In a television interview several years ago Len Miller, coach of the great miler Steve Scott, said, "The physical part of running is the obvious part. The more important part is the mental strength."
Certainly, the endurance qualities of distance running make it one of the most mental of physical activities -- and this applies whether you're a competitive or recreational runner. How many thousands of joggers approach running as a forced effort, instead of a relaxed, enjoyable experience? And how many joggers have to fight a constant motivational battle -- sometimes winning, often losing -- over getting those 3-4 miles in each day?
The highly motivated competitive runner may have had to deal with an even wider array of mental concerns. And it's understandable. Even if competition itself isn't mentally stressful enough, getting the best out of oneself - whatever the endeavor - certainly is. As former Boston Celtics' basketball star Larry Bird once said, "Nothing comes easy if you expect to achieve a high standard."
Any experienced track coach will tell you there are runners who train too hard and those who can't seem to push themselves hard enough. There are runners who are at their best in the important races and those who tend to run far below their potential on such occasions. There are athletes who look like world-beaters in training, but lack the confidence, the belief in themselves to produce the expected results on race day.
Many runners suffer from such terrible pre-race anxiety, they're emotionally exhausted even before getting to the starting line. A lot of people aren't able to relax physically when they're running (which is more a mental condition than a physical one). Many runners have difficulty staying consistent in their training -- one week they're up around 80-90 miles, the next they're down below 30 miles. There are runners who have a history of dropping out of races -- sometimes inexplicably (although, as a hypnotherapist, I can tell you nothing is inexplicable). Some runners don’t feel comfortable unless they're running in the lead; others can't relax unless they're following. Yes, there's a lot of truth in the running euphemism: "We may run with our legs, but running is more a head trip than a leg trip."
We hear a lot about the pain barrier in sports, and many champion marathoners are said to have higher pain thresholds than ordinary runners and can, therefore, outperform the others. Perhaps they can tolerate more. But is this ability some God-given gift you're born with; either you've got it or you don't?
My explanation is that in the process of hard training, greater tolerance and the ability to generate peak performance under stress develop from a specific mentality. These athletes have the capacity to focus on and commit to a goal with such single-minded devotion, they're spontaneously driven to exert effort to surpass any obstacle in the path of their goal. Indeed, instead of fighting the pain and letting it slow them down, they transmute it for use as a motivator to stimulate latent energy reserves which strengthen and amplify performance. Thus, their increased ability to endure.
Of course, most runners have never developed such concentration and focus in their running. Consequently, they tend to be much more preoccupied with pain and fatigue when they're racing -- with the result that they tend to back off when the effort is really challenging and starts to hurt.
All runners train their minds to some extent as they put in mile upon mile of physical work on the road, track or trail. With each passing workout, providing your training is goal-oriented and progressive, you get a little stronger mentally, better able to concentrate, to persevere, and to command increased physical output. Obviously, those who train consistently hard over a period of years become very tough mentally. Certainly, no one who runs, say, 2:10 for a marathon, 3:50 for the mile or 27:40 for the 10,000 meters is lacking in mental toughness.
But the mental side of running is a very subtle, complex area indeed. And having the mental toughness to train hard and run fast times does not necessarily mean that a runner will relax and be at his or her best in an all-important competition. Witness the case of Portuguese champion Fernando Mamede. A few weeks before the 1984 summer Olympic Games, Mamede set a remarkable world record of 27:13 for the 10,000 meters. Naturally, his countrymen expected great things from him in Los Angeles. But Mamede, who never has performed well in championship competition despite his tremendous physical talent, found the combined pressure of the Olympics and his country's expectations so overwhelming, he dropped out halfway through the Olympic 10,000 final. He said afterwards, in Portuguese, "All I could think of was getting away from that accursed track."
Here's a case of uncontrolled thoughts and emotions undermining potential. Physically, Mamede was ready, but his mental programming concerning how he allowed the environment to influence his ability, and success capacity, was such that his own mind held his potential in check.
An incurable situation? Definitely not, but the same energy that, through anxious future thinking Mamede used against himself, must, by target mental training, be redirected in a goal-oriented way -- for himself.
Mamede fell far short of his goal and potential at the Los Angeles Olympics. But don't judge him too harshly. First of all, he wasn't the only one. Secondly, can you say, in all truthfulness, that you've never fallen short of your potential as a runner?
