Running.

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by zychcowski, Jun 13, 2018.

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  1. zychcowski

    zychcowski New Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    I've seen a lot on this forum about running and thought I'd give my 2 cents. I'll be at BCT in 2 weeks and have been thinking a lot about the topic.

    Best advice I ever got was that running is almost all mental. Someone who runs a 8 minute mile can knock it down to a 6 minute if they think correctly. I didn't really understand this concept until I was taking my CFA for USAFA last winter.

    I'm a pretty average running and my pace is ~8-9 minute miles so I was a little daunted at having to run a sub 7 for the CFA. Also, I was only 3ish months post-op from a ACL reconstruction and have been given clearance to jog about a week before my CFA. Since I had little time to prepare physically, I turned to the mental aspect harder than I ever had before. I found many great videos and articles that gave me a better insight into what I needed to think in order to run better... then I implemented them into my 1ish week of training before the CFA. I'll go ahead and post a video below that really motivated me.

    One important thing I also learned was that there isn't a blanket statement or belief that can make you run faster. It's a mental technique that you build by trying multiple thinking techniques and creating a mix that works best for you.

    I ended up running a 6:30ish mile with a piercing pain in my knee in 20 degree weather at 7 in the morning before school on my CFA. I credit it almost entirely to my mental thinking and preparation.

    At the end of the day nobody cared that my knee felt like a knife was in it, that there was snow on the ground, or that the sun wasn't out. All they cared about were the numbers on the timer at the end of my run.

    Hopefully this can help out some of y'all who are a little worried about the running aspect of it. I know I was and learning more about being mentally fit helped me a whole lot (and continues to help me).

    Here's the link to the video I talked about earlier:
     
  2. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    So much in life is mindset: I can/will? You find a way. I can’t/won’t? Then there isn’t a way.

    Great perspective. And you are so right...mentally fit is the key!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  3. Belisarius

    Belisarius Member

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    I do not mean to sound rude in my reply, but I would strongly advise against heeding this counsel. If you are running an 8 minute mile at anywhere approaching your maximum effort, it is inconceivable that you can will yourself to chopping two minutes off of your time. Mental toughness and "positive thinking" is never an alternative to running and running fast well in advance of any timed run.

    My knowledgeable cross country coach would laugh at people who related to him their intention to "run hard" the day of the race. He would tell them that the results of the race were already decided by how many miles you had put in, at what intensity you had run them, how you ate, and how you recovered. You will be sorely disappointed if you count on running hard to help you in any significant way.

    Instead, you should focus on practicing habits that will actually make you run faster and longer. Run a good amount of the time at a comfortable pace for longer distances, say 4-7 miles. In between these runs mix in interval training where you run fartleks, mile repeats, and sprints. Eat real, healthy food (emphasis on proteins, healthy fats) and recover by stretching and cooling down after runs and taking ice baths if possible.

    The OP was in a tough situation and seems to have made the best out of it. Obviously mental toughness is an integral component in running, but it is never a substitute for actually getting out and running regularly in a an educated manner. Make the most of the couple of weeks that you have left if you're an appointee- don't skip a run because you think that you can will yourself to run fast later.
     
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  4. zychcowski

    zychcowski New Member

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    You make a very good point. My post fell short to mention the importance of the physical and discipline aspect of running. Thank you for your perspective.
     
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  5. 4theFlag

    4theFlag Member

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    I agree that running is very much a physical thing...the dedication to get up and go out running every day is not. I didn't really start developing this level of mental toughness until well into the year. I'd say OP is ahead of the game when it comes to mental preparation.
     
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  6. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    The mental game can probably help with that last 10-20%, but if you are unfit, you won't magic yourself to top shape by thinking positive.
    The mental part allows you to actually perform at your best rather than at your imagined "good enough."