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Runner's World South Africa - - Spring Shoe Buyer's Guide -

If your brain’s in a funk, your body will fol­low: re­search con­ducted by ex­er­cise sci­en­tist Dr Sa­muele Mar­cora found that even sub­tle mood in­flu­encers can al­ter per­for­mance. In one study, Mar­cora flashed ei­ther happy or sad faces on a screen as well-trained cy­clists ped­alled all-out. The faces were flashed so briefly that they could only be recog­nised by the subconscious. Still, those who were ex­posed to the happy faces per­formed 12 per cent bet­ter than the sad-faces group. His find­ings sup­port years of anec­do­tal ev­i­dence that ath­letes tend to per­form best when ev­ery­thing is click­ing – not only dur­ing a race or work­out, but also in their lives be­yond run­ning. AP­PLY IT

Try to boost your mood head­ing into chal­leng­ing work­outs and on race day. This may mean lis­ten­ing to your favourite mu­sic, spending quiet time in na­ture, or hang­ing out with friends or (some­times) fam­ily. In the week lead­ing up to your marathon, re­mem­ber that steer­ing clear of neg­a­tive vibes helps you cul­ti­vate a positive mood. So min­imise life stres­sors: avoid (to the best of your abil­ity) peo­ple who drag you down, choose come­dies over tear-jerk­ers or hor­ror films, and get the rest you need to feel 100 per cent.

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