started out, every training felt like self-torture.)
Anyway yes, 8km of this route i ran today is really dear to me partly because it has helped me to improve alot. I first ran it during my 2nd training with my secondary school team in 2003, and in fact, i ran it the first time i did 8km in my life. i almost died that day, i still remember the whole experience. i almost got lost despite it being such an idiotproof route haha. Back then, i hated macritchie runs. i hated long runs. but i would feel guilty if i ever ponned training so i just forced myself to go anyway. Until one day, within 8months of being in cross, i ran it again like any other day, and it suddenly felt so comfortable, and the feelings of self-torture had disappeared. Since then, i loved long runs after all the “self-torture” i had put myself through. and i’d be one of the few weirdos who’d look forward mac ritchie trainings. i still can’t seem to shake it off. Running had become a constant in my life.
Today, i run it now like i’m catching up with an old friend, i run it because i never know when i will get injured again and wont get to run there again. i run it such that there are parts i know when i get on high and speed up like im possessed, parts where i’ll remember to tell myself to brace myself for that slope coming up, parts where i remember where to place my footing so that i can have fun chionging down a rocky slope. and i’m pretty sure some of you can identify with me. 🙂 feelings of nostalgia came back when i started it again this year, (i have been running there since the end of sec1 till jc but i almost never went back the last 1.5years) & i am really really really happy to be following this weekly routine once more. 🙂 AND if it weren’t for you guys (or the fact that it’s at 8am and not 730am), i’d be getting out of bed on sunday afternoons, missing out on times i could have spent with a special friend.
Here’s an article i found mr sq had shared with my team when i was in secondary school, i had found & still find it meaningful(: (i actually cut out bits of it =X) Its off-season now, but you could just take it as a little tip for a new beginning hehe. (:
“To improve performance, you have to start by fortifying the mind”
“I start each day by saying “I’m going to enjoy this day” and then I ask myself “Whom can I help today?'” This is a good philosophy for all sportspeople to adopt.
Sporting performance should always be put into perspective. If an Ethiopian athlete during the height of his country’s terrible famine were to run into a Red Cross relief camp and exclaim, “I’ve broken the 5,000 metres world record”, there would be little interest unless he was carrying a bag of flour. The word “recreation” literally means recreating our mind and body. Because we can, we should. If we enjoy sport we will enjoy it more if we get better at it. Improving involves the allocation of time.
We are at our physical peak in sport for about five years, although we may compete in one way or another for 25 years. This means that every training session is a precious piece of our time. It is an investment which will pay dividends in the future. The more we invest, the better the return.
Training must have a point. It is a journey towards a destination, a fixed point in our minds. The terminus must be both reachable and challenging.
This may take several weeks, months or even years. We are still travelling towards our destination; it may be long and difficult but we must stick to the route.
Do more of what you dislike
a very important maxim for fortifying the mind: whatever you most dislike in training and racing, DO MORE OF IT. Derek Ibbotson disliked sprinting, and consequently he was outsprinted in many races. He decided to spend a winter with his club’s sprint group in addition to his normal cross-country training. He became one of the fastest finishers ever in mile races. He also broke the mile record.
Training the will-power
Oscar Wilde summed up the weak-willed aptly when he said: “I can resist everything except temptation”. Athletes have to resist certain excessive social behaviour patterns which are accepted as the norm. This is defensive use of the will. Can we go on the offensive? We can – and in doing so improve our performance.
A middle-aged female took up running for the marathon. She had not participated in sport of any kind for 25 years. She was told to run for one minute and each successive day to add a minute. Because she had such a short stride, her leg strength was tested by making her hop 25 metres. She took 22 hops to cover the distance (world-class middle-distance runners can do it in nine). She was told to do hopping exercises every other day. After 100 days this woman was running for 100 minutes and had reduced her total hops to 15. The secret of her success was to start with a very minor challenge and to build on it. Many start too ambitiously and break down, giving the will a severe dent in the process.
To sum up fortifying the mind
1. Start each day with a declaration of intent: “I am going to enjoy this day”.
2. You can run; many cannot and will not run. Some have never known what it is like to run. Make the most of it while you can.
3. You can train every day for at least one hour. There is no excuse not to.
4. Train with a goal in mind.
5. The method of achieving this goal must involve rehearsing the activity and aids to that activity.
6. Competition must not only include the specific event but other events which will test endurance and speed.
7. Exercise your will specifically by devoting time daily to the task you dislike most in training – or to a known weakness. Start small and progress.
A competition is a competition; if you have trained diligently and intelligently and done your best, you have succeeded. You are only a failure if you have not done these things.
and if you have read this whole entry word for word and you are still reading this now, i salute you and am grateful for your perseverence & patience in reading this longwinded entry. proves you have stamina in reading and not just in running! 😉 thank you & see you at training! (: