I used to think visualising was a bunch of, and forgive me for saying this but, a bunch of mumbo jumbo…How is picturing something in my head, going to bear any consequences in the real wide world?
Loads. Loads dumbo….loads.
Consider me your brave guinea pig. I have tried and tested a conscious month of visualising (insert jazz hands) and the results will stick with me forever.
Can I run 1km in 6 minutes with the help of visualisation? The aim was to start with something I considered quite difficult but something I could quantify. For years, it has taken me over 8 minutes to run 1km. Now, this may seem small to you and maybe you’re as fast as beloved Kipchoge, but this has always been something I haven’t been able to overcome. No matter how hard I tried.
Then I heard Kipchoge say this in the Breaking 2 Documentary:
“Marathon is life, it’s not about the legs but it’s about the heart and mind”.
I can’t express why this resonated with me more than anything but it made something click. To get to 1km in 6 minutes, I had to see it before it happened and I had to sort of feel it too, before I actually accomplished it.
THE TOOLS: My mind and a few images. With the aid of my squidgy little mind, a few images from Google, my pre-run banana and visualising the lamp post 1km from my house, I began my experiment.
I started trying to picture myself: out of breath, at the lamp post and looking at my Garmin in amazement. I would do this every day for 2 minutes every morning before I meditated.
THE SCIENCE: As I became obsessed with making this work, I started reading up on how visualisation works. As a cognitive tool, visualisation allows us to couple things we dream of, with things that already exist in the physical world.
A prime example is Jim Carey and the infamous cheque he wrote out to himself. He carried this cheque with the intention of cashing it in one day. Simply writing the cheque isn’t enough, seeing it happen, working for it and allowing it to happen, is how this works.
In an old post from Psychology Today, I began to understand the magnitude of power that visualising can have. A one Dr Maciolek, would use visualisation techniques to help patients suffering from anxiety and depression.
Dr Maciolek would use “visualization to create “mental vacations.” This technique involves imagining a place that is calm and comforting. With one patient who suffered from severe anxiety, using pure visualization to imagine a serene vacation spot was almost impossible. With the aid of a concrete visual, a picture of the spot depicted on poster board, the image calmed the patient when she was feeling anxious.”
So with this information, I started looking at this photo.
THE RESULTS: It would be lovely to say I can run the 1km in 6 minutes. Everyone loves a happy ending and as I write this, I kinda wish I could tell you all that I can.
BUT, and a very big but. I’m very close. So very close.
So far, my fastest time is 6:46 min.
What do you think about visualisation?