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RUN­NING gives you one of the best op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­gage your in­ter­nal feed­back sys­tem. I call this sim­ple lit­tle feed­back tool the ‘Run­ner’s Rhyme’. I’ve had so many clients’ – as well as those with whom I’ve shared this sys­tem on­line – feed­back about how much it’s helped them. You’re in a 10mile/km race. You’re com­ing up to the 7 mile mark. This is usu­ally the point where it be­gins to hurt and en­ergy starts to wane. I de­scribe it as the limbo sec­tion of a race. This too is where the voices tend to kick in. ‘Slow down.’ ‘You’re not fit enough.’

If those thoughts/voices start to dom­i­nate your think­ing, it can be re­ally hard to ig­nore or dampen them. In­stead, re­place them with the Run­ner’s Rhyme. It goes like this:

‘I look good, I sound good, I feel good.’ RE­PEAT For the Run­ner’s Rhyme to be re­ally ef­fec­tive, you must drill down into the three lay­ers of how you look, sound and feel. This is proper in­ter­nal feed­back. This drill-down method will dom­i­nate your con­scious mind. It will be a pri­mary thought which dis­tracts you while you move along the course. Keep­ing your­self fo­cused with the Run­ner’s Rhyme al­lows lit­tle room for those neg­a­tive voices.

‘I look good’: To be clear, look­ing good is not about how your mas­cara is hold­ing up or how you’ll ap­pear in the race pho­tos. Both may be im­por­tant but they’re sec­ondary con­cerns com­pared with your run­ning pos­ture.

‘I sound good’: Lis­ten to your breath­ing and heart rate. Are you breath­ing like a bull and your heart is about to ex­plode from your chest? Maybe you need to hold back a lit­tle.

‘I feel good’: Time for a com­plete body drill. This is self-scan­ning out on the course. Firstly, I iden­tify the part of the body. Then I ask the ques­tion ‘feel­ing good’? To which I’ll an­swer yes or no.

Top of my head – feel­ing good? Neck – feel­ing good?

All the way to your toes.

From the book ‘Out­come Run­ning – 10 mile­stones to­wards a more Pos­i­tive and faster you’ by race or­gan­iser Eoin Ryan and avail­able from www. eoin­ryan­coach­

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