Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Why runners are right to ignore the ‘types’ of runners who look like them

When it comes to running, you can pretty much ignore what your fellow runners, coaches and friends say and just do your own thing. After all, you’ve been an athlete your whole life and you’ve learned all the right stuff.

Or can you?

In a related series, NBC Bay Area looks at the recent decline in the number of women elite Olympic cross-country runners. (Scroll down to view.)

“Like much of the U.S. cross-country community, it’s just easier to finish than it is to go on,” said Jessica Geis, a three-time Olympian who lives and works in Eugene, Ore. “There are limitations you put on yourself.”

Geis’ “limits” are academic, however. But they certainly show up in her performance.

“I’ve been racing since I was 15, so I’ve been willing to follow the work of my coaches, the training, the dieting and when I came out of international competition, I couldn’t diet anymore, I wasn’t allowed to keep the snacks,” Geis said. “I said, ‘I’ve trained enough, I’m done. I can take a rest and just enjoy my life.’ And it was worth it because three times a year, on top of everything else, I get to go to the Olympics and not run and my coaches love me.”

One of the most common professional and academic research theories about athletes is that they “set goals that are at odds with reality,” wrote Luke Jensen in his book, “Performance Psychology.” But in this case, there may be a much stronger scientific element to the sports world’s self-promotion than you might think.

A physical psychologist named Brian McKeon has studied speed runners for over a decade and found that doing so is all about cognitive preparation. It’s as simple as getting on a comfortable stationary bike to build your inner calm, rather than your ego.

“I think people are conditioned to stress the strength aspect, but there’s so much of the brain that is being drained by sport,” McKeon said. “Half of what runs your heartbeat and that is the brain. So a lot of the time, doing something like running a nice nice slow one is going to save more brain resources that way than doing a lot of high intensity activity that stress-tricks your brain in many different ways.”

The best runners also have a saying that tells them what they need to do, when they need to do it. Sean Hogan has the definitive list of signs that tell you to turn up the training and run faster, but a Mantra by Echo Dot that he created, created a wave of the eye-catching phrases that runners cherish on a regular basis.

“My Mantra is: Turn on the brain, head towards that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal anymore, then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head toward that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn on the brain, head away from that goal, pedal harder until you lose the ability to pedal still, and then turn

More articles

Latest article