Daily Blog

You Can Do Anything For 3 Minutes

 Kristen Rohde shown placing 9th at the 2015 USATF Club XC Championships. (Photo:  Michael Scott )

Kristen Rohde shown placing 9th at the 2015 USATF Club XC Championships. (Photo: Michael Scott)

Today's daily blog is a guest post from my wife, Kristen Rohde. Enjoy! // jm

The mind is a powerful instrument. It can either support and enhance your efforts, or hinder you, sometimes to crippling effect. But when used positively in a race, victory is achievable. 

I was lucky to have a coach who was educated and supportive of our physical conditioning as well as our mental preparation early in my running career. When I was a freshman he was a new coach at my school plus most of my friends and I were new to running, so it was a good match from day one.

Our cross country team accepted his teachings of concurrently prepping both the body and mind for race day. He was the first coach to expose me to mental imagery and mantras. These were very powerful devices for me and fostered a lifetime of positive racing habits. Looking back, I cannot believe my good fortune. 

Before the conference meet my freshman year, he gave us a lesson I'll never forget. The teaching used a simple construct to transmit a powerful truth. It works. And is a practice I still employ over half a lifetime later.

That day he said but seven words to us, "you can do anything for 3 minutes." That is it. Three minutes. He was right.

Three minutes is a very short amount of time. You can brush your teeth, poach an egg, or change over laundry in the span of three minutes. It's not much. But sometimes when you are in the trying moments of a race, three minutes can seem like a lifetime. But that is the point, it is supposed to be hard. Dreams don't come true on their own. In fact, almost most races from the mile and up comes down to the final three minutes.

For me, this mantra was perfect for the 5,000m distance we competed over in cross country. And just as our coach told us, when the race got extra tough, we usually had about 3 minutes left. With this mantra, I was able to race those 3 minutes instead of merely survive them. 

Throughout high school, this phrase was the one I repeated in my head during while racing. Many of my teammates took to it too. When the competition got tough, everyone on our team knew that we were stronger than opposing runners. Especially during championship races, where the racing results mattered most. 

With the help of this mantra our humble team of small town, country girls won the Washington high school state XC title three years in a row. I credit the three-peat to our collective mental strength and believing in our own and each other's abilities. And of course, knowing full well we could do anything for 3 minutes.


Thank you. | Kristen Rohde

Jonathan Marcus