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Walk (Run) My Talk – Anchors, Goals and Chocolate!

I’m still buzzing from my achievement of running my first 10k race. I had no ambition to run a 10k when I took up running this time last year. Back then I would come back pumped up from running 2 or 3k.

But after collapsing when running in November 2016 and struggling to even walk for sometime after,  I decided that I literally needed to ‘walk my talk’!

So armed with a selection of my positive psychology tools and techniques I set myself a running goal.tool+box+clipart

I trust that you will find some of my strategies useful whether you are running a marathon, a business or a family.

I would love to hear about your success and I’m happy to share them on the website or facebook page.

Goal Focus

Setting a SMART goal is crucial, setting it at the beginning is so important. If you don’t have a direction, a reference point, then you might or might not be on track, it will be left to chance. A SMART goal is a goal with a DEADLINE! – something most people avoid conning themselves with ‘if I don’t say when I’m going to achieve it I can’t fail!’

My SMART goal was ‘I will take part and complete the Nottingham ASDA 10k run on May 28th 2017.’ I decided not to put race time on it as it wasn’t about pace but about the completion.

Feel The Fear And Do It AnywayTM

Susan Jeffers, the author,talks about expanding your Comfort Zone

Taking small proactive steps forward to achieving your goal rather than a reactive and fearful leap into the unknown Panic Zone and then convincing yourself that the old way/situation wasn’t that bad. For me this was about slowing raising my game, having a realistic and achievable plan to achieving the distance I wanted to run.

Anchors

20170514_100828I love Anchors, I use them with clients on a regular basis. They are easy to set and have immediate results. An anchor is the creation of an association between a feeling and a sensory experience such as a touch or a sound.  We are unconsciously exposed to anchors daily through many mediums. You may hear a song and it evokes nice feelings of wonderful memories. You see a food advert and it makes you crave the product.

I set my running Anchor to invoke feelings of strength and power. When I squeeze my thumb on my right hand I get a surge of energy and feelings of strength flood through me. I also have a running playlist, with songs which deliver bursts of adrenaline.

Affirmations

Affirmations are great! They are a way of calming down your Chatterbox, that internal terrorist who tells you that ‘you aren’t good enough’, ‘you haven’t trained enough’. When I use my Anchor, i.e. squeeze my thumb,  my affirmations ‘I am strong, I am powerful’ pop into my head and override my Chatterbox.

Visualisation

Visualisation is the process of creating a mental image or intention of what you want to happen or feel in reality. An athlete can use this technique to ‘intend’ an outcome of a race or training session, or simply to rest in a relaxed feeling of calm and well-being.

To help keep me going when I start to feel my energy levels drop I visualise that my body is made up of iron rods instead of bones and that oil is lubricating my joints. I focus on being a well-oiled machine. This may sound odd, but it really works for me!

All the above are related to your mental ability, as we know we need to take a holistic approach to all areas of our life so we must consider our diet and rest and get the right balance. That balance is what is right for you, it’s not a onesize fits all.

Here’s what works for me:

Diet

I have worked out that porridge with fruit and nuts at least an hour before a run keeps my energy levels stable. To give me an initial boost I have a square of dark chocolate when I start off.chocolate

Rest/Sleep

Every week is different for me based on my workload, so I run 3-4 times a week and go for a walk on my rest days. I use self-hypnosis to help me drift into a deep relaxed sleep – a self-hypnosis track can be developed specifically for you or there are many free downloads available. Try https://www.meditainment.com/

My final tip..

..is to look at who and what is supporting you. I wanted to be part of a running team so I signed up to run with a local charity, www.rosie-may.com. This came with lots of support and encouragement for people of all abilities, we even had a Personal Trainer who gave us tips and importantly for me, accountability. http://janelewisfitness.com/

As I continue to buzz through the week, I contemplate what my next goal will be. Watch this space!P1010666

I would love to know your stories and tips, please get in touch to share or if you are looking for support alison@steps-forward.co.uk.

With gratitude

Alison Hollingworth

 

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