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Tip: Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? Why runners should care? - NikeRunning.com

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NikeTF.com - Nike High School Track and Field   Jun 5th 2012, 11:33pm

Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? Why runners should care?


A wise man once said, “You’ve gotta have faith.” Never is this more relevant than in the early stages of your running journey, race season or training program, when you might not have the speed, endurance or resilience that you’d hoped. This can be disappointing, especially if you’ve raced before with faster finishes. But you need to give yourself some weeks—maybe even months—of solid work, time for your body to get into the rhythm of stress and recovery (i.e. hard days of practice or meets followed by an easy day or two to recover), and, if you’re racing, a few meets to get into the flow of competition. Be patient. PRs will come, but only if you’re patient with your training.


Carol Dweck is a famous psychologist who has studied how humans view their abilities, such as intelligence or athletic ability. She has found that some people have a “fixed mindset,” where they view their abilities as fixed—i.e., you’re either born a fast runner or you’re not. Other people have a “growth mindset” where they believe their abilities can improve. 


One of Dweck’s findings is that when it comes to failure, people with the fixed mindset get really upset because they think they can’t do anything about it. But those with a growth mindset aren't as discouraged by failure because they have the confidence that they can grow and evolve and, at some later date, have a different experience. 


My point with all of this is that you need to have faith that if you follow your training plan or do everything your coaches ask, if you are patient with your training and focus on becoming a better athlete, you’ll likely PR this year. So keep at it.


*Coach Jay's advice is provided as general training information. Use at your own risk. Always consult with your own heath care provider for questions relating to your specific training and nutrition.

Interested in Coach Jay's General Strength Videos and other training tips? Check out the Nike Running facebook notes section.

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And don't forget, if you have a training question for Coach Jay, email him here:coachjay@nike.com.

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