No doubt, to some degree, you have. And no doubt you're only too familiar with areas where you could make improvements - perhaps vast improvements - in your running. What's holding you back? You already know the answer: your mind. Yet if you're like most runners, you know all about training the body physically, but you probably have only a vague notion of how to formally train your mind.
A general understanding of the mind and how it functions will give you some valuable insights here. You'll realize what you can do to make your mind work powerfully for you, rather than against you.
THE WORKINGS OF YOUR MIND
The mind is a power governing mechanism, and can effectively be looked at as the aggregate of three component parts. The conscious portion of your mind compares new, incoming information with existing information. One might say it acts like a referee, deciding whether the new information is acceptable or in conflict with previously accepted ideas.
The subconscious part of your mind is your source of energy, your driving force. All experiential information, memories, feelings associated with these memories, and "blueprints" for specific responses to specific situations are stored here. Your present actions, reactions, and perceptions are thus based on the information or "programming" contained within your subconscious -- note: information that you cannot consciously manipulate.
Finally, there is the unconscious portion of your mind, which is concerned with automatic reactions triggered for the protection of self or to escape danger. These translate to the familiar "fight or flight" reaction of individual survival.
Your conscious mind has a reasoning, critical, evaluative capacity. The subconscious mind does not; it is strictly non-critical — it believes exactly what it's told and regulates your responses in direct accordance with the information or programming contained in its memory banks. No matter how negative or how erroneous that information might be (e.g., some kid who didn't like you once told you on a playground, "You'll never be any good"), it lies there in your subconscious, unchallenged, directing all your future responses to stimuli in related areas.
Although the conscious mind can reason, examine ideas critically, and then decide what's to be done, it cannot put any decision into action unless the conscious and subconscious minds agree. And if there isn't harmonious agreement, your subconscious inclination will always prevail.
That's why you can consciously intellectualize why you should do, say or feel something in a certain way, but you find yourself feeling or acting totally differently than you reasoned you should -- or, for that matter, wanted to! That also explains the difficulty of learning how to relax before and during a race, becoming more confident in competition, eliminating the fear of failure, etc. You can't rework your mental makeup by appealing to the conscious mind only. A high school coach can tell a youngster over and over that he's very talented, but if the boy's subconscious programming is that he's a "loser", he will act and react accordingly in competition.
The answer, obviously, is that you must reach and reprogram the subconscious to form perceptions which support the achievement of your goals. To do that, the conscious mind must first be bypassed. Self-hypnosis is an extremely effective way to do this. It enables you to systematically program positive, goal-related information into your subconscious, which through positive expectation and reinforcement, leads to a newfound ability to act upon and achieve what you consciously desire. Simply stated, this transitional process is literally a matter of "changing your mind"!
THE RUNNER'S SELF-HYPNOSIS PEAK PERFORMANCE PROCESS
Moving Yourself From Ordinary To Extraordinary!
[*Read this process in its entirety. Then apply it exactly as outlined.]
Phase I: Your Personal Success Charter
The process of self-hypnosis allows you to bring forth powers and competency that heretofore were overshadowed by fears, erroneous beliefs and negative, anxious thinking. It allows you to stimulate your nervous system so that during training or competition, nerve impulses affect muscular contraction in a way that's conducive to performing more proficiently -- with a fuller share of your inherent potential, potential whose physical expression is fueled by a relaxed, fluid confidence.
The first step to achieving the kind of positive change you desire is to compose what's called a Personal Success Charter. This is a formal declaration of the change or improvement you seek. As you write it, you'll begin to fill your conscious mind with the type of success ideals that will upgrade and redirect your subconscious perception. The following guidelines are essential to developing an effective charter:
A.) Be Specific:
Choose one area of self-improvement and confine your charter to that area only. Evaluate those facets of your training and/or athletic performance where you desire improvement, and prioritize them in order of importance to you. Systematically work on one specific area until you're satisfied with the results. Then, and only then, move on to another area. (Your mind functions best when it's involved with one specific change at a time.)
B.) Successful Self-Hypnosis Involves A Solution Rather Than Avoidance:
State what you want to achieve -- not what you want to avoid. For example, if you write, "I don't want to feel nervous or intimidated before a race," you're really describing an insecurity about your ability. Instead, write: "I feel a sense of confidence, courage and strength at the starting line." Eliminate every negative word throughout your entire charter.
