Lore of Running

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Lore of Running

Postby Eric » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:36 pm

This classic book, "Lore of Running", has been popular for decades among athletes. But the key chapter "Training the Mind" shows you how much of the race takes place in your mind, not your feet. I've been using this book in my training.
Author Tim Noakes blends the expertise of a physician and research scientist with the passion of a dedicated runner to answer the most pressing questions for those who are serious about the sport:

But what if you are hunting for the Job?
Here's how this book can affect positively:

Goal setting

You need to judge yourself and your competitive ability accurately. Is this the right job for you? Do you have the right experience and capabilities? Are there competitive candidates that have advantages and weaknesses compared to you?

Marc's newsletter three weeks ago mentioned "Scout", our tool for helping you to understand yourself relative to the competition. I would recommend that you use Scout to determine if your years of experience, background, and skills, match up with what other applicants are doing.

And then use that information to set your goals appropriately.


Rather than experience each part of the job search as it occurs, it is helpful for you to visualize the entire race before it happens. In the same way that Sir Roger Bannister had to visualize his race to break the four-minute mile, you'll need to think through all the parts of your job race.

What types of companies have the job that you're looking for? What type of job are you unlikely to be the best candidate for? And for what type of job are you likely to be the best? How will you ask your friends for help along the way?

In addition to the big picture, you should break down each part of the job search. For example, you may visualize interviews this way:

What questions are interviewers likely to ask you? When they say another candidate has more relevant experience, what type of experience is that likely to be? What will be your reply to that? When they ask you how you can contribute in the first six months, what will your answer be?

And so forth. It's important for your success that you not be surprised by the surprising question, that you not be sidetracked by the distracting but unlikely job. In short, it's important that you visualize your success ahead of time, and stick to it.

Control emotion

The job search has downs and ups and downs and ups and downs. As the search gets tough, do not let your 'evil' or 'weak' voice deflate you and cause you to quit the race.

Alex is fighting his 'evil' voice as he winds down the Hudson River during the New York City Ironman.

Your body, your ego, have a way of protecting you -- by convincing you to not do anything more strenuous than lying around all day. That was fine for our caveman ancestors but if you actually want to achieve anything, or just pay off the mortgage, you need to defeat those voices.

In the same way that Allen overcame his defeatist voices in his attempt to win his 6th Ironman championship, you need to overcome the voices that will inevitably arise telling you that you have no chance, you're reaching too far, and that you're not good enough.

Control excitement

Similarly, you need to control your excitement. Finding your job requires achieving an optimal anxiety level. Not no anxiety. Not debilitating anxiety. The right level of anxiety.

To tell the truth, with the high-achieving people this is most often the difficulty that subscribers like you run into. Early success makes you too optimistic.

Like a race, small successes or advantages during the job search can lead to elation. You got the interview. You had a great answer. You got called back.

The positive feedback can feel so good that it causes you to get very excited. And when you are very excited, you are in danger of losing.

You can become over-optimistic about your chances, or you can over-estimate your abilities relative to the competition.

And that can cause you to slow down...

To miss the other job postings on TheLadders that might have been a fit.

To decline a third round interview at another company because you think another job is "in the bag".

To be too relaxed during the final interview with your future boss.

These mistakes are easily preventable if you manage your excitement.

Maximizing performance

Adapting the advice for performing well during the job search is equally straight-forward:

Dominate from the start: be the first to apply to the right job. And make sure you network with your peers to find your way in.

Allow for the unexpected: as mentioned last week, the industry in which you are an expert may suddenly disappear. Be prepared to be adaptable.

Stay focused: the job search takes 3 to 6 months. It's a long time. You'll need to practice keeping yourself focused.

Give maximum effort regardless of the result: you never know when you've mis-calculated the likelihood of winning a race or getting a job. Sometimes the competitor falters, the road shortens, and you catch a lucky break. Be prepared to take advantage of good fortune by never giving up.

If you do all of the above, you should perform to expectations, and find yourself with the job you wanted.

Again, you can find the whole chapter "Training the Mind" here.

I will see you at the finish line! - Alex"

Thank you so much Alex for sharing those insights.

Good luck, Readers, and have a wonderful President's Day!

"The best social program is a good job,"
President Ronald Reagan
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