How Charlie Grew to Love Hill Sprints

Once upon a time­­ there was this mum called Charlie. We’d just started the Newland Corner sessions. Which as many of you know involve hills. And sprints. Or even hill sprints…

This one time, Charlie was in a bit of a grump.

“I hate sprints. I hate hills. It’s so hard. I hate it…”

Now, if any of you know Charlie you’d be thinking… What? Charlie? But she’s so strong. And so fast…

And you’d be right… She is!

After this session, she and I had a little conversation, in which I suggested a little bit of homework to help change her mindset…

Since then Charlie has not missed a single Newlands Corner session. And once even declared “It’s my favourite session of the week.”

I’m not sure if Charlie would say she loves hill sprints right now. But she doesn’t hate them…

So What caused this magical transformation?” you might ask… But before we go there, let’s backtrack a little…

 

What’s Your Story?

We all carry bullshit stories around with us. Stuff that we’ve been telling ourselves (consciously or sub-consciously) for decades. These might range from:

  • I hate hills. I can’t run. I hate running.
  • I hate greens. I never eat greens. Greens are boring.
  • I can’t have just one biscuit. Once I start snacking I can’t stop. I can’t resist doughnuts / crisps / whatever…
  • I can lose weight, but I always put it back on again. I have no self-control…

I’ve got mine too: I hate 200m sprints, I can’t run into a headwind, I can’t resist Sainsbury’s American Snacks…

Note we might also be carrying good stories around with us too… That’s fine, of course. For the purposes of this, I’m talking about BS stories, stories that don’t serve us or our longer-term objectives…

The thing is, the more we say this stuff, the more we believe it. And if we’ve been saying it for a long time. Then guess what, it becomes part of our identity.

So, the first part of the puzzle is to identify these BS stories…

STEP 1. What are the BS things that you say to yourself?

Think of things you say or think that don’t serve your long-term goals? List them out…Think about areas such as food, fitness, exercise, sleep, lifestyle…

 

STEP 2. Recognise that these are BS stories.

You need to acknowledge that these stories are hindering your progress, holding you back and are not supporting your longer-term health or fitness goals.

For each of the stories you have listed, write down a reason you want to ditch this story…

 

STEP 3. Replace this story with a new positive story.

Think of an easy one-liner or a mantra. A story that DOES support your longer-term goals. Write it down.

 

And finally…

STEP 4. Change your story.

This is perhaps the hardest step. You need to convince your brain to let go of the old story. And embrace the new one.

Recognise when you’re feeding yourself a BS story. Be conscious about it. Then REPEAT your new mantra or your new story. Do it every time you hear yourself think a thought that is holding you back… Fake it. Until you make it. In the sense that the more you repeat it, the more you’ll believe it…

 

And back to Charlie. She went through this exact process and everyone who’s been to a Newlands session will know, she’s one of the strongest sprinters.

(As long as she’s had her morning cuppa tea… but that’s another “story”!)
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