I Feel Great Today – Now What?

I’ve written previously on what to do on those really bad days and “making your best bad run possible.” This is the other side of the coin.

What do you do when you are having a great day on the run. Everything seems in sync. Everything is effortless. Your breathing is smooth and not labored. Your energy is high. There is bounce in your strides. You wish that THIS was your race day because you know you would set your PR. Ever have those days?

Providing you aren’t tapering for a race or have other reasons to back off or take it easy I strongly advise that you take advantage of the day.

1. Throw your scheduled workout out the door and go with how you feel.
2. Do a time trial – you choose the distance.
3. Do a longer run than planned.
4. Do a faster run than planned.
5. Do faster track reps or more of them.

Why you might ask?

This is the fodder of breakthroughs. The fact is almost ridiculous to state but – you only get faster by running faster. You are not going to experience the big breakthroughs by going along at the same old paces and distances. You must introduce both your mind and body to new heights of performance. Waiting solely for race day means putting all your eggs in one basket and hoping that all the stars are in alignment on that day. And if they aren’t – you fall short of your goal perhaps or just have a lackluster performance.

Treating this great day like an opportunity to test yourself – much like a race effort – will boost your confidence and enhance your physical conditioning.

Three of my actual PRs are done as time trials in similar situations. It was only after a “perfect day” 20 mile run that I realized what was possible for me in the marathon. I discovered that I was actually limiting myself and remaining in sports psychology as my “comfort zone”.

Similarly, I have had runners I coach do time trials and in practice set PRs in everything from 400 meters to 5k on the track. It’s actually an eyeopening experience on the mental end and a perfect way to take advantage of pushing your physical limits.

So, on your next “great run day” dare to get out of your comfort zone and explore what is possible!


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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