A huge fight just recently happened in Las Vegas, NV between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio. SPOILER ALERT: Floyd Mayweather won. And this wasn’t the result that many of my friends wanted. Many thought that Mayweather was ignorant, cocky and disrespectful of his opponent. I was rooting wholeheartedly for Mayweather however. I like the idea of an underdog, but I like the legacy of a champion far more.
Applying the Mayweather Mentality to Running
Mayweather has an undisputed confidence about himself that is unrivaled. He’s gone as far as to call himself superior to arguably the greatest boxer ever in Muhammed Ali. However, he gets in the minds of his opponents and beats them way before the match starts. People fear what the guy will do to them far before they enter the ring. When they’re actually boxing, they’ve already mentally exhausted and defeated themselves. Mayweather is an extreme case and if a runner were to model themselves exactly after his mentality, they probably wouldn’t be sitting at the community runner’s table at breakfast, post-race. But there is something to be said about introducing this type of idea into the sport of running. Confidence in your fitness and yourself is crucial especially when it comes to improving a personal best or gunning for that elusive victory you’ve been dreaming of. Every runner from the best to the worst has to possess some feigned confidence (or craziness) or else they wouldn’t have signed up for the race to begin with.
Channeling that confidence towards specific portions of each race can invite the body to work towards achieving something it hasn’t yet accomplished. These parts aren’t always defined as easily as one would hope so I’m going to try and categorize them as best I can.
The start line
Getting yourself to the starting line is a huge step in the right direction. That means that you have some confidence (real or fake) that you have the opportunity to do well.
The early pace
Committing to the right early pace can be tricky sometimes. Challenging yourself to a quick early pace can prove deadly later on but playing it too conservative means you might not win your family’s race within the race. However, much energy can be wasted worrying about all of these things. Get in a comfortable groove and turn your mind off for a little bit while enjoying the race itself.
Inevitably there is going to be a point within the race where you need to be brave. This point is different for every runner and lots of chances need to be taken before one is to truly understand how they can best finish the race.
When the end is in sight it is easy to become complacent and not give your very best. Sometimes it’s just a relief to know that the pain is almost over. But the Floyd Mayweathers are still gunning down everyone they can.
Running is first and foremost a race against the clock. Every time a runner races they invariably think about a personal best time resulting. However, sometimes the actual race for first gets forgotten when people get caught up in the numbers. So at next week’s 5K, start a little rivalry. Find someone to beat. Some of the fastest runners are also the best racers. They know, and you will soon find out how much time you can cut off your PR if you lose the stopwatch and just race.