We’ve all probably had that feeling when you look in front of you and see a never ending climb, a monstrous sight in front of you where you question yourself as to how the heck you are going to conquer it. Big hills, long climbs, impossible prospect ahead, talk of monster hills, etc… all very scary if you’re tiring and not feeling it.
Lack of confidence, fear of the unknown ahead, questioning own ability and wondering whether you can achieve what is in front of you and what is perceived to be expected of you – these are all very real feelings that can strike. Some people say that running is just one foot in front of the other, some people say that it is a massive mental battle against all the little voices of doubt and anxiety. Whether you are the one or the other, there are important things to remember to be able to handle this prospect for you and others around you.
1) The unknown is exactly that – it could be good, it could be not so good. It is unknown, there is no point fearing something that you don’t know is relevant or not.
2) Challenges are partly why you started – you wanted to achieve things, you wanted to stick two fingers up to people who doubted you, you wanted to have that elation at the finish when you achieve something.
3) You are stronger than you think – the human body is an amazing work of art. None of us really explore our true potential to its full extreme, we can still usually have something left in the tank when we don’t feel that we have.
4) Planning ahead better certainly helps – deviating from a plan scuppers many ideas. If you are aiming to run ten minute miles for ten miles, but set off too fast and are running 10% faster for the first 3 miles, you have less available to keep that up or even stick to 10 minute miles after that. You’ve used up more of your energy supply before you needed to. Use your fuel well, don’t burn out too soon.
5) Stick to your guns – you know what you want to do and what you can do, don’t let anyone change that. We are all tempted to go that little bit faster so we can run with other people. It’s not always what is best for us. Changing a plan at last minute isn’t good, doing your own thing is good because you are the boss then, you control whether you step it up, reign it in or carry on as you are. Not needing to consider other people while on a challenge is very beneficial. There is always someone around who will help if you really need it, but controlling things for yourself is considerably better.
If you are in the bottom of the valley at the moment, in either your training or in your everyday life, then remember these points.
1) Don’t worry about things that aren’t definite
2) Embrace the challenge, you will feel better from achieving improvement
3) You are a strong person with more resilience than you realise
4) Planning helps you see the grand scale of things and tackle sections one bit at a time
5) Stick to your guns, you know what you want, you deserve this, go get it.
Good luck getting to the top of that hill, imagine the view at the top, imagine seeing how far you’ve come, how free you feel with all that behind you, and how awesome you are now for conquering that rise to the top where you belong.