Cultivating optimism and self-belief through visualisation.


There are quite a few us Operation Movers training for events at the moment (woo hoo!).  We are starting to get into the peak training period about 8 weeks out where we are doing quite high mileage at increasing intensity.

Some days it’s going to feel hard to get those shoes on and get out the door, despite knowing that we are going to feel great once we are out there and it’s done.

This got me thinking about what tools and strategies we can use when our training runs get harder and our inner Negative Nancy might start planting doubts in our heads.

One of these strategies is visualisation, or creative visualisation.

You might like to start practicing a visualisation whilst on your runs, or even just on your long runs if you are training for a longer event.  It serves as a bit of a distraction if that’s what you need at that time and also cultivates optimism and self-belief at the same time. To do it, get into your run as usual (I like to save it for when I am starting to labour a bit, but it’s up to you).

Imagine you are waiting for the race to start.

What can you hear?

What can you see?  Who can you see?

What can you smell?

What do you feel in your chest, your legs, your face?

Imagine the starter’s gun going off. You start to run.

What can you hear?

What can you see?

What can you smell?

What do you feel in your body?

Now, imagine approaching the finish line and crossing it.

Again, what can you hear?

What can you see?

What can you smell?

What do you feel in your body?

As you practice this technique you can add lots of detail to it.

Some people might even like to imagine their goal race time on the clock as cross the finish line, but that’s totally optional. You can also practice this when you aren’t running.


Is this a technique you think you could use?

Or do you do something like this yourself already?

Let us know!


Lee is a specialist mindset and well-being coach. She loves to support people to thrive through her coaching practice and course, Operation Flourish.

Lee is also a social worker, a mum to a preppie and a pre-schooler, a partner to a Tigers supporter and a one-time marathoner (Melbourne 2013), who’s starting to think about marathon number two.


Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. love this Lee! I've used this a few times when I'm absolutely knackered and want to push for a strong finish on a long training run. It can be so powerful - warning, there could be tears (or maybe that's just me) x

    • There are often tears for me when I am running. It took me a while to work out that it's actually joy. x

  2. Love this! I was doing this all the time in my training last year, who knew it had a fancy name!? And Em you are definitely not alone with the tears when imagining that finish line!

    • There's a fancy name for pretty much everything Micki! It's a great strategy for many things, including child birth! x