A Powerful Mental Exercise To Run Faster
When I was 19 years old, I accidentally discovered a powerful and effective mental exercise to run faster and did not realize it until I was nearly in my late 20’s.
Let me quickly share with you how I “accidentally” discovered this mental exercise to run faster so you can have a better idea what it is and how you can apply it in your daily speed training.
“How Can I Run Faster Than Dennis?”
When I was 19 years old, I met a skinny white guy named Dennis who became the driving force and motivation for me to get serious about learning what to do to run faster.
Dennis was a former track athlete in his mid 20’s and was recognized by everyone in the gym to be a fast sprinter. He was about 5′-10″ (same height as me) and weighed about 142 lbs. (while I weighed around 164 lbs. at that time).
I was a very young and inexperienced trainer at the time and was too stupid to know any better. I was making some good progress in the gym and thought I was hot shit and knew everything.
My insecurities made it very difficult to deal with Dennis’ poking and teasing. He was very fond of criticizing and always making fun of me for doing heavy squats.
I was doing them to gain weight and Dennis felt it was a complete waste of time for me to do it.
I mentioned to him that all the football players in at the University of Nebraska were the biggest, strongest and fastest football players in the country and they all did heavy squats as their primary strength exercise to run faster.
Dennis and I soon got into a debate about the benefits of weight training to run faster which led to a vicious grudge match.
The other guys in the gym saw our heated arguments and suggested we race each other in a 100 meter dash and put an end to our argument of whether weight training to run faster was true.
I was a young and cocky personal trainer and was hell bent on proving Dennis the former track sprinter wrong.
After accepting the challenge from Dennis to a 100 meter contest, my only mission in life was to figure out, “How can I run faster than Dennis?” in the next two months so I can outrun his skinny ass and shut him up for good.
We had agreed to each put up $50 to make sure that we each took the race seriously and the winner would get $100 for winning the race.
What To Do To Run Faster?
I have always been competitive in nature and hated losing to anyone so I spent restless nights and long days trying to figure out what to do to run faster.
Dennis had less muscle and was weaker than me and he smoked like a freight train.
My pride and ego at the time absolutely refused to lose to a guy that was weaker than me and lived on a steady supply of cigarettes!
The only advantage he had over me was that he had more experience and knew how to run faster in track than I did and had been competing since he was young.
Unfortunately, I did not know any exercise to run faster like I do now. The only type of training to run faster that I could think of at the time was to go and run 100m for 10 times/day and do it for 3 days per week.
My 100m sprint exercise to run faster was an absurd and pathetic way of training to run faster but I was too ignorant to know any better at the time.
How To Run Faster In Track During Cold Weather
Keep in mind that I had no high school or college athletic experience like Dennis so I did not know how to run faster in track like he did.
The race between Dennis and I occurred during early spring on a very cold day. Although I did not know how to run faster in track like Dennis, I did utilize some basic knowledge of personal training to prepare myself mentally and physically for the 100m race.
- Since it was cold outside, I decided to do all my warm up and stretching exercise to run faster indoors to make sure I was fully prepared to sprint. Dennis was so arrogant in outrunning me that his warmup consisted of walking the track while smoking a cigarette and drinking hot coffee.
- I wore multiple layers to insulate and keep my joints and muscles warm all the way up until the time of the race whereas Dennis had been walking around the track in shorts and a t-shirt while waiting for me to show up for the race.
The day of the race was a big one for Dennis and myself and all our supporters from our gym. We each had nearly 100 people on each side of the track watching our race. Some folks bet money on Dennis and others bet on me.
As Dennis and I lined up at the starting line, I was nervous as hell and sweating profusely, and the only thing in my mind was how can I run faster than Dennis.
As we took off from the starting line, my mind shut out all the background noise and it was time for me to put up or shut up.
Dennis and I were neck to neck in the first 15-20 meters and then all of a sudden he started pulling out in front of me far enough for me to see the back of his shirt out the corner of my eye which pushed me to run even harder because I knew I could not afford the shame of losing and have to listen to Dennis’ bullshit afterwards.
After about 60 meters down the track, the craziest thing happened…
Dennis suffered a massive hamstring pull due to the cold weather and I sped right past him towards the finish line and won the race!
I was so freaking happy that I had won that I did not feel the cold sting of the spring air despite being in shorts and a t-shirt.
Dennis finally hobbled to the finish and stared at me with a look of disgust and handed me the money he owed me for losing the race and walked off.
I never heard any more trash talking from Dennis at the gym afterwards because I had proven to him that weight training to run faster was not bullshit.
The Secret To My Training To Run Faster
At first glance, it may appear that my 100m sprints and weight training was the secret to my training to run faster than Dennis.
However, it was not the physical exercise to run faster at all…
As I share my story about Dennis with you, it is natural to assume that my physical training to run faster was the answer to how I can run faster than Dennis, but the reality is completely different.
