In this episode of the A to Z Running Podcast, we discuss flow state and how it affects runners. After that, world of running updates about B.A.A Half Marathon and more.
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Every Who down in Whoville
Is busy preparing
For the BIGGEST of days,
The most merry of merry!
The long years apart
Now come to an end,
And WHOVILLE RETURNS!
. . . Like a long lost old friend.
Who’s an anywho
Will be there!
Hot cocoa to spare
The Mayor, the Mrs., some Things and a cat . . .
A merry round man
. . . In a funny red hat.
Small Whos will be racing
As fast as they can.
Big Whos can trot too,
Through this merry Who-land.
But, be wary we say
As you roam through our home.
There’s another out there
. . . who lives all alone.
For some reason, the season,
It brings him no glee.
His heart’s just too small,
He’s a mean one you see.
After cold winter dashing
And when you return,
There’ll be prizes
The zaniest looking can earn!
There’ll be feasting and singing
And selfies galore!
Perhaps an old heart
Grows a few sizes more.
So HURRY, dear friend,
Sign now, get a HAT!
All proceeds proceeding
How ’bout that?
And, if fam-friendly, fun-running
Is something you wish again.
Join the Whovilliest 5k
In all of Who-Michigan!
MAIN TOPIC: FLOW: WHAT IT MEANS FOR RUNNERS
Main Topic: Flow: What it means for runners
What is flow?
According to Europe’s Journal of Psychology,
- “Flow corresponds to a state of optimal experience and maximal concentration, when people act at the peak of their capacity. It may lead to high levels of performance, creativity and pleasure. Encompassing specificities of various domains, a large variety of enjoyable human activities share the same flow characteristics.”
- A “fulfilling, absorbing experience of merging action and awareness.”
According to Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi: goals met by challenges and skills to address them with feedback; concentration; reduction in self-consciousness, producing gratification in the activity itself, not its rewards our results
What are the ingredients of flow?
According to Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi emphasizing the development of the autotelic self
- Set goals (and feedback)
- Immersion in the activity–”Concentration is so intense that there is no attention left over to think about anything irrelevant or to worry about problems”
- Attention to what is happening–”Self-consciousness disappears, and the sense of time becomes distorted”
- Enjoying immediate experience (outcome)–”An activity that is so gratifying that people are willing to do it for its own sake”
(1) balance between perceived challenges and perceived skills,
(2) clear proximal goals,
(3) immediate feedback,
(4) intrinsic motivation,
(5) hyper focus,
(6) temporary loss of reflective self- awareness,
(7) distortion of time-perception,
(8) feeling of control, and
(9) merging of action and awareness
- The Flow Engine Framework was developed because of the vagueness of the topic. Here is the outline of the framework
- (1) the skill-challenge balance,
- (2) clear proximal goals and immediate feedback.
- Core processes rely on two key cognitive processes that are: (1) attention, and (2) motivation.
- The attentional component is composed of two sub-components: automatic attention –referring to implicit investment in the task, and executive attention – referring to explicit intervention of executive control.
- The automatic attention in running is developed through our neuromuscular work. We rehearse race day in time trials.
- Executive attention would be inserting your will on a race. Perhaps this is when your body is hurting and you are intuitive enough about your abilities to continue to apply pressure.
- Finally, outputs consist of three sets of flow outcomes: (1) subjective experience of absorption, (2) task achievements, the fruits of invested effort, and (3) positive affects
verywellmind.com , “Imagine for a moment that you are running a race. Your attention is focused on the movements of your body, the power of your muscles, the force of your lungs, and the feel of the street beneath your feet. You are living in the moment, utterly absorbed in the present activity. Time seems to fall away. You are tired, but you barely notice. This is an example of a flow state.”
Why is this hard to achieve?
Presently, it is progressively harder than ever before
- Immediate gratification
- Constant comparison (real self vs. artificial other)
Long term goals that are not proximal and not within our control.
- “Clear proximal goals allow certain cognitive and conative unburdening to the person so that his or her emergent long-term goals do not encumber her or his consciousness while doing the task. Ergo, these small proximal goals are indirectly related to the motivational process as well.”
- Advice: Have proximal goals.
- Intrinsic motivation means being motivated for an activity purely for the sake of that activity itself. Extrinsic- outside results based (time, qualifications, place…).
For Runners specifically:
- Exercise: “If I get hurt 3 weeks before my goal race, does it make my season a waste of time?”
- Often unstructured and unproductive feedback
- Focus on self and not the activity
- Looking to enjoy associated facets not the thing itself (I run to be with friends, or I like the alone time, or to get fit or to be healthy… but what about running itself?)
WORLD OF RUNNING
Dan O Third in AG at the Dirty Duel
#1. BAA Half
- Men’s winner was Geoffrey Koech in a time of 62:02.
- The women’s winner was Viola Chepngeno in a time of 70:40.
- Previous podcast guest Zouhair Talbi was 3rd place to claim a podium spot with a time of 1:02:15
- Teshome Mekonen, the Ethiopian-born 60:02 half marathoner who only received his US citizenship in August, was the top American in either race as he finished 4th in 62:28 after hanging with the leaders through 11 miles.
- Erika Kemp was the top American woman in 7th with a time of 72:13.
- Molly Huddle returned from the birth of her child, running her first half marathon in a strong 12th place finish and time of 73:29.
#2. A Glimpse at Lizzie Bird’s Training
- Lizzie Bird holds the British Steeplechase record of 9:07.87
- She attributes her success to consistent training, no injuries. She has built year over year in volume.
- 50-60 mpw in her “off season” with a medium long and a long run.
#3. US Olympic Trials Marathon to be held in Orlando
- Feb 3, 2024
- While it’s usually quite humid, it will be much more flat than Atlanta.
- The qualifying standards for the 2024 Trials are 63:00/2:18:00 for men and 72:00/2:37:00 for women.
- World Athletics still has not announced the Olympic qualifying standards.