I’m not particularly driven or “cheered along” by catchy phrases or quotes while I’m running; thus, my “mantra” selection is usually limited to nil or a recurring 8-count.
That said, I picked up the acrostic in this picture while watching an great video about Brother Colm O’Connell and his coaching at St. Patrick’s High School in Iten, Kenya. This note has been sitting on my desk ever since.
If you’re a runner, the entire, 55-minute video is excellent (great lunchtime viewing.) O’Connell briefly shares about the FAST technique beginning at 5:34.
He doesn’t dive deeply into it; but, to me, it means:
- Focus: How is my concentration – in total and on the mile at hand?
- Alignment: How is my line, my posture?
- Stability: How is my balance – core and overall body?
- Timing: How is my tempo – my footstrike?
I have found that cycling through this acrostic keeps me in check and my mind occupied while running.
I still do the recurring 8-count though…I actually find it calming.
Oh, and I’ve been known to tell myself to “embrace the suck” as well…