Self talk is something I’ve begun to use recently, during races.
This is simply me cheering myself on when things get difficult, generally the last mile or kilometre of a race.
Generally these are slightly under my breath and come in the form of short easy to say words.
Go go go!
Sometimes I’ll take a note from Yuki Kawauchi and think to myself “If I die at this race, that’s ok”
Research has even shown that this self talk can benefit performance. A study recently looked at how this technique can benefit cycling time trials.
How the study worked as 24 volunteers cycled to exhaustion.
12 of them received a two week self talk intervention.
And then they all did the cycling test again.
The control group stayed the same, while the participants who received a simple self talk intervention improved an average of 18%!
Their rate of perceived exertion also was decreased, which meant they “tricked” themselves into thinking the effort was actually easier than the first one.
“push through this”
They used such statements during training and of course during the test.
I also used them during my recent two 5k PR runs, and they definitely helped me push through to finish strong!