This Saturday I am going to run my first race in (I can’t believe it) 3 years. In fact the last race which was the Wine Run turned out to be more of a walk! So I could say that in reality my last running race was in 2015!
Here’s a pic of me after the last race I ran.
The race this Saturday is the very same race except I’ve signed up for the 10k. I’m hoping it to be the start of many more, building up to a half-marathon at some point.
Why haven’t I been running in any races in between then and now? It turned out that when I was running that race in 2015 it was the beginning of a downward spiral which ended up in complete burnout. I was losing weight rapidly, was extremely underweight and work and family life was taking its toll. My job was intense and I wasn’t eating properly. When I went out training I noticed that the following day my defences were down and I felt like I had flu-like symptoms. I decided by the end of 2017 to leave my job as I had reached my limit mentally and physically. Then a bitter blow came when I ended up with pneumonia three days into my Vipassana meditation retreat shortly after finishing my job. Maybe it was a sign to force me to stop and rest completely?
When I recovered I decided to take up running but again I found my defences were low the day after. I then began associating running with being ill – forming what’s called a “negative anchor”. An anchor in Neuro-Linguistic Programming is the relationship between a trigger and a change in mood – it’s a type of a stimulus response pattern. I was noting a great deal of anxiety and caution whilst I was running. Not a good mindset and I was not making any progress. I kept my diary ‘The Simple Mindful Runner’ to explore how my mind operated whilst running. I believe it was this fascination as well as wanting to help transform people’s life for the better that led me to studying Clinical Hypnotherapy at Adam Eason’s School for Hypnotherapy.
It turns out that Adam has ran ultra-marathons, has assisted well-known runners for a TV programme in the UK and has written his own book “Hypnosis For Running” . He’s currently preparing for another ultra-marathon. So I decided to test out my very own tutor’s work by using the audio version of his book with all the self-hypnosis exercises.
What have I discovered from Adam’s ‘Hypnosis for Running‘?
Wow! This has really been a game changer for me! The idea is to learn how to adopt the right mindset to hypnosis and practise hypnotic exercises repeatedly. I have learnt to keep my motivation up and to police my thoughts, have increased self-awareness, I have mentally visualised positive running scenes and my upcoming race. I have learnt to associate relaxation with running and now have techniques I can use with fast beneficial results. I have several mental imagery techniques which help improve my running performance. If you want to know them you’ll have to read the book!
I have noticed that for the first time in a long time I am thoroughly enjoying my runs and now that they feel like I put in less effort, my endurance has improved rapidly. I have made strong “positive anchors” with running and am experiencing positive changes in my mindset which influences my running and my everyday living. My goals are now set higher and they seem more attainable.
So on Saturday 21h I will be running using hypnosis. If there’s any strange thoughts to this it does not mean I’ll be running with my eyes closed!! I’ll be active and alert! My aim is to enjoy this 10k and to finish it with good energy, hopefully with a progressive last 5k. So any positive best wishes from your part will be greatly appreciated and taken on board during this fast night race in the capital.
Alive & Kicking!