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Runner’s World

Excerpt from: Runner’s World – Brothers in arms (March 2018)
You can read the full article here (pdf).

(David Wyeth) “My first marathon in Manchester… had taught me that you need to be able to handle tough spells to run to your potential. In the lead-up to London, I explored the mental preparation required for optimum race performance. My friend and clubmate, performance psychologist Stuart Holliday, recommended reading The Chimp Paradox by his professional supervisor, Steve Peters. As a result I wrote a mental plan as part of a wider race strategy.

I now understand that this process to mentally drive for a specific outcome at all costs may have contributed to the critical state I found myself in. I believe I executed this mental race plan rather too well, and in doing so set a course to exceed my physical boundaries.”

Handle tough spells to run to your potential.

In the lead-up to London, I explored the mental preparation required
for optimum race performance. My friend and clubmate, performance psychologist Stuart Holliday, recommended reading The Chimp Paradox by his professional supervisor, Steve Peters. As a result I wrote a mental plan as part of a wider race strategy.

I now understand that this process to mentally drive for a specific outcome at all costs may have contributed to the critical state I found myself in. I believe I executed this mental race plan rather too well, and in doing so set a course to exceed my physical boundaries.

I wore a heart-rate monitor during the race and when we looked
at how this data compared to previous performances, it showed that despite believing I was running comfortably, I might have been overcooking it in the first two thirds of the race compared to Manchester – a retrospective indicator that not all was well.

As the Sports Medicineresearch puts it: ‘One potential reason for collapses is that athletes ignore body-related symptoms and concentrate on thoughts not related to the exercise bout in order to reduce the sensations of fatigue and, in this manner, become aware of impending catastrophic system failure too late to respond to it.’

Dr Kipps considered my fixation with a time goal as a key factor. I had resolved to target a sub-2:40 finish nine months before the race, and by doing so had created a hard, locked-in objective.

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