I’ve just heard a really good interview on the BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show.
Alastair Campbell was part of a discussion about Lance Armstrong, the disgraced hero. I was driving home from a sports massage at the time. After a few tough training sessions I needed Jude, my massage therapist, to put me back together again. She did just that. I drove home feeling excited about my race at the weekend. It’s going to be a tough race, especially because I’ve only just returned to running after a few weeks of being injured, but I felt ready for it in both body and mind. I felt in a positive mind-set.
The discussion on BBC Radio 2 interested me because it focused not just on Lance Armstrong, but on the mind-set of athletes. Alastair Campbell’s new book, Winners: And How They Succeed looks at what it takes to win. This is something that has always fascinated me. For the top athletes, sports psychology is just as important as the training. A positive and healthy mind-set can really make a difference to how you perform.
As readers of my blog know, I am in no way an elite athlete, but I do like to compete at local club level. I like to compete against friends I have made from other clubs, and I like to beat the times and targets that I have set myself. For me, winning a box of Miniature Heroes is akin to winning Olympic gold.
More often than not, I don’t win anything. But when someone beats me in a race, I know that I will have given it everything. They were just stronger and fitter and better on the day. It’s quite a healthy way to think. I will, however, train harder so that next time I will, hopefully, be stronger and fitter and better on the day.
Whether you’re elite or a beginner, I really believe that mind-set is important. And it’s not just in running. A positive mind-set is important in every part of life.
Campbell’s book interests me. It’s fair to say that I share his fascination about what it takes to win – not least because I would like to win more boxes of Miniature Heroes. In fact, it has interested me so much that I have ordered a copy. Look out for my review. In the meantime have a listen to the interview.