The other day I was out running with Dave and Mark, a couple of long term training buddies and Mark started imitating what you often hear these days in sports commenting. “As Dave takes the lead with an injection of pace and a gap opens up between him and the pack (namely me), QUESTIONS ARE BEING ASKED!!” I’m usually laughing so hard at this point that any hope of catching Dave ie: answering the question goes right out the window.

Tennis fans will hear this on TV as Nadal is pounding big forehands to Federer’s backhand and Federer blisters a winner down the line and the commentator says “Nadal asked the question and Federer had the answer” It’s an extremely graphic description of what’s going on. And the same goes on the track when Mo Farah takes off for home in the last 400 of a 5k and the British commentator screams out “Farah is asking the question…. can anybody answer??!”When we run, questions are also being asked: do I really want to go out today, can I finish this run, can I maintain this pace, is the pain going to get worse, why is this so hard today….these are the kinds of questions that most runners have to face at one time or another. They can take up a lot of energy and may cause us to lose focus and purpose and ‘step off the track’

Another category of question can encourage and energize us. Questions that challenge us to overcome a barrier or attain a new level or release tension. For example; can I keep up this pace for one more minute, can I beat my previous best, can I run smoothly and fluidly as I’m getting tired?

FM Alexander said that thinking affects movement. I often say to myself and to runners I coach “am I/are you thinking up?” I know that allowing my head to lead my spine into length makes me a better runner and has done so for the past 35 years.

So next time you go for a run, remember: questions are being asked ! Just remember to ask the right ones.


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