Running is a mental sport.
We spend most of our time focused on form and pace and distance, but the truth is without the right things happening between our ears the rest of it may never come together.
Years ago I had this great idea for a “mental marathon training” series. But I was still finding my voice and well let’s be honest like 5 people were reading the site at that time which gave me an easy out to not follow through.
Which is why I want to talk about lucky charms. Not the cereal though I do love a good debate on marshmallows first, last or evenly distributed.LUCKY CHARMS
Football players and fans alike fear changing anything when the team is on a streak: they won’t shave or must wear the same pair of socks or sit in the same chair and drink/eat the same things.
The theory is both don’t change what’s working and maybe that is their lucky charm.
Could it be true?
Yes! Not in the witch craft kind of way, but in the “a thing in motion” kind of way.
Have you ever noticed a good day seems to just get better and better and on a bad day well it seems every conceivable thing goes wrong.
It’s all in your head.
You read that right.
The good news is once it doesn’t work you can finally wash those nasty compression socks and thus tell yourself you’ve washed away the bad juju so they are ready to perform again.Your lucky charm could be doing more than you know! Find out why #runchat Click To Tweet
CALL IT A RITUAL
Maybe it’s not luck at all, but ritual that makes these items so valuable and if you feel less like a kid hoping for a unicorn by labeling it a ritual, go right ahead…it all works the same.
“Running a race can be anxiety provoking. Anything that can make you feel calmer beforehand is a good thing,” said Heather Hausenblas, Ph.D. in an article on Shape.
Of course the key to any great charm is to ensure that you have it with you and if you don’t…remember you’re the one who did the training, not the charm. Then promptly find a new one!A few of the fun rituals and charms I’ve found from runners around the interwebs:
Tina of CarrotsNCake: “My superstition is getting an odd number for race day. For some reason, I feel better (even more confident) if I receive an odd number bid.”
Ryan Hall on RW said: “I shave my head, face, and legs a day before a big race. It makes me feel lighter and faster. It gets me excited to race.”
Alison on NYTimes said: “I have to wear green underwear. Every race, most trainings. I don’t know if I had a good race when I did it one time and then I stuck with it. That’s my thing. I don’t know why.”
KristenK said: “I have to eat oatmeal before every run or I’m terrified I’ll have stomach issues! That’s probably my biggest superstition. I also have to high five my husband before I line up for the race or I’m a mess!”
Angela Bizzarri of team Brooks Running: “Ever since high school, when Angela runs a personal best she credits her delicious breakfast of Eggo Waffles for her ability to tear up the track that day.”Rituals of elite runners and why you need one too #runchat Click To Tweet
So embrace your crazy and fret not about the gear you refuse to wash, you aren’t alone and it might just be your ticket to a shiny new PR. And of course remember one of the best ways to have a great race…have fun! Whether that means running with a lucky charm, tracking it on an app or sharing it on Instgram when you finish.
Let’s hear it..
Do you have a lucky charm or race ritual?
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