C.) Your Motivating Desire Must Be Powerful:
If you jokingly write that you want to be President of the United States, you won't get much response because this doesn't constitute your innermost desire and your mind knows you're not serious. However, if you state that, for example, you want to be consistently motivated and goal-oriented in your training (and you really mean it), your subconscious will work full-time to establish this because it is a strong and sincerely desired objective.
D). Be Realistic And Detailed:
Set goals that are reasonable and within the realm of what you consider possible. Writing, "Because I have a strong desire to surpass all my personal bests this year, I work out twice daily, running 120 miles a week," would be unrealistic for, say, a busy attorney whose spare time is limited.
After you've chosen your self-improvement goal, structure your charter to cover every detail of the desired change: who, what, when, where, why and how. The more detailed the picture you paint your imagination, the more readily and completely your subconscious will accept that picture as the truth - your truth - and act to create it as a fact in your life!
E.) Always Use The Present Tense:
Always state your desired goal as if it were an already accomplished fact. Your subconscious mind can only respond to the present. For example, do not write, "I will be motivated?" Instead, write, "I am motivated?" Describe the specific result exactly as you want it to be -- not at some time in the future, but right now, in this very moment!
F.) Suggest Action—Not The Abstract Ability To Act:
Right: "While training, I maintain tremendous concentration and drive." Wrong: "I have the ability to train hard."
G.) Stimulate Your Goal Description With Convincing Adjectives:
Powerful words that communicate intense emotions will more readily influence your subconscious. Use descriptive and emotional adjectives such as radiant, exciting, intense, thrilling, tremendous, fierce, joyous, powerful, etc.
H.) Give Yourself A "Key Word" That Symbolizes Your
Statement Of Improvement:
After you've written your charter, choose a key word which represents the overall idea your Personal Charter projects. If your charter deals with self-confidence, your key word might be "Control". If you're dealing with belief in your abilities, you might use "Strength" or "Conviction". The key word you choose will provoke a strong surge of feeling and energy in relation to the overall goal you've described, and while you're in the hypnotic state, it will indelibly impress the overall content of your charter upon your subconscious mind.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT -- A "SAMPLE CHARTER"
Let's say you're a competitive road runner and you train hard, but you find yourself the victim of doubts and tension in your races. Your goal, therefore, is to become more confident, relaxed and poised in competition. Here's an example of how your personal charter might read:
"At the starting line of a race, I feel dynamic confidence surging through me. I'm filled with positive, enthusiastic drive for the competition, since I know that I've prepared diligently, and that my body is primed for maximum performance. This is my personal success opportunity, the race where I completely demonstrate the ability I truly possess - right now - because of all my disciplined training efforts and planning.
"I feel ready and I am ready. I'm inspired to action by a commanding desire to express the full magnitude of my potential with each purposeful stride. Understanding that my thoughts activate and direct this potential, I recognize and accept that I can accomplish anything I fully believe I can.
"If I can feel free, easy-flowing, confident power as I reel off each training mile, I can feel and express it every mile as I compete ? and because I am a consistent, motivated achiever in my training, through sincere desire and awareness of my ability, I focus on and express these exact same qualities during a race. I believe I can, I know I can, and with each successive mile, I do!
"I constantly strive for excellence and I put all of me into the race -- the focused, capable, determined me who goes for and fully achieves what I set out to achieve. When I run, I naturally exude decisive mental and physical toughness, yet I'm poised, loose and relaxed, always instinctively aware to expend my energies efficiently and gradually over the entire distance.
"I'm always aware of my pace and race plan, and remain flexible and alert enough to readily change my strategy if race conditions or circumstances dictate. When I decide on a new course of action during a race, I am secure with my decision, and my body energizes and spontaneously complies with the action I've chosen.
"With each determined, motivated stride, my legs are strong beneath me. My muscles are loose and relaxed, and my body is driven from within — driven by a powerful belief in my ability and my confident will to succeed.
"I run mile after mile feeling fluid power and maintaining easy, relaxed control. My breathing is natural, spontaneous and rhythmic, perfectly complimenting my relaxed form and easy, continual movement.
