Following on from yesterday’s post about using imagination to advance our running form, as promised here is a simple step-by-step guide to how to use this kind of mental imagery technique when running.
Step One: Firstly practice this repeatedly over and over in your mind with self-hypnosis prior to doing it in reality when you are out running.
To get started with that: Induce hypnosis.
You can do so by any means you desire or know of. You can use the process in my Science of self-hypnosis book, use the free audio we give away on this website to practice or have a look at the following articles as and when you need them; they are basic processes to help you simply open the door of your mind:
Heavy Arm Self-Hypnosis Induction Method
Using Eye Fixation for Self-Hypnosis
The Chiasson Self-Hypnosis Method
Hand to Face Self-Hypnosis Induction
Using Magnetic Hands for Self-Hypnosis
The Coin Drop Self-Hypnosis Induction
However, with this process, an induction is potentially too much activity, so I teach my clients how to adopt a hypnotic mindset and simply have a mindset that is positive and expectant. Again, to really understand the cognitive set of the hypnotic mindset, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book where it is explained in simple but comprehensive terms.
Once you have induced hypnosis, move on to step two.
Step Two: Now bring up and into your mind an image of yourself running in the way you wish. Think of this as theoretical for now. Make it the perfect form regardless of the reality.
Notice all the details of that running form and posture; where your feet land, how they move, the angle of the knees, how you use your arms, the alignment of the spine, the angle of the hips and pelvis and observe what tells you that you are performing and functioning so incredibly well. Place that picture in your mind as if you were looking at it on a screen.
These do not have to be perfect cinema screen pictures by the way, just imagine it as best as you can.
Once you have got that image created inside of your mind, move onto the next step.
Step Three: As you look at that image, make sure it has motion and so (if it is not so already) turn it into a film clip of your body running in this biomechanically correct and effective way.
Make it incredibly vivid. Add the kinds of sounds that accompany it well too. Become aware of the places in the body where the feelings of strength are and where the relaxation exists. Make the film clip as sensory rich as you can. Use colours and details as much as possible.
When you have got that in as much detail as possible, move on to the next step.
Step Four: As you look at this image of yourself in your mind, think to yourself, “I just know that is going to happen for me,” or “I can be that way now” and really add some sort of internal dialogue that starts to convince you of your ability to adopt what you need from this.
When you are convinced that this is going to be you running in this form, move on to the next step.
Step Five: Finally, you step into that image of you in your mind. Wear it, act like it. When you pretend to be a certain way, you are learning how to be that way at the deeper behavioural level. Mentally rehearse being that way, performing in that way. Let your own physiology merge in a beneficial way with your imagined point of focus. Really, truly associate with it, feel the feelings of it and get it lodged into your mind. How does that version of you think, how does that version of you hold the body? Then do those things and BE that version of yourself.
You may even choose to mentally rehearse a future scenario (race or training run, for example) in your mind. Importantly, repeat the merging process over and over so that it is available to you without too much though when you are running.
Then you exit from hypnosis and open your eyes and go about your day.
Now start to enjoy running with this ideal form and repeat a progressive cognition to yourself, something along the lines of:
1. I am an effective runner.
2. My form feels good.
3. I run faster and better with this form.
You get the idea. Imagine running and repeating the phrase, affirming it to yourself with real meaning. Convince yourself of the words and make them your reality.
Step Six: Exit hypnosis by counting from one to five and reorienting yourself accordingly.
Then when you have practiced this several times – take step five out with you on your run. When you are running, you then vividly imagine running with that form in your mind, and allow your mind to help affect your form and the way you run. You repeat the same words to yourself and consciously adopt the form, relax into it and start to let it happen as you imagine it more and more vividly.
Importantly, enjoy the process.
… And if you want some assistance with understanding the running form of the best, have a look a this great clip….
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support taking your sporting performance to the next level?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Have you read my book Hypnosis for Running: Training Your Mind to Maximise Your Running Performance? It helps any athlete or sportsperson maximise performance.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis and how it can help you advance your athletic performance, where you’ll learn to understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.