I recall running the Silverstone half marathon a number of years with my brother. A younger, slightly smaller runner ran virtually the entire race 1-2 foot behind us, protecting himself from the wind. I don’t mind helping out other runners, but he tried to sprint past us on the final leg and I have rarely felt more satisfied than when we held him off.
Here on the South Coast of England, especially along the sea front where I live where there is little protection from the wind generated at this time of year, it can be very tough to get any kind of sensical time splits while training. In one direction it feels as if you are running on the spot, having your energy drained as you plough into the wind and when you turn around, it is like having someone giving you a little push along. Though the effort it takes to run into the wind is not equally rewarded by how much of a push you get coming back again.
How can we deal with the wind, especially if we have times to adhere to in our schedule? My Garmin tells me how fast I’ve gone and does not tell anyone looking at my Strava stats that there was a 25 mph wind on the sea front that morning.
Firstly, I’d say be careful and sensible. Don’t start running into heavy winds with the same type of hunger and insatiable sense of adventure as one of those storm chaser guys you see on the telly. If you know it is going to be windy, think about streamlining yourself if possible in relation to your clothing, and be prepared to accept the wind. That is, be prepared to ease off the gas and surrender to it if need be, rather than let it drain all your energy by fighting it; which it can do quite dramatically.
However, if you want to really nail the wind, then use your mind. Get your psychology to work for you when tackling the windy runs and also recognise that the wind can add some major resistance that will benefit you in the long run when you run at your event.
So in order to use self-hypnosis, your imagination and cognitions to help advance your running performance in the wind, follow these simple steps in the comfort of your home, then start applying elements of the strategy when you are out on a windy run:
Step One: Induce hypnosis.
You can do so by any means you desire or know of. You can use the process in my ‘Science of self-hypnosis’ book, use the free audio at my main hypnosis website to practice or have a look at the following articles as and when you need them; they are basic processes to help you simply open the door of your mind:
Once you have induced hypnosis, move on to step two.
Step Two: Imagine being out on a run. Hear the sound of your feet upon the floor, see the sights of the place, the shades of light around you, feel the feelings of running. Every breath you breathe and every step you imagine running takes you deeper into hypnosis.
Spend a few minutes patiently engaging in this step, then move onto step three.
Step Three: As you continue to imagine you are running, now imagine a breeze picking up, a breeze that cools you at first. Then the breeze picks up and becomes stronger, turning into a wind, then into a strong gale that is pushing against you to the point whereby you feel as if you are running on the spot.
Once you have got that notion of running on the spot against a strong wind really vivid, move on to step four.
Step Four: Now engage your imagination in one or all of these ways:
Imagine that you are shaped like a wedge and that you cut through the wind with ease.
Imagine you are a hot pocket knife slicing through butter with ease.
Imagine that with each step you take, the wind parts in front of each limb and you glide through the wind.
Imagine a larger runner running directly in front of you, breaking the wind for you.
Imagine your are aerodynamic, streamlined and have less and less wind resistance.
However you engage your imagination, let your entire body be relaxed. Sometimes, runners can get tense and tight when they face wind, so be relaxed and imagine leaning into the wind very slightly to break the wind for the rest of you.
Step Five: Accept the wind is there and that it may well slow you down. Don’t fight it, glide through it. Let it energise you instead of sapping your energy. Imagine that the wind is fuelling you, energising you and helping you to feel fitter and stronger.
WHen you really have a sense of being energised by the wind, move on to the next step.
Step Six: As the wind subsides in your imagined run, start to repeat a powerful affirmation or positive cognition to yourself that reminds you that running into the wind is like adding resistance training to your schedule:
“I am stronger and stronger thanks to the wind.”
“My stamina and speed are boosted as a result of the wind.”
Or whatever else you would prefer to say to yourself. Repeat a positive statement to remind yourself of the benefit you derive from running into the wind.
Step Seven: Exit hypnosis. Take a couple of deeper breaths. Wiggle your fingers and toes and open your eyes, or if you follow the protocol in any of my self-hypnosis books, count yourself up and out from one through to five.
Practice this self-hypnosis process a few times, mentally rehearsing and creating the psychological skill. Then start to employ the imagination processes and use the cognitions when your run turns windy. You’ll really notice a difference in how your mindset can affect running through wind.
Enjoy that, I’ll be back soon.
If this has resonated with you in some way, or interested you, then these links may be of interest:
1. Would you like to take your sports performance to the next level?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others take their sports performance to the next level?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.