"With each successive mile, I am more secure and more confident, realizing that I've got what it takes to meet any demand, and make it through.
"Because I run with relaxed, fluid power, I have much more energy at my disposal than ever before. And through my desire for success, I convert this energy into a continual expression of confident motion and solid physical performance.
"I thoroughly enjoy competition, viewing it as an opportunity to release the full extent of my ability and demonstrate the mental/physical toughness and drive I've developed through my training. I acknowledge and appreciate my competitors because their presence adds fuel to my determination, energy to my effort. I genuinely welcome the competitive confrontation, aware that as I keep giving my best, my best keeps getting better!
"I'm deeply proud of who I am and the true ability I possess. This pride motivates me to challenge my previous efforts and generate my fluid, decisive best each time I race ? and I release maximum effort with single-minded concentration, absolute conviction and total belief in myself; I naturally push myself to surmount all obstacles I may face -- my mind is instinctively compelled to drive me toward the goal I've chosen.
"Whatever the outcome of the race, however fast I run or what position I finish, I know I can only win, because each race makes me more experienced, strengthens my physical and mental toughness, and moves me consistently toward higher levels of competitive performance.
"Each time I read this charter, it has a more powerful and positive effect on my race performance. With each new day I now feel stronger, more confident and more motivated to achieve. And so I now move forward to demonstrate my true ability, and peak potential for personal triumph!
"All of these thoughts and ideas are symbolized by the word 'Driven'."
Using the preceding as a guide, you can write your own personal charter to address any area associated with your running where you desire improvement. After you've decided on your goal and have composed your charter, begin reading it twice daily -- once upon awakening, and again before you retire at night. Read your charter out loud and say each word with strong emotional conviction, telling yourself, "This is now the way I am." Remember, think of what you're reading as an already accomplished fact.
This process begins to influence the subconscious mind by impressing the nervous system with the degree and quality of emotion you've attached to the idea described I your charter. That's an important first step in creating change and in using more of your energies for your own behalf!
Understand that you've got to firmly believe that what you're looking for exists, and is a definite possibility for you. With your specific goal in mind, your subsequent actions are then pre-programmed and directed toward the accomplishment of this goal — that's what the charter is all about.
[*When you've experienced the accomplishment of your charter goal, then I encourage you to go on and compose a next charter. Let it address a new or different aspect where you desire change and/or improvement.
You'll find as you sustain this goal accomplishment process, new issues will arise for you; focus upon one specific aspect at a time, moving to your next issue only when you know you've mastered the framework of your current charter.]
Phase II: Subconscious Integration For Maximum Results
Now comes the final step: learning to hypnotize yourself and use your charter to program positive, success-related information into your subconscious core. You'll be using target self-suggestion, emotion-charged visualization, and power programming. (Please read this entire section thoroughly before you use the methods described.)
First, some general guidelines to get the most from this process:
? Relaxation is vital. If you "force" the process or try too hard, you'll become tense and block your capacity to respond. Just allow the process to happen naturally, and it will.
? Don't analyze or critique your experience, as this will keep your conscious mind alert, and the objective of self-hypnosis is to bypass your conscious mind so you can access your subconscious.
? You must sincerely want self-hypnosis to work for you. If you assume a "prove-it-to-me" attitude, again, you'll keep your conscious, evaluative mind too active and inhibit your response to the total process.
There is an easy and effective method for producing the mind/body relaxation important for subconscious accessing. I've used this method for over 20 years with clients, and it will enable you to experience an extraordinary release of mental and physical tension; you may even become totally "unaware" of your body. This state is highly desirable and totally natural. A deeply relaxed body leads to a quiet, orderly mind. This is the mental state which can then be programmed with new, goal-directed beliefs, attitudes and expectations conducive to achieving your true running potential. Before applying this full self-hypnosis process, I recommend you take your phone off the hook and seclude yourself in a quiet, darkened room where you won't be disturbed.
GAINING SUBCONSCIOUS ACCESS -- THE STEP INDUCTION METHOD
Through this method, you'll experience a cumulative effect of "calm easiness" and "thoroughly letting go".
First, loosen any tight or binding clothing so you're as comfortable as possible. Then lying comfortably on your back, separate your legs at least 8 to 10 inches so your calves or thighs aren't touching. Extend your arms slightly from your body, palms down, fingers, loosely, limply apart.
