TELL YOURSELF A STORY
Kent offers this example: a runner writes down what she considers to be the perfect preparation for the 24 hours before a race. After her race, she writes down her actual preparation and then compares that with her perfect scenario. She quickly sees where she can tighten up this process.
Kent has athletes reflect about their preseason buildup and goals; training during the season; hopes and concerns on and off the race course; and post-season evaluation.
‘It’s a way to find patterns in your training and your running life so that you can find out what works and what doesn’t,’ says Fleshman. ‘A lot of people just follow a programme and just go out and run. And then they’re taken by surprise when they get hurt or sick. If you have it all written down, you can look at the data and say, ‘Why did this happen?’
You don’t have to be a Hemingway to channel your inner scribe. Your writing can be as simple as adding a few comments to the entries in your running log. The main rule is to turn off your impulse to edit. The journal is for you – no one else will read it.
‘It takes about a month to get in the habit of it,’ says Fleshman. ‘And even if you’re not a person who writes in it every day, you just do whatever you can. It’s still going to make a difference.’