4 Set Bundle – Running
The Hypnosis audios that you will be able to download straight after purchase are:
- Enhanced Endurance
- Getting the Runners High with Self Hypnosis
- Altering Our Perceived Level Of Effort When Running
- Associative Strategy of Elite Runners
When I was putting this audio track together, I had just got back in the country following my holiday and was just getting back into my running and my training for my next marathon, with a couple of shorter races along the way in the build up too.
Since getting back, I had been researching and working a great deal on collating evidence for future projects regarding the use of hypnosis and running (my book on the subject, for example) and I had been incredibly encouraged.
To be really, really honest, the results of using hypnosis to enhance muscular performance are not that impressive and do not actually show any real gains in reviews by a number of key authors including Hull (1933) and Barber (1966) and the very influential (to the field of hypnosis and sports performance) Morgan (1972, 1980, 1993) – most of whom showed that when it comes to muscular performance, suggestions given in hypnosis were just as effective as suggestions given to a non-hypnotised, but motivated individual when it came to muscular performance.
However, the really great news for us runners is that numerous studies show that the gains made in terms of endurance and aerobic power are significant when it comes to the use of hypnosis… And with this audio track, I have an evidence based strategy to boost your running performance.
Most of the research concerning muscular performance and aerobic performance though, also does suggest that hypnosis does also help to motivate individuals much more and finds them exerting more effort as a result. This really does assure me as a lot of my own books and audio programmes are focused on those areas.
Ok, one of the pieces of research that I have been reading this week is by Morgan et al. (1987) Facilitation of physical performance by means of a cognitive strategy in Cognitive Therapy and Research which shows a 32% marked improvement in endurance performance as a result of the strategy employed, compared to the control group. I don’t think the nitty gritty details of the study are going to make for compelling reading, especially not for this page, but for anyone wanting to discuss the methodology and the way in which the study beautifully isolated the maximal aerobic power to be measured, then get in touch with me and we can discuss it.
With this audio track you get a hypnosis process that all runners can engage in that is founded upon the evidence based cognitive strategy used in the study, but I have added various facets of other evidence based processes to make it more useable in my opinion.
A number of studies that I have encountered show that athletes often use association techniques for enhanced performance, but that real elite athletes tend to utilise dissociation strategies as well to enhance their performance with their mind. Long distance runners from Tibet have run 300 miles nonstop in 30 hours using this type of dissociation technique, and many accomplished marathon runners are known to successfully employ similar techniques.
With this process, you are going to mentally rehears the process within the hypnosis session and then ideally go out and adopt the cognitive strategy when you are running and then with practice and practice, your endurance is enhanced as a result… Though you have to train too of course!
The idea behind dissociating in the way laid out within this audio track, is that you will not perceive the same amount of fatigue, pain, or discomfort while running. You are dissociated.
Getting The Runners High with Self-Hypnosis
Over the years, I have read a lot of information, opinion as well as some utter nonsense about something referred to as the “runners high”. Popular running blogs, and non-academics in the running community refer to this “runners high” as a sort of euphoria type of state that results in the body being flooded by endorphins and feelgood chemicals when we engage in running.
I certainly experience this, particularly after a run, though according to the research and actual evidence, there is speculation about what it is and how it happens. There is very little evidence to suggest it happens as a result of increased endorphins in the brain, and we really need more research and well-designed studies to be more sure of what is happening physically within us to cause this.
The fact of the matter though, is that the vast majority of runners, especially when certain levels of fitness have been achieved do report that they enjoy a general sense of well-being after they have been running and way back in 1979 Mandell wrote in the Psychiatry Annals about such a thing as the “runners high” existing.
Mandell (1979) wrote at a purely theoretical level based upon personal experience and considered neurochemical literature illustrating effects of various drugs on the central nervous system, drawing parallels to what goes on in the brain when we exercise. Mandell also suggested the role of serotonin was more important and this has since been confirmed a study conducted by Chauloff (1997) which showed the importance of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine as well as serotonin (feel-good chemicals known to effect mood) as they were much more present following exercise.