The real secret in my training to run faster than Dennis was actually mental!
Yes, you heard it right.
My mental exercise to run faster is what allowed me to beat Dennis (and a little stroke of luck from the cold weather 🙂 )
I want to share with you this powerful mental exercise to run faster because I strongly believe that over half your success in training to run faster starts inside your mind.
Remember, in the previous section, I talked about how your MENTALITY about speed, creates your REALITY about speed.
The mental exercise I am talking about is called “mindfulness“.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a mental exercise that is used in kung fu training at the famous Shaolin Temple in China.
Mindfulness is the ability to recognize your thoughts, speech and actions and take immediate action in real time.
It can’t just be any action either, it has to be a “corrective” action designed to improve your thoughts, speech and actions.
Otherwise, it is not a true mindfulness practice.
Here are a few situations I want you to consider:
- Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “How can I run faster than my opponent?” as you see your opponent walking onto the field?
- Have you ever seen your opponent run blazingly fast and start quivering out of fear and sheepishly uttered to yourself the words, “How can I run faster than my opponent? There is no way my current speed training or exercise to run faster is going to help me outrun my opponent!”.
- Have you ever been on the field training to run faster and decided to quit early because a couple of your teammates decided to cut practice short because they were lazy and unmotivated and you quit early even though you knew inside that you should have continued on training to run faster in order to reach your athletic goals?
If you have ever experienced anything similar to the situations I just listed above, you have experienced mindfulness and did not realize it.
You EXPERIENCED mindfulness but you DID NOT APPLY mindfulness!
What I mean by this is that you had a debilitating negative thought evolve inside your mind when you mentally asked yourself the question, “How can I run faster than my opponent?”.
If you had been practicing the mindfulness exercise to run faster correctly, you would not have allowed your mind to create such a negative thought to cast a shadow of doubt regarding your ability to run faster that your opponent.
Likewise, the same can be said about the 2nd and 3rd situation I mentioned above.
“Mindfulness is the ability to recognize your thoughts, speech and actions in real time and take immediate corrective action.”
–Personal Trainer Tai
If you had applied your mindfulness training to run faster correctly you would not have allowed yourself to shake and quiver in fear and make such a negative comment upon seeing your opponents on the field in the 2nd situation above nor be persuaded to quit practice early by your lazy and negative teammates like I mentioned in the 3rd situation.
So mindfulness is not just the awareness that you are thinking, saying, or doing something negative and counterproductive but also TAKING ACTION to correct it immediately IN REAL TIME!
Now that you understand what mindfulness is, the next question that naturally arises is, “How do I run faster with this mindfulness stuff?”
Basically you want to know how to practice the mindfulness exercise to run faster…
How To Use The Mindfulness Exercise To Run Faster
Why is it important to eliminate negativity and learn how to develop a positive mindset for speed?
The answer is simple but it is very often overlooked by all levels of athletes.
Each of us is born with a certain amount of “athletic potential” and when you have a negative mindset, it prevents you from fully utilizing your potential.
- You won’t train as hard when you are doing your exercise to run faster.
- You won’t take your training to run faster seriously.
- You won’t take the time to figure out what to do to run faster.
- You won’t constantly ask yourself, “How can I run faster?” or “How do I run faster?”
“Mindfulness is the most powerful exercise ever discovered to eradicate and destroy the virus of negativity in your thoughts, speech and actions!”
—Personal Trainer Tai
This is the reason why I always like to start with developing your mindset for speed first before I develop your physical body for speed.
Your mental exercise to run faster should always come before your physical exercise to run faster.
When it comes to doing a mental exercise to run faster, nothing beats the mindfulness exercise!
Mindfulness is the most powerful exercise ever invented to eradicate and destroy the virus of negativity in your thoughts, speech and actions.
The Power Of Positive Thinking
Negative thoughts and positive thinking are very common and popular concepts you will run into on the path to achieving world class speed.
They are popular because more and more people today are starting to realize the importance of positive thinking and how it attracts success into their lives on and off the field.
Although they are very popular concepts, they are actually some of the most confusing ideas you will ever encounter.
When you first read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill or watch the DVD movie, The Secret, it is easy to misunderstand it and believe that if you just think positive thoughts and imagine how fast you want to run, then you just automatically acquire the speed.
What are “negative thoughts” you may ask?
Negative thoughts are any thoughts that crushes your athletic dreams, limits your athletic potential, creates self-doubt in your athletic abilities and encourages you NOT to take positive actions in order to increase your running speed.
Here are some common examples of negative thoughts:
- I can’t do this because… (insert your own bullshit negative thought here).
- It won’t happen to me because… (insert your own bullshit negative thought here).
- That won’t work for me because… (insert your own bullshit negative thought here).
- That can’t happen to me because… (insert your own bullshit negative thought here).