Next, remaining as still as possible, fix your eyes upon a point on the ceiling. Take 3
l-o-n-g, d-e-e-p breaths, inhaling through your nostrils, and exhaling slowly through your mouth. As you exhale the third breath, gently let your eyelids close. For the next 3 breaths, mentally repeat the word "c-a-l-m" as you exhale. If any unrelated thoughts interrupt you, or if your mind drifts, just bring your attention back to mentally repeating the word "calm" as you exhale.
After the 3 easy "c-a-l-m" breaths, imagine that you're at the top of a staircase with 10 steps. The bottom of the staircase represents deep and restful relaxation. You'll be descending down each step toward the bottom. And, with each step you descend, just allow yourself to let go a little more, and f-e-e-l yourself growing more relaxed, more peaceful, and more serene.
Mentally count the steps as you descend -- "Ten, easily deeper; nine, easily deeper," and so on, down to "deep, profoundly relaxing, step number one". As you mentally descend each step this way, you'll feel yourself drifting on down toward the deeper levels of soothing relaxation. [*Also, it's a good idea to breathe with a rhythm where you're exhaling as you mentally descend each step.]
This method will allow you to relax completely, both mentally and physically, and establish direct access to your subconscious mind.
Phase III: Programming New Subconscious Running Success Ideals
Now that you know how to write a your personal charter and induce a profound state of inner relaxation, you're ready to put these elements together to positively program your subconscious mind. The procedure is as follows:
? Seclude yourself in an area whaere you will not be disturbed.
? Read your charter out loud, with strong feeling, before you hypnotize yourself. This is important! By doing this, you use more of your nervous system to record the suggestion in your subconscious mind.
? Use the step induction method to induce a soothing, peaceful state of body and mind.
? Upon feeling the onset of deep relaxation, think the key word you've chosen to symbolize your charter. Do not try to remember the exact wording of your charter, because that will activate your conscious mind and interfere with your deepened state of relaxation.
After you've mentally expressed your key word, just let your mind drift. Certain phrases of your charter will start to emerge. As they do, create a strong emotional response to the words, and visualize yourself directly engaging in the suggested behavior as if this is you right now, and you have already accomplished your goal.
Let clear and vivid pictures form in your imagination of yourself looking, acting, feeling and performing exactly as you want to, in that special way that spells success to you! Envision yourself performing superlatively, to the fullest extent of your imaginative capability. If done correctly, it will actually seem that you're directly involved with the scenario your charter depicts.
Hear the sounds, smell the smells, see the rights and feel the feelings involved with the superior you. Generate as clear and as realistic a picture as possible, and involve your senses as completely as you can. Pull out all the stops, and brand this athletic success image indelibly upon your innermost thoughts. The clearer and more substantive the mental pictures you paint, the more decisively your subconscious will be programmed with these new ideas for positive change.
Realize that just as water takes the shape of the pipe it flows through, your energy also takes the shape of the channel it's expressed through -- your subconscious thoughts and images.
This entire Runner's Self-Hypnosis Process should take approximately 15-20 minutes. After that, use the following procedure to return to your full awareness:
Imagine a stairway with five steps. Envision yourself at the bottom step, slowly climbing the stairway, and suggest to yourself that at the top step, you feel relaxed, refreshed and totally rejuvenated. When you reach the top step, then let your eyelids open, inhale completely and stretch.
Phase IV: Sustain Your Mental Training, And Believe In Yourself
I recommend you perform your self-hypnosis programming at least once per day, because consistent reinforcement is important to impress new, constructive ideas into your subconscious. Set aside about 25 minutes each day for your session. I prefer the evening, when my mind is least cluttered and at ease. But you might want to use it before a training session, a race, or going to sleep at night.
And asking you to apply this process is not suggesting homework, or "labor". You already know how vital the mental game is to your training, and racing at your peak. Now you have a formal process enabling you to master this "runner's mental game", so all of you is programmed and directed to work for you - not against you.
You've already disciplined yourself to train regularly; taking 15-20 minutes each day to program your mind for success will be a breeze for you.
And just think; if you really could begin to perform at the levels you deeply know you are capable of--how good, fast, and successful could you really become?
