Reflections on Goal Setting and Visualisation

I have had a problem with my running since starting again after a break of several years.

Having been in the past quite a successful runner with a couple of marathons to my name, I naively thought it would be easy to get back to running again. I did everything right: joined a beginner's group and started slowly. However, although my running had improved from a zero base, I still can't run 5k without stopping which I find frustrating. The coach within me knows that there are some self limiting beliefs getting in my way here.

So, I' m trying two things to address my problem. 

Recently, I came across two tweets which I seem to think were written for me.

@RichardWiseman has launched a project which tracks people as they work towards their goals through visualisation of success so I am trying to visualise myself running successfully.

I also came across some research which suggests that positive self talk can help athletes so I am telling myself 'You're running well,' 'You are looking good.' 'Today's the day you're going to easily run 5k.'

The principle of these is that the brain is fooled into accepting imagined experiences as real and when the imagined scenario is put to the test, the neural pathways have already been created so the brain thinks it has already achieved this. Likewise positive self talk has been shown to have a powerful effect on performance. All runners know that the mind as well as the legs and lungs play a part in good running.

I'll let you know if it works ….

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