Friday, July 30, 2010

Running - psychological preparation

Last weekend I went to a RRCA Coaching Clinic. And after 16 hours of lecture and an examination I am now an officially RRCA Certified Coach. I enjoyed the clinic and found it rewarding. I also learned quite a bit about the science, art and craft of coaching.

As part of the class materials we received Marathoning Start to Finish by Patti & Warren Finke. There is no flash to this book.  It has a lot of basic information.  But as was stressed in the clinic, many times the basics are forgotten. There is a chapter on psychological preparation. Let me share the bullet points:


Have a training plan
  • Long term goals
  • Short term goals
  • Strategy

Keep a training log

  • Daily plans and goals
  • Daily results
  • Comments

Revisit plan and goals
  • How far 
  • How fast 
  • What is the purpose of this workout 
Plan rewards
  • For major workouts 
  • For achieving goals
Visualize workout as a positive experience (2-3minutes) 
  • Yourself exercising 
  • Your route 
  • What you feel, see, hear, smell and taste 
  • Completing as planned 
  • Any post workout reward 

Develop self awareness
  • Listen to body 
  • Listen to thoughts 
Develop self control
  • Generate positive thoughts and relaxation 
  • Deal with negative thoughts and tension
  • Focus on the present
  • Visualize yourself in the present


Log results

Log any positive / negative influences

  • Plan means of using positives in the future
  • Plan ways to minimize negatives
Reward yourself for accomplishing major goals

I have never seen a list this thorough. I do like to plan my goals and make my plans.  I also make sure my sessions have purpose.  But have I been missing some of the quality? I have always just taken a cursory look at the workout and then immediately jumped in head first. This works most of the time. However, could I have greater success if I really read the workout, planned for the workout, thought about its purpose and then executed? Would that allow the workouts to have more quality – for the workouts to become breakthrough sessions? I have started planning my goals and making my plans. Now I need to make sure I get the maximum out of out of each workout.


Jon said...

This is why I like to blog....I can throw all of the above that you listed onto virtual paper. Sometimes it comes out like spaghetti, but at least I can hash it out of my brain to reflect for the future.

Congrats on the certification, COACH!

Evolving Through Running said...

Congrats on the certification, and thanks for the list. I do most of these things, but I've never mapped it out like this to break down the process. Will try to adopt this going forward with my training.

Adam said...

This is very cool. I've actually thought about pursuing it. Were there any pre reqs that you had to complete prior to the class itself?