I’m a bit of a bookworm at heart. I really like finding solace and comfort in a good novel and I try to learn as much as I can, especially when it relates to both work and running. After a disappointing race at Rock ‘n Roll Chicago, I felt compelled to pick up a book or two. I felt like I needed something to “get my head on straight” and shake me out of feeling like my goals were insurmountable. I know I’m not alone in thinking these kinds of negative thoughts, judging by the number of books related to mental training in sports (trust me, there are quite a few out there) available on Amazon.
This morning, I finished Amby Burfoot’s The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life. I started it a few weeks ago and finally found a quiet morning and a giant cup of coffee to get through it. I found myself highlighting at least a few passages in each chapter and I really like how it’s divided into sections that focus on a certain “philosophy”, like Connections and Courage and Goals. This quote struck me:
And passionate, we are.
I’m also in the middle of reading Fitzgerald’s The New Rules of Marathon and Half Marathon Nutrition. I’ve never really felt like I’ve had a “problem” with my nutrition. (I mean, more than a few slices of pizza and a couple beers does the body good…right?!) I don’t seem to have fueling issues for my long runs or races but that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn something that will help me push harder and run faster.
I had already picked up these two books before Rock ‘n Roll. The next two books on my list really focus on mental stamina. In the Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life, Burfoot writes: “While running…appears to depend on great physical strength & endurance, it is, in fact, based almost entirely on strength of the mind”.
Looking forward to a bit of a mental training jolt with the help of these two books:
Coach recommended In Pursuit of Excellence by Terry Orlick.
After posting my thoughts on RnR, a few of you recommended Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel by Matt Fitzgerald.
And, finally, if you’ve never seen this TED talk by Tim Noakes on the mindset to succeed, you really must:
If I don’t have enough inspiration after reading all of these books and watching that TED talk 10+ times, it’s likely my own fault.
What resources have helped you either mentally or physically in your training? Are you as “bookish” as me? The last time you were in a “mental rut”, what did you do to get out of it?