Many runners I spoke to have claimed that they gain clarity and focus when they run. Even if they experienced a bad working day, the exercise seems to make things feel better. We can attribute that to neuro-chemicals and hormones that purge the body of mental distress and physical discomfort. Also, running is a form of positive distraction that relieves the body of the negative aspects of life. You may have read about runners whose short runs became long ones. Recall the scene from Forrest Gump where the idiot-savant announced ‘One day, I decided to go for a run…’ and it was three years later when he decided to stop.
How do you create focus for yourself?
1) Focus on what you can control on.
2) Shift your attention to smaller parts of the larger experience.
3) Pay attention to your surroundings and environment instead of your body.
4) Manage smaller chunks, instead of the entire larger experience.
5) Learn from others. Gather different perspectives. Macca interviewed as many of the best athletes that he could and learnt what worked for them.
6) Collaborate with others, and take turns to lead in the event. Cyclists take turns to ‘pull’ the pack along when there is strong headwinds.
7) If you cannot use electronic musical devices, then play your favourite songs in your own head. Everybody has the capability to do that since we dream in multi-sensorial ways.
8) Imagine that you are your favourite athlete, and emulate their attitude of racing. Adopt their posture, racing attire or facial expressions.
9) Have some fun! If not, what’s the point?