Positive Brainwashing by Jeff Galloway

My three magic words are relax, power and glide. I started using them during my competitive career to deal with three problems I encountered during difficult runs and races.

Relax: Usually at the end of a hard run, when I feel my resources slipping away, I have a tendency to tense up because I think that things are going to get worse. I used to slow down and obey the stream of negative messages. Now, I know the left brain is really bluffing, making conditions seem much worse than they really are. When I feel the first sensation of tightening, I focus on pushing beyond the stress by saying the word “relax” to myself. After two decades of use, I can now feel an instant, subtle relaxation.

Power: When I start slowing down, the left brain tells me my strength is almost gone and issues a warning “You may not finish,” or “Stop now before it gets worse.” As soon as I say the word “power,” I feel my strength rebuilding and am reassured that everything is going to be all right.

Glide: During the latter stages of any long or hard run, my form gets shaky. To counter this trend, I say the word “glide” and instantly I feel smoother (even when I don’t look any smoother). I’ve now associated this magic word with hundreds of runs when I started to get the “wobbles” but finished with a feeling of good form and efficiency. Now, when I say “glide,” I’ll received a bit of the same sensation I felt at the end of some of my best lifetime efforts, although my pace is sometimes twice as slow.


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