- That’s too difficult because… (insert your own bullshit negative thought here).
- I don’t think I can do this because… (insert your own bullshit negative thought here).
Once you allow a negative “seed” or thought to grow inside your head, it will then grow and manifest itself as “negative speech“.
Negative speech is more dangerous than negative thoughts because there are plenty of dumbasses around that have absolutely no power or influence and will be very happy to reinforce your bullshit negative thoughts and make you think it’s true.
This is why it is so hard for athletes and young people who live in poor neighborhoods to ever achieve success because no one thinks it’s possible.
If you don’t do what it takes to destroy your negative speech, then it will “grow” and manifest even bigger and become a “negative action“. Why?
If you don’t believe you can run faster, and there are dumbasses all around you telling you that you can not run faster, then the only logical thing to do is…
… absolutely nothing!
That’s right! You will do absolutely nothing and ignore the necessary training to run faster because that is what you believe!
This means that you have to destroy the negativity that exists in all areas of your life and NOT just in your head!
The first thing you may ask is, “Where else does negativity reside other then in the depths of my mind?”
That is a great question so let me peel your eyelids back and clearly show you the 5 main areas where the vicious cancer of negativity can exist that will neutralize all your attempts of ever running faster.
The nightmarish cancer of negativity can be found viciously rooted in your:
- family and friends
- environment & terrain
During my preparation and training to race Dennis, I took desperate measures to simply eliminate all the negativity from my life in order to focus on my training to run faster and win the race:
- I constantly rehearsed in my mind some positive words of encouragement and affirmations to keep myself training hard.
- I constantly screamed and shouted out loud in private that I would outrun Dennis.
- I consistently did my sprint training to run faster and did not let anyone’s negativity prevent me from figuring out how I can run faster.
- I eliminated my negative friends and environment by not going to the gym during busy hours and run into people that did not believe in my efforts to run faster than Dennis.
I would not allow negative thoughts in my mind and replaced them with mega valuable positive thoughts about how I was capable of running faster and winning the race.
My ability to think positive and take positive actions towards training to run faster was the ultimate key to my success and winning the race against Dennis.
I can not say that it was any special speed training exercise to run faster that allowed me to win because I was just starting out my personal training career and did not have any knowledge or experience in knowing what to do to run faster.
How To Practice Your Mindfulness Exercise To Run Faster
I highly encourage you to begin practicing your mindfulness exercise to run faster immediately and do not try to skip this critical portion of your speed training.
This is a critical exercise regardless of whether you are trying to figure out how to run faster in track, football, soccer, baseball, etc.
Remember, mindfulness just simply means to be able to “recognize” or “be aware” or “monitor” the seeds of negativity that are being produced in your thoughts, speech and action in “real time” and take immediate action to eradicate them!
If you are aware of the negativity in your thoughts, speech and action but do not do anything to correct it immediately, then you are not practicing mindfulness correctly.
Always keep this in mind:
- If you think you can run faster… you are right!
- If you think you can not run faster… you are still right!
Which thought would you rather have in your head to help you run faster?
Always be selective about the people that surround you:
- You can surround yourself with people who will do and say the right things to help you run faster… or,
- You can surround yourself with people who will prevent you from running faster with their bullshit limiting beliefs, doubts, fears, etc.
What type of people do you want to have around you to help you run faster?
There are two components to practicing your mindfulness exercise to fun faster.
The 1st component of your mental training to run faster is INTERNAL:
Step #1 – Constantly monitor and be aware of the thoughts, speech, and actions you have throughout the day and identify the negativity that prevents you from running faster.
Step #2 – Once you have identified the “virus” of negativity in your thoughts, speech, and actions, I want you to replace them with a positive “seed of succes” that will push you towards running faster.
- If you catch yourself, saying, “How can I run faster if I have short legs?” I need you to slap yourself awake and say, “What advantages do I have of running with short legs?” Be sure to repeat it out loud when possible at least 3 times to make sure the positive idea gets embedded into your head.
The 2nd component of your mental training to run faster is EXTERNAL:
Step #1 – Constantly monitor and be aware of the people around you and identify the negative people that prevents you from running faster.
Step #2 – Once you have identified the “cancerous ” people in your life, I want you to take action to replace them with a positive individual that will push you towards running faster.
- If you have a friend that says, “You’ll never be able to run faster in track no matter what you do.” Then I would fire him as your friend and find a new friend that is more likely to say, “Let’s do an extra exercise to run faster after the team is done training!”
Please do not read this article and simply acknowledge that I have made some good points on what to do to run faster and do nothing.
The key to running faster is to take MASSIVE ACTION!
Practice the mindfulness exercise to run faster I have shared with you in this section and come back and share your success with the rest of us.
- Go back to the previous section on “How Do I Run Faster With The Right Mindset?“
- Go to the next section and learn the “Mental Visualization Drills To Run Faster“