Do not discount yourself. Do not sell yourself short. You are only remotely aware of the vast potential and limitless possibilities that exist within you -- potential you can claim by applying the creative power of your mind.
Be a winner, in every respect. Use the technique described here to become as mentally fit as you are physically fit. It doesn't matter how long you've allowed your mind, either through neglect or indifference, to limit your performance. Today, through self-hypnosis, you can begin to direct it toward peak performance and increased accomplishment. You must take the responsibility and make it happen. Remember, ultimately you are the answer ? only you can do it!
SIDE BAR FOR WINNING RUNNING'S MENTAL GAME
How To Develop And Use An Energy Activation Anchor
What can you do when, during a training or competitive run, you find yourself fading, feeling like your power is depleting, and you have to force or fight to keep yourself going and complete the race? Must you passively resign and succumb to the physical effects of performance "fade", allowing your body to have its way with you? Or, can you develop and strategically activate an energy trigger - to spontaneously fuel and uplift your race performance?
You can, and by applying the following process exactly as outlined, you will!
You've got powerful inner energy reserves which, despite any condition of tiredness, fatigue or depletion, can spontaneously ignite to fuel sustained peak performance in certain aspects of your life.
For example, no matter how tired or fatigued you may be when driving, if you're "cut-off", instantly a flood of energy surges through you, strengthening you, enlivening your senses, enhancing your control, and sharpening your alertness. And this spontaneous, energized performance flow serves you as long as is necessary to ensure danger and possible harm are no longer factors. This energizing effect is instantaneous, and its performance activating property is striking!
To cite another example of inner energy reserve activation, no matter how tired, or physically/mentally drained you might be, if someone you deeply loved or cared for was hurt and needed immediate attention, you would "spring to life" instantly, and spontaneously overcome any environmental or weather condition to secure the necessary help.
And so, moving from tired, fatigued, drained or depleted, into an immediate intensely energized sustained performance state occurs naturally in certain types of conditions. The point is that this quality is within you and part of you. And rather than waiting for life or death type situations to trigger it, the following enables you to cultivate this potential into an energy igniting anchor, which you can then use to fuel your running performance.
THE FIRST STEP: REACHING WITHIN
TO MOBILIZE SPECIFIC SENSORY FACTORS
(Please read through this entire process first.
Then, perform and apply it exactly as outlined.)
You've had those times while running when you hit your "second wind", or experienced machine-like efficiency and stamina through your entire run, or when challenged in a race, felt amplified power surge through you providing the "lift", enabling you to hold your ground and press onward toward victory.
Within each of these types of experiences (now stored memories in your brain), lie specific neurological and sensory factors which signal the brain to unleash and channel masterful energy flow. And so, you'll now be purposefully using the sensory data of these experiences to form an energy activation anchor.
Step A: Gaining Subconscious Access
First, in a quiet, darkened room where you won't be disturbed, take your phone off the hook, loosen any tight or binding apparel, remove any jewelry from your right hand and wrist, and lie down comfortably on your back, either on the floor, your bed, or in a relaxing E-Z chair.
Separate your legs so that no part of the thighs or calves are touching, and extend your arms slightly outward from your body, palms facing downward, fingers loosely apart.
Next, remaining as still as possible, apply the subconscious accessing step induction method from Winning Running's Mental Game (outlined on pages 13 and 14).
After you've relaxed your whole body and feel the soothing sensation of deep relaxation, then recall a specific time in your running history where you experienced tremendous energy pulsing through you, literally flooding you.
? A time when while either in a training run or actual race, your "second wind" kicked in and you felt energized, strong, and masterfully fluid with every stride.
? Or, a time when you felt like a finely tuned precision machine, and with every stride, you felt powerful, unstoppable, invincible; your energy seemed boundless and inexhaustible, as if you could run, and run strong, forever!
? Or, a time when, while in a race, you were challenged, by another runner, and you felt a surge of energy and competitiveness which inspired you to go for it, and you spontaneously, successfully did!
Whatever it may have been for you, recall a specific time in your running history depicting magnitude energy surging through you. Then, once a specific memory has come to your mind, make this picture brighter and bring it closer to you. Next, make it even brighter and bring it even closer to you so you clearly experience the specific factors and components which comprise this time of highly energized running performance.
