I recently finished reading the August edition of Runners World.  It was great to see many sections containing aspects of the mental side of running. These mental skills can be transferred to any sport, buisness and to life.  The tips and comments from some top athletes and Olympians that were very successful at London 2012.  These athletes included Mo Farah, Dai Greene and Paula Radcliffe.  There were lots around how athletes to help deal with pressure of competition.

The first article, 'Mind Games' by Sam Murphy who highlighted that Team GB used sport psychology and recognised the importance of psychological skills.  This is important as there are 2 ways to look at dealing with pressure.  The first as Murphy suggested is to have a 'readiness to perform' and to concentrate on the process and not the outcome of the competition.  The other is to recognise the magnitude of the competition (such as the Olympics) and ride it like a wave and embrace it.

The articles focused on the athletes such as Mo Farah and Dai Greene highlighted several key mental skills and qualities necessary for success amd winning.  The first of these is from Dai Greene and is good old fashioned hard work with a nice splash of desire.  Greene also suggested being a student of the discipline and studying every aspect so preparation is essential. Desire and being studious is also highlighted by Mo Farah as important.  Although she didn't compete at London 2012 Paula Radcliffe talked about some of the key mental skills needed to run a marathon.  For me the most important of these are to be relaxed and balanced. When you are these you able able to perform 'without thinking' and be like the child in the park running.  She also highlights confidence and determination.

The article on the Olympian secrets reinforced all of the aforementioned mental skills so preparation and relaxation are importannt in running and any endeaver as well as downtime away from the activity.  Two specific techniques highlighted were 'repeating a mantra'. This will help to maintain desire and motivation and making sure you have no regrets in anything you do.