A Runner's Guide to Sport Psychology and Nutrition   Available AMAZON
Andy Lane, Tracey Devonport, Wendy Nicholls, Chris Fullerton, Marcia Blake, and Chris Sellars               Meet the authors
Tracey Devonport
Andy Lane
Chris Fullerton
Marcia Blake
Wendy Nicholls
Chris Sellars

How can I make time for running?
Tracey J. Devonport and Wendy Nicholls
During casual conversation with family, friends and colleagues about exercise, do you find that often people (possibly you)
first express an intention to exercise and then in the next sentence talk of the barriers stopping them?

Now take a moment to reflect on your personal experiences as a runner or aspiring runner. What are the common barriers
that have prevented you from going out for a run? Can you remember when you intended to run (or do exercise) and talked
yourself out of doing it; why was that?
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Why can’t I deliver my race plan? Using psychological strategies to help you deliver your
best performance
Christopher L. Fullerton

“I ran too fast at the start; I missed the break at halfway; I left myself too much to do in the final mile; I let nerves get the better of me!”

I suspect you have heard runners use these excuses to explain a sub-standard performance or failure to achieve their race goal -you may
have even used them yourself! In order to achieve your race goal, you will likely set a race plan designed to help you commit to your goal.
Delivering this plan requires the ability to manage how you think, feel and act. For example, a runner who experiences high levels of anxiety
before a race because they have arrived at the competition late might be worried they are not going to be able to complete their normal
warm-up. The implication is that if she (or he) is not able to complete her warm-up she will feel under-prepared and less confident that she
is ready to perform well. For the runner to be able to stick to her race plan, such as following a certain pacing strategy, she will need to
manage the way she responds to situations that may be out of her control. In situations such as those described above, a runner needs to
have good self-control. However, changing how you think, feel or act is challenging, particularly if the perceived effort required outweighs
the perceived benefits associated with achieving the goal.
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Why am I so harsh on myself? Examining your self-talk when running on the limit!
Andrew M. Lane

“You can do this”, “hold on in there”; “just concentrate”; “if they can do it, so can I”, “one step at a time”.
The above messages are examples of what runners say to themselves when racing and training. They are all positive and offer
encouragement to try to run harder or focus concentration so that you run faster.

However, the things you say to yourself; or your self-talk may not always be positive. It is common for runners to chastise themselves and
be their own fiercest critique; “too slow; you are useless”, “c’mon you can go faster than this”; “he/she is getting away and you can’t keep up
with her/him”, “clump, clump, clump - sound of a baby elephant” are examples of negative messages runners say to themselves.

The effects of such messages are felt on your emotions; positive messages bring pleasant emotions as these messages are broadly saying