Alex Bell has had some amazing results under her belt recently – from winning the 800m at the Europe vs USA event back in September, to being a semi-finalist in the Worlds in Doha, to being part of the Gold winning relay team at the European Cross Country Championships.
One of Alex’s great strengths is her drive and positivity – even when a result hasn’t gone her way, she seems to be able to come back stronger than before. I asked her how she maintained momentum and stayed motivated – here are her five tips, useful for all types of running and levels of competition.
1. Write your goals down
Have a handful of things which you want to get out of your running & yourself as an athlete no matter how big or small you may think these are. I like to set a variety of targets and tier them from short term to long. It keeps your mindset fresh and having some form of Plan A, B and C gives you enough encouragement that even though you one target is out of reach right now, you can pave the way and create steppingstones towards the next goal.
2. Focus on you
It may sound selfish but to get the best version of yourself is to focus wholly on your body, your health, your happiness and positive mindset. Not a single one of these should be denied or neglected and you must really try and prioritise your self in making sure that you can say “I am” if somebody were to ask “Are you healthy, are you happy and do you have a positive outlook?”
To add, I really believe that you shouldn’t let the internet or social media fool you. The majority of the time what you see on such social platforms is a false representation of the reality. Keep it real and true to what you post.
3. Believe in yourself
Even when others count you out or you have days of doubt. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t, won’t or don’t. You can, you will & why not?!
4. Rest counts as training!
Don’t be afraid to take an easier session or an in scheduled rest day. I have always been a big believer of listening to the body and the mind and if you’re not feeling 100% or you do have a niggle… leave it. Surely you would much rather take a session off and get back to feeling good than a longer period of time off and potentially a longer term injury or illness?
5. Make time for yourself
You don’t have to eat, sleep, and breathe running to be great! Yes of course have structure and goals but being constantly fixated on the sport could make you go a little crazy! Make time for yourself, take days out, try something new to take your mind away from running.
Most jobs you would leave work at the office and running should be no different. When the session or the race is done, draw the line, rest, recover, revitalise and then go again when you need to.