THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING Yeah, you read that right. You’ve probably read a hundred pieces on positive thinking and its benefits, particularly in terms of racing and training. And I’m not here to bash that at all. I’m certainly an advocate of positive self-talk, self-belief, visualization and all of the other useful and semi-useful techniques out there. But this piece is taking an alternative school of thought; the way in which we can use our negative thoughts to our advantage (whether it be in running or any other form of performance). There’s an ancient philosophy called Stoicism, and a part of this philosophy is the ability to accept a situation for what it is - and to use this acceptance as a means to control our fear of pain and/or failure. It acknowledges that the world is highly unpredictable and reminds us that we need to be in control of that which we can control – our responses to these events. But how...
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LESSONS FROM A TRIP TO KENYA

LESSONS FROM A TRIP TO KENYA

A few years ago one of our coaches, Jonathan, experienced one of his most memorable journeys yet. Here are a few of his thoughts from the experience and some lessons that he took away from it all: In June of 2015, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks in Iten, Kenya on a running camp where I got to train with, learn from and watch some of the best middle and long-distance athletes in the world. I also got the opportunity to sit down and chat over tea with their coaches. It really was an absolutely incredible experience and I’d recommend it to any passionate runner – regardless of your ability. This post is about the main things I learned/observed about the “Kenyan Way” in my time there. Not all of these things are recommended for your everyday runner; but it’s fascinating to gain a bit of insight into how the best runners in the world live and train – and...
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A Simple Message on Individualisation

A Simple Message on Individualisation

Below is a simple chart illustrating a random statistic with its independent and dependent variables marked respectively on the x and y-axis. The particular statistic is unknown and irrelevant for our purposes. What a simple chart like this (and many others like it) can show, is the need to individualise. It’s typical for data to be grouped and represented by its mean value. This is true within many fields of expertise, including the pharmaceutical industry – drugs are accepted on the basis of the average effects they present during trials. Though it is often practical and easier, you can imagine the possible adverse effects of treating a collection of data as one. For instance, looking at the sample graph above only 4 out of the 30 data plots are positioned on or near to the trend line. If we had to use this trend line to represent a ‘rule’ about of the data, it’s clear that this ‘rule’ would fail to...
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Our Training Philosophies

Our Training Philosophies

We'd like to share with you a few of our most fundamental training philosophies. These philosophies serve as the back-bone for the decisions that we as coaches make in helping an athlete improve their craft and get as much out of their training as possible. We believe that these training philosophies are the cornerstone for meaningful work; they outline the most important aspects of focus that create an optimal training environment. Manipulate stress to produce maximal adaptation and improvement Looking at stress in a holistic manner as life and training are not two separate entities. Consistency Improvement comes from weeks and months of good training, not the occasional hard effort. Build and maintain Training aims to focus on certain attributes at different times in a training cycle, but must still maintain the aspects that are not being emphasized. Train the athlete as an individual Athletes physiologically and psychologically respond differently to stressors, and the accumulation of a week, month, or season's worth of stress. The...
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Cerebral Oxygenation: Kenyan Runners Maintain High Brain Oxygenation

Cerebral Oxygenation: Kenyan Runners Maintain High Brain Oxygenation

The Kalenjin, who occupy much of the Rift Valley, are Kenya’s third largest tribe. Despite only making up approximately 12% of Kenya's population, they represent more than 75% of their country’s top runners. If you think Kenyan running couldn’t be more impressive, think Kalenjin running. “To put Kalenjin running success into perspective. Consider that 17 American men in history have run faster than 2:10 in the marathon. 32 Kalenjin men did that last October…” – David Epstein, 2014. There are many physiological factors that are believed to influence elite Kenyan runners' success, from specialized morphological features to high aerobic capacities. More recently, a new physiological mechanism was brought to light, which could be another important underlining factor for their unparalleled success. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); A study, conducted by Jordan Santos-Concejero and colleagues, looked into the cerebral oxygenation (oxygen reaching the brain) of a group of elite Kalejin Kenyan runners during a maximal self-paced 5km time trial. Previous studies have...
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