One of the keys to racing well, in any sport, is having a concrete race plan. One can show up and just charge, however exclusively relying on perception and feeling, without a cognitive map will more often than not lead to sub-par, often ugly results.
When I think about a single race that lends itself to targeted, high intensity pacing I think about the mile in track n field. 4 laps, in your face.
My boiled down cognitive coaching strategy for milers is as follows:
lap 1. Go out fast but controlled and stay light
lap 2. Lock on (commit) to race pace, staying as light as possible
lap3. Work it, fight for it and no deals with devil to justify backing off
lap 4.(Which takes care of itself) finish strong leave nothing on the table
There are other ways of thinking about the mile that work but I know from personal experience and the results from hundreds of the milers I’ve had the privilege of helping, this mental strategy works.
The good news about this four part strategy is that it also works in other arenas of life, not just running and not just sports. Although certain endeavors require more effort upfront or on the back end, the four part plan I listed above has merit across many endeavors.
We are in the middle of the second week of 2019. Most folks that are desiring CIG (change, improvement, growth) in their live’s usually find the first week manageable as the desire for change is high and the pain of the longer “race” has not come on. But in week 2 however, the pain, distraction, and disconnect associated with making change often begin to creep in.
New Year’s evolutions, if they they are to be permanent transformations, are certainly on a much longer time frame than four weeks. That said, a full four weeks of success (improved adherence to goal behaviors) is a significant indicator of long term success.
How are you doing in week two of your CIG evolutions?
I suspect you went out fast, with a clear vision of the behaviors you intended to do and not do, and now the race (goal) has gotten a bit more real as the comfort of old, perhaps less beneficial behaviors begins to look more attractive as the pain of change (and most change does require some pain) is on you.
My suggestion, lock on to “race pace”, stay connected to the goal that you intend to experience and yet stay focused on the here and now, in running it’s picking up your feet and putting em down and covering ground in the way that you identified in your race planbe.
I commend you for your effort thus far and whole heartedly encourage to stay the course and be brave.
Train smart, have fun and never give up,