Over the course of a year, I have a goal to interview as many listeners of the show as possible.
It made sense to start with the man that may be the person that is ultimately responsible for the whole idea.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Brain Walker while diving a little deeper into his story.
Brian Walker dabbled in track when he was younger, but once he reached high school he primarily focused on soccer.
Running and eventually biking were a means to an end for Brian.
He quickly realized that when he ran and biked consistently, he performed better on the soccer field.
Brian continued to stay active throughout college and beyond.
While in his early twenties, Brian came across a cycling event through the company he was currently working for.
The event offered various distances and Brian completed the 50 mile distance two years in a row.
The third year he chose to challenge himself and signed up for the 75 mile race.
Upon finishing the event, Brian found that it was the first time he was ever truly spent physically after a race.
A Seed Was Planted
A seed was planted in Brian once he experienced what it was like to truly push himself and “empty his tank” during a race.
Brian then challenged himself by running the “Around the Bay” 30k road race, a distance he had never attempted previously.
Leading up to the race, Brian didn’t follow a structured training plan and paid for it during the last 5k of the race.
From that point on Brian realized the value and importance of following a plan.
Though he was more prepared from a physical standpoint for future races, he struggled with the mental aspect.
Brian had a goal of running a marathon in under 4 hours and the training had went well overall.
It was during that race that Brian experienced immense anxiety from the very beginning which in turn negatively impacted his results.
Negative Feedback Loop
For as long as Brian can remember, he has always had some form of anxiety and depression.
Along with physically training, Brian realized he also had to work on his mental game.
Brian came to the realization early on that the only person that cared about his race results was himself which took some of the pressure off.
Some strategies that worked for Brian to manage race anxiety are:
- Stay focused during the race.
- Break the distance into manageable chunks.
- Talk positive to yourself during the race.
Controlling anxiety is also linked to self care.
Brian goes back to the basics when it comes to caring for himself.
Some ways he does that is by getting good quality sleep, finding ways to relax, ingesting less caffeine, and taking the time to breathe.
Brian emphasized not being afraid to reach out for help and researching the many resources that are available.
Brian is naturally introverted which may be one of the reasons he was drawn to the sport of running.
This year has admittedly involved more solo runs than usual due to the pandemic, but due to Brian’s nature he has adjusted easier than most.
Brian doesn’t need a race to focus on and is perfectly content running for fun.
Running has taught Brian many lessons over the years.
He isn’t afraid to try new things and has learned how to push forward even when things get hard.
You never know what you’re capable of until you try.
Once you accomplish something it can never be taken away from you.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Around the Bay Road Race
- Blue Nose Marathon
- Heart & Stroke
- “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds. Book by David Goggins.
Stay connected with Brian Walker by following him on Twitter.
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