Visualization vs daydreaming

By , March 16, 2018 7:13 am

I’m not happy to only be blogging my “check-in” posts – weekend recaps, Random Thoughts Thursday, and my training recap. I actually have a long list of things I want to talk about, but they’re mostly negative and I’d rather discuss those with my snis or friends, so I keep that stuff off of here. Hopefully that list will turn positive soon, and I will be blogging more, because I MISS IT!!!

My goal 5K is three weeks from tomorrow! Woo hoo!

Beyond the physical training, I’ve begun the visualization portion of the mental training. I imagine myself at the start of the race, feeling calm (HA!!!!). I run through the course in my mind, and see myself with good form, feeling strong while running the tangents and not weaving around too many people. Then I visualize not being completely out of it at the finish!

This course is one I’ve run several times, in a park in my hometown, so I can visualize it quite well! I’ve been working on this each night as a fall asleep, and then whenever I wake up in the night, too.

Visualization is a useful tool, for me. It’s practice of my mental game plan, before race day. I practice my mental pain management during speedwork (intervals and tempos), but this is more about my overall mental state for the entire race. How can I be calm as I start? What will my mantra be? Where will I check in on pace and form? And so on.

Visualization is NOT daydreaming about an awesome finish (which, hey, is fun to do, too!). Visualization and daydreaming are different. Daydreaming is defined as an “usually wishful creation of the imagination” and a “pleasant distraction from every day life.” Daydreaming definitely has its uses (during long meetings, amirite?). But visualization is useless without putting in the actual work, to achieve your goal! It’s not fantasy-land, it’s what you’re going to do because you trained for it!

One of my favorite quotes from last year’s calendar, that reminds me of this – don’t waste so much time dreaming that you don’t do the work!

Yes, please roll your eyes over how seriously I am taking this 5K. It’s quite ridiculous! Ha!

8 Responses to “Visualization vs daydreaming”

  1. Pete B says:

    Since in the weeks/months before any race I am constantly strategizing, visualizing and day dreaming of race day – I would never roll my eyes at you for taking a 5k so seriously!

  2. Shelley B says:

    I was wondering where you were in Blogland – I miss your more frequent posts. Hope things improve soon so you feel like you can write more.

    Interesting topic – I’m doing a real-time visualization tomorrow, in that we’re going to run the route for the 5 miler race that we’ll be doing the following weekend, just to see if it helps me with my race anxiety.

    • kilax says:

      Thank you, I appreciate you thinking of me! I hope things improve too! (namely, my reaction to things!!!)

      Ooooo, that is so great you are doing it! I hope it helps!!!!!

  3. I think you’re allowed to take a race of any distance as seriously as you want to 🙂

    I try to spend some time visualizing how the Chicago Marathon will go in the week or so leading up to the race, but I’ll be honest, I tend to try to do it as I’m falling asleep, and I usually don’t even make it to the 10K mark on the course before I’m out, haha. But my visualization has always been pretty literal–imagining what I’m actually going to see on the course–and doesn’t get into how I want to feel, approach that part of the course, etc. I’d like to try to do that for upcoming races!

    • kilax says:

      Thanks, I like that sentiment!!! (Every time I get jacked up about a 5K I think about YEARS ago when the club I was in teased me for “only training for a 5K.” Eye roll at them!)

      I am doing mine at night to help me fall asleep too. But ha – a marathon – that might require starting a bit before bed time! I think it’s cool you practice it too, and I am curious to hear how thinking about how you feel and your approach for certain parts affects future races!

  4. Mica says:

    Wow, I think it’s neat that you’re doing visualization for a 5K. I’ve never tried it, but I like that you have some scheduled times for it (instead of right before the race). Your dedication is inspiring!

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