So although there is discussion to be had about the real chemical production in the brain when running, we can be sure that it happens to make us feel good and also that if it keeps on feeling good, we are going to be more inclined to persist with our running. Heck, when we enjoy something and it makes us feel good, we are going to carry on and do more of it, right?
This hypnosis audio track helps you make sure you derive the most enjoyment from running and ensures you of that “runners high.”
The evidence may not be of much interest to you, or really that much use, but I hope this hypnosis audio track is one that you’ll use for great effect as I certainly have been doing. Once I had read the paper by Mandell (1979) I also read the personal account and seeming cognitive strategy that was chartered within it and having read about how exercise and our thoughts can influence feeling, it made a lot of logical sense to use hypnosis to develop and purposefully engineer our very own “runners high”.
Mandell’s account even stated that these cognitions were said when charting the runners high subjective experience:
“The running literature says that if you run six miles a day for two months, you are addicted forever.”
Our aim is not to get you addicted of course, but this is the kind of suggestion that the researcher said whilst engaging in the “runners high”. I think you are going to love the way this hypnosis audio track enhances your enjoyment of running.
Altering Our Perceived Level Of Effort When Running
In all of my explorations of methods and strategies for using hypnosis to help advance sporting performance, one of the most impressive uses of hypnosis within studies has been that,
“Perception of effort during exercise can be systematically increased or decreased with hypnotic suggestion even though the actual physical work-load is maintained at a constant level. Furthermore, alterations in effort sense are associated with significant changes in metabolic responses and brain activation as measured by SPECT and MRI.” (Morgan, 2002)
This is incredibly good news for us runners.
Additionally at the time of recording this audio track, my friend, hypnotherapist and multi world title winning fighter, Gary Turner is writing a lot about running while he is spending just 12 weeks preparing and training for a 40 mile ultra marathon. Here is what he wrote as his Facebook status update earlier this week:
“Heard on the radio earlier a DJ talking about his London Marathon entry talking about what a massive hurdle it is to overcome.
In a couple of weeks I’ll be doing a marathon a week for my ultramarathon training. Long runs for me now seem normal. Yet his is only my 4th week of preparation. Impressive? Nope. Just know what I’m doing and expect to be able to do it.
Eddie Izzard did 43 marathons in 51 days on just 5 weeks of training. Think about what our military do in training as a matter of course.
Many people do far more impressive distances.
Your body can do 1,000 times more than you think it can. You just have to vote with your feet, and have a strong mind.” (Gary Turner, 19th September, 2012, Facebook)
Gary sums up nicely my own sentiments and there is evidence to show that we are more capable than we sometimes think, and also we can alter our perceived level of effort to enhance and advance our running performance.
In the early 2000’s Williamson and colleagues (2001, 2002) showed how hypnosis and receiving suggestions in hypnosis could alter the level of perceived effort by the athlete, resulting in them being able to perform better – and actually having a cardiovascular response to the brain believing in that perceived effort level. It sounds like the stuff of fantasy, but evidence repeatedly supports this notion and it makes complete sense when you consider it fully.
This hypnosis audio track and process is a cognitive strategy to engage in while running, but to implement with mental rehearsal the hypnosis session.
Our bodies respond to the message of the brain and we really do tend to respond to effort, pain, discomfort in a very sanitary and self-preserving fashion which does not really stretch and push us.
Elite athletes and sports people know that they can go further and have conviction and belief that they can push themselves further. This is not the central theme with this audio track, but that belief in our perception of our own level of effort is what this is all about. You’ll be able to run further, faster and also enjoy your training runs much more as a result of this hypnosis audio track.
