Thursday, September 19, 2019

When Herb Elliott Speaks

Herb Elliott was asked this question by an interviewer: What is the key to achieving our very best performances in running?
 He responded, "We must realize we have much more strength in our body than we think. The key to that strength is the mind. The relationship between the mind and body is still something we are really just playing around with. We don't understand the enormous power that we have within us and that is touchable."
When Herb Elliott speaks on running everyone should pay very close attention. What he says above is quite similar to comments Yiannis Kouros has made in the past.
I would add that the majority of us are the ones who are most critical and pessimistic in regards to what we are capable of doing.
We must make it a point to stop imposing self created limitations on ourselves.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Runner, Know Thyself

The following is from a book by Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic Marathon gold medalist.It's called Olympic Gold: A Runner's Life and Times.
Much is to be learned from what Frank has to say. Most have forgotten that decades ago he led an effort to eliminate drug use from distance running competition, a noble endeavor indeed. Ironically,the '76 Olympic marathon champion Waldemar Ciepinski,whom Shorter finished less than a minute behind for the silver, was widely believed to be a drug cheat(since confirmed). Nothing ruins a sport's credibility more than illegal drug use. If you doubt that, then take a look at what it's done to baseball's homerun record for starters.
But I digress. Here Frank gives an insight into something that can't be stressed enough,especially if you desire racing success:
 "You have to know your body. It's part of the beauty of the training process,and once you've determined how much your body (and mind) can take, you can then begin to reach your potential. As intensely as I've trained over the years,I never felt I was training too hard. I always felt I had a little more to give. I think I've grown to know my body and exactly how it reacts to running. I can detect subtle changes in the way I run and feel, which better enables me to gauge the effort I put into running and the training effect I might derive. I know when I'm fit,and why; I know when I'm not, and why."
Again,serious training involves more than just lacing on the shoes and doing the workout.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Tom Osler On Runners Negative Obsessions

I have referenced Tom Osler many times on this blog before.
For those who don't recall,he is a former outstanding ultra runner who back in the mid-60's wrote the now legendary booklet,The Conditioning of Distance Runners.Written in a time when precious little sensible distance training info was available, Osler provided the kind of guidance that runners needed.
Tom Osler has an insight into running that isn't as common as one would think.It is a fallacy to believe that former standouts become outstanding coaches and writers in their respective sports.
When asked about negative obsessions runners develop in running and racing he ofered the following observations:
"Some runners make a fetish out of never missing a day's training.Their streaks of continuous days running can number into the years.There is probably no direct harm in this. However,it distracts the runner from his legitimate concerns.He should first concentrate on listening to his body.Take a day off  if the body needs it. There is no loss but actually a gain in such actions.
Another obsession runners succumb to is the minimum mileage for the week syndrome. Runners will kill themselves to make that magic 60 miles,or 100 miles,or whatever it might be.Again,this distracts the runner from his first concern.He should be monitoring his training according to how he feels and not according to some preassigned silly number.
A dangerous obsession is the refusal to quit in races.Of course,there is no honor in quitting simply because you are being beaten.There are however times when continuing poses a real threat to your health.At such times,it is the wise runner who quits."
I don't know about you,but I've been guilty of all of the above at one time or another.As I look back, I recognize that it was almost always related to fear or anxiety.I believed that by backing off I would lose "my edge." Foolishness it was!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Words From Warriors

The following is from Japanese samurais and Chinese sages.Athletes can gain much from what they have to say. These are people who "walk the talk." Personally,they help me to focus and be totally committed to the task at hand. Consider the following,after each quote I give a comment
"One should not torture himself over a single mistake.What is essential is one's presence of mind hereafter. When one makes a mistake,he should not be hesitant to correct it. Making a mistake and not correcting it,this is the real mistake."
Evaluate and re-evaluate,be introspective.I see the same athletes repeatedly getting injured while others can't understand why they are not seeing improvement in their performances.
"Do all things with patience."
The impatient athlete tends to be a self-defeating one.
"Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind."
For most of us that takes awareness of how we are and the desire to acquire mastery over ourselves.Again, being introspective is the key.
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations.We fall to the level of our training."
Great quote here,positive thinking and Jerry Lynch affirmations are only as good as the training you've done.
"Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay its price."
How true,but for those of us who live for the run,it is a labor of love.