"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"That Cloud Looks Like a Turtle..."

What do you think about when you run? Do you yell and scream at yourself like a caffeinated college football coach? Or do you find inner peace and tranquility as you churn out mile after mile? I came across an article called "Breaking Down the Mental Marathon" over on Active.com the other day.

Researchers questioned non-elite runners in the 1996 London Marathon about their race-day thought processes. Not too surprising, they found four common mental strategies:

Internal association. This focuses on how the body feels while running.
Internal dissociation. This is essentially distraction: examples include playing songs over and over in your head and solving mental puzzles;

External association. This focuses outwardly, on factors important to the race: passing or being passed by other runners, looking out for fluid stations and calculating split times;

External dissociation. This, too, focuses outwardly-but on events unimportant to the race: enjoyment of the scenery, attention to throngs of cheering spectators or glimpses of outrageously costumed runners passing by.

The researchers were focusing on whether, when and how intensely these four groups experienced The Wall during their marathon run. Below is the link for the rest of the story and the researchers results:


I've been paying closer attention to what I think about when I run. I'll tell you which group I fall into after a few more outings. Also, I'll tell you what group I fell into during a particularly tough half-marathon.

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