This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.
When you’re asked to think about several things before a workout or race, what happens?
If you’re like me, you get started and, when the going gets tough, you forget what you’re supposed to be focusing on.
What good does that do?
Instead, consider focusing on one key thing. Maybe it’s your stride rate, maybe it’s a powerful stride, maybe it’s running tall. Whatever the case, pick one thing that you think is the most important thing to work on and focus on that.
Build one or two key phrases around that one focus that you can remind yourself of while you’re running. For example, if you’re focusing on your stride rate, maybe you want to think "quick steps". Then, while running, you can key into "quick steps" to ensure your stride rate is where you want it.
This one thought may change over time, either as what you’re working on becomes natural and you don’t need to think about it or as your needed focus shifts. For example, on a workout day your key phrase might be "quick steps". On an easy day, though, you have a different focus and your key phrase might be "recovery" or "rejuvenation" or "relax" to remind you to keep the pace relaxed, allowing that recovery and rejuvenation you need.
Are you going to give this a try? I hope so. If you do, I’d love to hear in the comments what you’re going to try.
Here’s what I’m thinking about this week. Tuesday, during some half mile repeats, I ran with "quick steps". Yesterday was a "recovery" day and I expect today to be all about running "smooth" on my tempo workout.