TELL YOUR­SELF A STORY

Runner's World (UK) - - Body-Mind -

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.’

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