Then, make it even brighter and imaginatively bring it even closer -- so close it's as if it's right in front of your face, so close, it's as if you can reach out and touch it, so real, it's as if this is your very life in that moment.
Next, instead of just watching this time of you running with boundless surging energy, imaginatively step into the picture and:
? See exactly what you see when you are this surging, energized running mastery.
? F-e-e-l exactly what you feel when you are this surging, energized running mastery.
? Think the exact thoughts you think when you are this surging, energized running mastery.
? Say To Yourself, silently and firmly, exactly what you say to yourself when you are this surging, energized running mastery.
? Physically Sense, in each body part, exactly what you physically sense when you are this surging, energized running mastery.
? Breathe exactly the way you breathe when you are this surging energized running mastery.
Next, as you're breathing the full, deep, powerful breaths of this energized running masterfulness, clench your right fist hard, and as you do, then amplify the collective energy of this intensely energized you to a level where it's surging through you twice as powerful as it was when you originally focused upon it.
And as you do this, experience yourself thinking, feeling, physically sensing, inwardly communicating, and breathing exactly as you do when you are super energized power!
Hold your right fist firmly clenched, as you continue to experience yourself thinking, feeling, breathing, and being the energized force of this degree of running performance and strength.
Next, while keeping your fist tightly clenched and remaining in this fully sensory associated energized state, think the words "Unleashed Power" three times consecutively.
Your clenched fist, your breathing rate, and passionately repeating these words merge to form an activation triumvirate, which, as you'll come to see, spontaneously triggers the sustained energy and strength of this performance mastery state.
Hold your fight tightly clenched and stay fully associated as this "super energized you" for 15 full seconds. Then, s-l-o-w-l-y unclench your right fist, and mentally allow yourself to release, and just grow calm and at ease with each consecutive breath you take.
Perform 5 full release breaths. Then, to become aware of how forceful and deeply rooted within you is the ability to activate energizing performance power, clench your right fist hard, breathe as this energized power, and think the words "Unleashed Power". You'll instantly feel energy, power and strength surging through you, flooding and fueling every muscle, nerve, cell and fiber. And, within the scope of this power lies the energy to enliven waning performance, the energy to fuel full course completion, and the energy to intensify your competitiveness and drive.
You've now created an energy activation anchor wherein the capacity to energize your running performance is literally at "your fingertips", able to be mobilized as needed in either a training or race situation.
Next, to return to your full awareness once again, unclench your fist, imagine yourself slowly climbing a flight of 5 steps, and, while doing so, suggest to yourself that at the top step you feel refreshed and completely alert and rejuvenated. When you reach the fifth step, open your eyelids, inhale deeply, and stretch.
ANCHORING USE NOTE
Once you've established the stimulus/response linkage between clenching your right fist, breathing as energized power, and repeating your key word to induce a surge of effort fueling energy, you do not have to go through this entire process. Performing it as outlined 4-6 total times (on consecutive days) will ensure you develop the activation trigger mechanism required to produce maximum results. And once you've decidedly established this activation anchor, you can then just go right into the following Training/Race Application section, and use it as outlined.
To use your energy activation anchor in a training or competitive situation, while on a run, any and every time you feel yourself "fading, dragging, fighting, forcing or fatiguing", clench your right fist hard, breathe fully and deeply as the embodiment of super energized power, and think the words "Unleashed Power".
Hold your fist clench for 6 full seconds, mentally repeating "Unleashed Power" with each exhalation. Then, s-l-o-w-l-y release your first and keep on going!
You'll have triggered a noticeable energy flow within, and will experience that you can go a lot farther and stronger than your body would have otherwise led you to believe.
The more you use this anchor activation method in conjunction with your running, the more powerful and demonstrable its impact will become!
Note from sports hypnotherapist Chris Cady:
Nationally prominent self help author, seminar leader, and personal change specialist, Peter C. Siegel was America's foremost sports and peak performance hypnotherapist. Unfortunately Peter has passed away but his work and his spirit live on.
You can review his acclaimed self help - personal success development - mega-confidence building programs at www.incrediblechange.com, or you can call 775-425-5847 to order programs or speak with his protege, sports hypnotherapist Chris Cady
The unique, results guaranteed assurance Siegel attaches to each of his programs…continues to stand the test of time!