These two sports psychologists may have different areas they focus on, but they both love to run; Dr Helen Lane and Professor Andy Lane both race marathons, have run over 200 parkruns and even enjoy ultra marathons. This means they get the running struggles we go through and how important the mental side of training the mind is to racing well. Helen and Andy have both worked with professional athletes to help them reach their potential, as well as teaching runners psychological skills training techniques such as imagery, anxiety regulation, and emotion

If you love learning more about the mind, and how we can learn to handle the negative thoughts that go through our mind when we are in the hard part of a race, you will love this husband and wife episode, where there is a lot of humor and fast talking British and New Zealand accents, be ready to listen, and be ready to learn!

Today’s Guests

Dr Helen Lane has a PhD in attitudes to eating among exercisers. She has authored several
articles including the commonly used measure of mood called the The Brunel Mood Scale and a
version of the Eating Attitude Test.

Andy Lane has a PhD and is BASES accredited sport and exercise scientist, a fellow of BASES,
Chartered by the British Psychological Society, and a psychologist registered with the Health
Professionals Council.

What you will learn about:

  • How Helen and Andy met, and if they psychoanalyze one another
  • What Andy has learned in the 100 peer reviewed journal articles he has worked on
  • The powerful impact of sad or depressed thoughts and how it can really affect your ability to run well
  • How important it is to go for a run if you are in a difficult period of your life
  • Why the fear of failure is not necessary a bad thing, and how to limit the pressure you feel for a race when you have told so many people you are going the race
  • Why you should have some kind of effort involved with you goals, rather than exclusively time goals
  • Why EVERYONE has a self confidence issue, and why knowing that makes us feel like we are not alone
  • How we are all connected emotionally to food, and guilt can be present even while we are eating food we enjoy
  • The relationship between food and performance, and how runners can be affected by a need to be thin
  • The strategies to use to get through the hardest parts of the race, including imagery of a runner you admire (really interesting!)
  • Running with music can actually help you run faster if you find the right rhythm
  • What to do if you have a bad race; how jumping in another race COULD be a good idea, in the right circumstance
  • Why having a break after a great race will help you to reassess and think up a new goal, if you go back into it without much rest, you are going to struggle

Listen to the Running for Real Podcast here:

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Inspirational Quotes:

You get trapped in the event. You might be the expert, but you are still trapped in the event. You do need to hold back when you are giving advice out, and it is difficult to take advice as well, no matter how well intended it is.-Andy Lane

A small mark of depression can lead to all sorts of devastating or negative results that go on from that.-Andy Lane

Everybody needs a bag of tricks to identify and use in the dark moments.-Andy Lane

Your emotions are evolutionary functions to tell you what is important- Andy Lane

Human beings are competitive, so we have competed with ourself by saying that (a time we want), so we can easily think we are failures.-Helen Lane

Everyone underneath has an underlining self esteem issue, they are not confident in all situations- Helen Lane

Everyone has a little bit of an emotional problem with eating; they eat when they are stressed, bored, not when they are hungry, overeat in social settings…we all have this awareness with food, almost a preoccupation with food.-Helen Lane

If I look at social media, I would not know what to eat.- Andy Lane

If you want to find an angry person, find a hungry person!- Andy Lane

Rethink what fatigue means. Fatigue is an indicator you are working hard. It is not to be feared, it is accepting that you are working hard.- Andy Lane

It is very difficult to get from the very highs and maintain those highs, it’s unlikely you are going to have another Olympic Gold Medal winning moment two months after.-Andy Lane


Last week’s episode with Dean Karnazes

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Andy on Twitter

Helen on Twitter

Winning Lane website (lots of videos to watch!)

Winning Lane Blog

Eating Attitude Test

Chrissie Wellington interview

Paul Sinton Hewitt interview

Check out the Running for Real Podcast Series, sponsoring this episode today:

Thanks for Listening! I hope you enjoyed today’s episode.

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Thank you to Helen and Andy, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.

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