Associative Strategy Of Elite Runners
A little while ago on my blog, I wrote on using dissociation as an evidence based process for enhancing endurance as a runner. Throughout my own research and exploration on how to use the mind to really develop our running ability, I have also found that related to the research on hypnosis and running, there is much on the cognitive strategies used by runners and a fabulous amount of information about the psychological profile of marathon runners and elite runners for long distance running.
I have been reading a fascinating paper entitled “Psychological characterization of the elite distance runner” by Morgan and Pollock (1977) and along with a number of other investigations of a similar ilk, it would seem that elite marathoners in general tend to be introvert – which was initially something I read with sadness because my own psychological profile tends to move in the direction of extroversion. However, this is not universal and several winners of Boston and London marathons have rated as extroverts on the Eysenck Personality Inventory and so there is hope for me yet!
This hypnosis audio track is not about exploring personality or psychological traits though. The reason I mention it at all though is because those introverts do tend to be very well skilled with their own active cognitive strategies that aid them with their running in a wide number of ways, as I have shown with a number of techniques in my Hypnosis For Running book.
Whenever I read Runners World magazine or a running blog I subscribe to, I am often barraged by pieces of research showing that runners listening to music tended to recover quicker or run more efficiently in some recent study, and I listen to music a great deal when running, particularly on my longer runs, it helps me pass the time and I enjoy the absorption in the music – this is dissociation. It is me classically distracting myself from the detail of how I am really feeling, like when you are battling through fatigue or aches at mile 25 at the marathon and using whatever you can to get you through to the end. Music has other ways it helps us, with being uplifting and inspirational and having emotional association that aids us, but it also can distract and aid dissociation.
However, the earlier mentioned study by Morgan (1977) showed that despite the prevalence of such these dissociation strategies were not the main “cognitive strategy” among elite runners. In fact they tended to use an associative strategy.
So these elite marathon runners stated that they actually paid very close attention to their own bodies and especially noticed what happened within their legs and feet as well as monitoring their breathing closely.
They also did keep a note of time, heck these are elite runners, I watch my Garmin a great deal, but these guys are watching it with more interest than I am! However, they generally stated that the pace they adhered to was dictated by how their body felt.
When marathon racing, these elite runners also tended to instruct themselves to relax and keep the muscles loose throughout the race. They tended to be people who dealt with anxiety very well outside of running and though there was much, much more to the research, these are the bits relevant to what this hypnosis audio track is going to help you with.
It is far more common to think of runners using dissociative strategies, but these studies all do highlight the fact that runners who excel are mentally actively in some shape or form while running. I hope you realise that and at the very least see the benefits of that.
One such cognitive strategy then, as already suggested here today is that of ‘association’ and this is particularly prevalent with introverted elite distance runners. I suspect that most of you readers are not elite runners, and so we may not have as much awareness of ourselves when running. Those of you that have only been running for a short period of time may not know your own limits or how to spread out your exertions within your longer runs as well as elite runners who rely on such an awareness.
This hypnosis audio track enhances your ongoing capability awareness when running as well as use an associative cognitive strategy when running to get a good sense of whether to really push on with your pace, or whether to ease back during a long training run, or a race with a specific desired outcome where it is particularly pertinent.
When I write about an associative strategy, I am referring to one whereby you tune in to how you are; how you feel, how you think and how you are generally. This awareness is often considered unhelpful as it reminds us of pains and aches and tiredness, so many tend to favour dissociative strategies such as the one I use in another hypnosis audio track here. I know people who count, who listen to music, who recall lists, who imagine past and future runs and all sorts of things as means of dissociative strategies.
The study suggests that too much dissociation, especially running through considerable pain using dissociation, can cause injury and cause us to ignore real-life issues and problems.
It is shown in the research that having an associative strategy is what helps many elite runners thrive and we’d be foolish not to learn from them. So simply follow the steps in this hypnosis audio track and develop your own associative cognitive strategy, and you can enhance your long training runs and race more effectively. You’ll be so pleased with the results.