Count To Ten – Mental Tricks for Running

I wrote recently abut the power of the mind, and how mantras and certain words can give you the energy to push through in a workout.

Yoga and cupcakes with the lovely Emma and Lucy 🙂

While attending the Good Vibes Yoga for Runners and Cyclists workshop this weekend, the teacher Lexie Williamson spoke of another mental training technique which I wanted to share with you.

The 1-10 Mental Training Technique

This is a simple but effective way to calm and focus the mind and can be used prior to a run or race to tackle nerves, or during running to maintain pace and concentration.

Count from 1 to 10, synchronising the breathing with the counting. If pre-race, repeat until your agitation drops. Inhale 1, Exhale 2, Inhale 3, Exhale 4 etc…

During running, choose a foot and count every time that foot touches the floor, or count ‘1’ for the right foot and a second ‘1’ for the left. Counting will block out negative thoughts, distract from physical discomfort, maintain running pace and encourage a regular breathing rhythm, reducing the likelihood of inefficient panting.

This might sound overly simplistic, but even Paula Radcliffe has adopted a similar technique in order to “stay in the moment” and prevent the doubts creeping in.

‘When I count to 100 three times, it’s a mile, It helps me focus on the moment and not think about how many miles I have to go. I concentrate on breathing and striding, and I go within myself.’ Paula Radcliffe

I’ll definitely give it a try on my next run!

And generally I would highly recommend the Yoga for Runners and Cyclists workshop – it covered a lot of great poses that target the muscles commonly used, and I felt stretched out and lovely and relaxed afterwards. Here’s the post I wrote when I last went along.

If you’d like some more information on the “Count to Ten” technique and incorporating yoga into a runner or cyclist’s training schedules for improved flexibility, core strength, mental focus and recovery., then Lexie Williamson has written two practical guides. Yoga for Runners and Yoga for Cyclists will be published by Bloomsbury in June this year.

They look like great books to add to your library!

Have you tried any mental techniques while training or racing? What is your favourite yoga pose for tired runners legs?

Beki x

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