Long distance running is just one of those sports that can break you both physically and mentally. I always found it a challenge and I was always an admirer of the ability of the runners at the professional level to perform and test their bodies in extremely lengthy events. It seemed that they could hold my sprinting speed over kilometres.
In episode 64 of the podcast I was fortunate to interview one of the legends of Australian sport in Steve Moneghetti. If you grew up in the 1980’s and 90’s it was hard to ignore such an icon of the Commonwealth Games, Olympics and Sydney’s City to Surf.
His record speaks for its he Australia at 4 Olympics & Commonwealth Games which included a Commonwealth Gold, Silver & 2 Bronze Medals and he still holds the race record of the famous Sydney City to Surf
I had a dynamic conversation with Steve on a range of topics and picked his brain about the key tactics which made him such a great athlete.Listen to the entire episode on the player below or continue for my key learning points from our powerful chat.
Be open to change
“I only just made the Commonwealth Games qualifying time in 1986 which was the first team I went away on. It turns out 3 months before my coach Chris Warlaw saw a vacancy in the Men’s Marathon and asked Athletics Australia if they would let me run and chatted to me and said it’s was a great opportunity and said he’ll see what he could do to get me in the team & he got me in. As it turns out I was 5th in the 10K and having never run the marathon before I won the Bronze medal. The opportunity the Commonwealth Games gave me I’m forever grateful. It started my international career and made me an International athlete for 15 years”
Some great advice to be open to change even when we have been doing the same thing for years. Key trust in our inner circle is a critical factor with Steve showing trust in his coach and a great opportunity eventuated. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy and can stuck in our ways so a great point by Steve.
Focus on what you can control
“Opportunities came along when I focused on what I did. Have fun, keep it simple just run let other people make the big decisions. When people talk to me about being worried about selection, I say you just do the running and the selection will look after itself. If you run and focus that’s what you can control”
A critical advice to focus on what we can control. Our own mind can wonder to things such as our competition, the elements/conditions and we totally lose focus. Control what you can control and never lose focus.
Keep moving forward
“Generally you live in the moment with it being an individual event. I would sit down with my coach, physio and manager and probably do it in two stages (analysis). Straight after to get immediate effect, then 2 weeks later after time has passed. The positive or negative of it. Interestingly we didn’t dwell on it to much we would move on. Most of my marathons were pretty successful. So we’d say good we need to recover and look forward to the next opportunity. You take a bit of the experience on board some minor things we would do differently and implement those things into the next event. Just move forward what’s done is done”
Self analysis is a crucial tool that has come up time and time again in all my interviews. Steve shared his own successful formula and I think it hits a right tone. I feel from my conversations in this area we can continue to improve through self analysis and to keep it nice and simple so we don’t lose focus. This can also complement our last piece of advice with focus on our controllable.
To sum up the three key tactics from Steve:
1. Be open to change – opportunity may come knocking
2. Focus on what you can control
3. Keep moving forward don’t dwell on minor things
Some great advice from Steve in this episode I really loved the chat because he's just so positive and brings so much energy to the conversation.
With focus a key ingredient of our learning I wanted to keep today to 3 aspects to consider. However there was some great stories which you will love which includes his relationship with Robert De Castella, dealing with expectation, Olympic and Commonwealth game highlights, race strategy, training insights and a guide to preparing for the Sydney City to Surf. Check out the full episode below:
Be sure to continue to follow Steve on his journey.
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