Mind Over Matter

28 Feb 2016

This may be difficult, but get ready and step away from the self-help fluff!! Performance coaching focuses on motivation, goal-setting, mental toughness and balance with a healthy dollop of science. 


Trainers – check

Race entry - check

Training plan – check

Nutritional plan – check

Mindset plan - ????


The collective running community spends

The collective running community spends hundreds of hours pounding the pavement, hundreds of pounds on the latest kit or technical gadgets and hundreds of hours pouring over recent nutritional research yet peak performance often remains beyond reach simply due to our mindset. This intangible mental outlook can make or break our goals, either sending us soaring above the skies or plunging us into to the depths of despair.


 Mindset is a powerful weapon in any runner’s armory and helps us gain the winning edge, achieve peak performance and importantly, enjoy the experience. This enormous cerebral influence is clearly illustrated through the maxim that running performance is “90% mental and the rest physical” as proposed by Tim Noakes (2002). The ability to develop with our conscious and unconscious minds to enhance our running performance can be compared to learning any new skill. The four stages for learning any new skill developed by Burch in the 1970s moves through unconscious incompetence, through conscious incompetence, conscious competence to unconscious competence (Mind Tools, 2015) takes skilled practice, patience and perseverance. Every runner will have a personal preference for different techniques and skills so it’s recommended to test, adjust and test again (and again!). 


Our “Mind Over Matter” series will draw lessons from performance psychology to provide motivation to move beyond our running problems, identify ‘signature strengths', stay solution-focused, and ultimately “get the best out of ourselves” (Terry, 2008). These blog posts will delve deep into our elusive mental constructs to challenge limiting beliefs, examine our values, explore different perspectives and create new strategies to enhance our mindset towards running. We’ll draw inspiration from running hero