how to train your brain
posted: October 1, 2012
The week before your marathon is here and you’ve been training your body for months. But what about your brain? Chicago educator Gina asked our ambassador Lizzi Edwards for three things you can do that’ll help you get your head in the race, too.
My eyes are closed but my mind races. I am seeing more with my eyes shut than if they were open. I see the future – to do’s, lists, finish lines. I see the past – mistakes, old habits, long training runs with pauses to cry in the middle. I’m in marathon training taper mode and not only is my body restless but my mind is too. Lucky for me, Lizzi Edwards, yoga ambassador at lululemon Rush Street in Chicago, is here to help me (and you!) filter those thoughts and use them to my competitive advantage.
Here are three mental techniques from Lizzi that’ll turn crossing-the-finish-line dreams into realities!
Imagine yourself during your marathon. Add as much detail as you can do this imaging. What are you wearing? What kind of shoes do you have on? What did you eat for breakfast? Who is there supporting you? What sights, sounds and smells fill your senses? The more realistic you can get with your imagination, the more effective it becomes.
2. positive self talk
Self talk is the internal dialog that you have with yourself. Using ‘I am’ statements translate into a powerful reality. Lizzi’s advice rings so true: Take a moment and acknowledge where you go when that evil voice creeps into your head. Now create a declaration and say/chant/scream out loud, “I am strong. I am a marathoner. I am accomplished”. Write the declaration on your arm, on your forehead, wherever you need to so you always remember that your evil voice is full of crap!
As the yogis tell us, Prana (life force) travels on the breath. As you inhale, you bring fresh, new Prana into your being, as you exhale, you let go of whatever you no longer need. If you can control your breath, you can control your mind. Here’s how to practice: with eyes closed, count to two on each inhale and two on each exhale. As you get tired, exhale more. Try in for two, out for three, four, five…as many as is comfortable.
After practicing Lizzi’s tips, I know that not only is my body is ready to handle 26.2 miles, but my mind is ready too. #iamamarathoner.
join us for a pre-marathon visualization
If you’re joining us in the Windy City for this year’s Chicago Marathon, stop by North Avenue Beach just north of the Boat House on Thursday, October 4 at 6:00 pm for a one hour visualization/stretch session with Lizzi. See you there!