There were no races this past weekend. Everyone I can see is just putting their heads down and training hard. Way to go – this is what we love to do!
I told a few of you this story the other day. I went to the dentist, and as usual, admitted I very rarely floss but felt fine about it because I’ve never had a cavity and my last hygienist told me to keep doing what I was doing – which was very little. This hygienist was not as proud of me though. She said “Can I be honest with you? Not flossing isn’t working for you”. I told her I’d try, but at this stage in my life and with few negative consequences I didn’t see a lot of hope in developing a new habit. She said, “You just have to make it your identity. Tell yourself – I am a flosser”. So I did. I repeat it to myself every evening. And guess what – so far, I’ve been successful!
So of course I’ve been thinking about this. It’s hard to constantly will ourselves to do something because we should, but we can try on different hats and identities which support certain actions and make them more automatic. Heck, our teenagers are experimenting with new identities and personas almost daily to find the ones or parts of ones that fit. These identities don’t have to be permanent, but they can help us to navigate the world with the behaviours we want to exude. For example “I am vegetarian” or “I don’t drink”. When we see ourselves a certain way, it is much easier to do the thing. I’m pretty sure everyone reading this identifies as a runner. If not, let me tell you: “You are a runner”. I think most of our identities have come to us through interpreting our actions first. Oh, I do this, I guess I am…. But the power lies in making it your identity first. And then living up to it. “I am mentally tough in races”, “I am a kind and generous person”, “I love challenging myself physically” … or whatever it is. Of course you have to believe it. I realized we also have to be aware of negative identities which may have crept in and become the easy route to follow. “I get weak when the going gets tough”, “I’m not good on hills”, “I’m stressed out and always in a rush”. If that’s how you see yourself, that’s how you will act. I think this is what people refer to as “the voice in your head”. It’s just your self-identity and narrative. But as my hygienist taught me, it can be reprogrammed! I’m going to try this out a little more. A good place to practice and reinforce it is at workouts. I know people in this group who identify as being strong in the last interval or positive throughout the workout no matter how it is playing out. I can see it as part of how they see themselves. So try out an identity you want, act it out, and reinforce it. You may like it and keep it, you may need to tweak it, or you might find it’s really not you. But as our teenagers seem to intuitively know, if you want to grow or change, you have to try.
On to tomorrow’s workout – back to Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 Drills, 6:15 GO! (this is one we’ve done before and I like it – it has a little bit of everything – some strength/endurance and some faster paced stuff)
- 1 mile tempo, 2 min rest, 4 x 400 w 1 min @ 5K pace, 2 min rest, Repeat the whole sequence.
- People training for a marathon, add 1 mile at goal marathon race pace at the end.
- People trying to hold faster speeds for longer distances, instead of the 1 mile tempos, do 800m tempos.
- People coming back from injury – do everything at tempo pace.
- If going by time: 6 min tempo, 2 min easy, 4 x 1:30 ON, 1 min OFF, 2 min easy, Repeat.
See you in the am!