As the leaders of the political parties butt heads for the next couple of weeks in the build up to these elections it’s funny how their campaigns share similarities with training and running a race . We could use the analogy of a five kilometre to describe the elections. Like running a road race you train and work hard and then your success is judged on your performance on one day. Leo Varadkar and his team warms up, confident that the work he and his party have done in the last 9 years will get him across the line first. But Michael Martin has been watching Leos “training” from the bushes and he is confident they haven’t put in the effort, he’s hoping we have all have forgotten their poor performance of the previous decade. Labour are wondering if they should even enter the race, maybe they should pull out with injury. They are having a bit of a mid -life crisis and carrying a bit of a pot belly. Eamonn Ryan and the greens cycle to the race after having breakfast in the happy pear restaurant and are running barefoot. Richard Boyd Barrett and his team “people before profit” want a fair race and are claiming they deserve a head start. The Healy – Raes may have no intention of running but they will fill in all the pot holes on the course and make sure the onlooking supporters are all fed and watered, in return for their vote. Mary Lou and her crew are cantankerous and argumentative, all elbows at the start line, pushing their way to the front but is there a chance they will blow up early in the race? But ultimately its Shane Ross, as he slaves over his goose in the kitchen, and the independent alliance that may hold the key to who wins this race.
Just like the way a person runs a 5Km race portrays a huge amount about their personality so does the way you conduct an election campaign. We tend to vote for the politicians with the personalities traits we value in ourselves (Koppensteiner and Stephan, 2014). There’s a number of things that reveal your personality – your handshake, eating habits, the way you roll toilet paper and how much you use, the music you chose to listen to, your email style, the nervous ticks and your punctuality. But the way they move may be the real insight into your souls! We each move differently from everyone else – faster, slower, heavier, smoother….. We all have a personal style in how we move through the world, this can be referred to as an individual motor signature and just like your fingerprint it is unique (Slowinski et al., 2016). ‘Everyone is different’, different personalities running in different ways and times and for different reasons. These differences are really important when it comes to running and sport because as an athlete it is important to understand the significance of personality types and its potential effect on training, injury and performance. Our personalities may play an important role in how receptive we are to running training plans. So I decided to take the “MYERS-BRIGGS PERSONALITY TYPE” test. The test has been around for years, and it’s one of the most utilised personality tests. Can that help you run smarter? Maybe you started running with a group of friends, but you secretly dread those group runs. You may prefer long solo morning runs rather than large group gallops. Maybe your training plan relies on heart rate data, and DATA but you often feel disheartened by numbers. This might be because the way you think you should be running is actually counter to your Myers-Briggs personality type. I thought I was probably introverted and laser focussed. So I decided to take the “MYERS-BRIGGS PERSONALITY TYPE” test and it turns out I am neither introverted or particularly goal orientated. I am apparently mildly extroverted and not for the most part goal driven. Apparently I may annoy others by making promises and then forgetting to follow through because I like move on to the next interesting thing. Maybe I should be a politician!
Koppensteiner, M. and Stephan, P. (2014) ‘Voting for a personality: Do first impressions and self-evaluations affect voting decisions?’, J Res Pers, 51(100), pp. 62-68.
Slowinski, P., Zhai, C., Alderisio, F., Salesse, R., Gueugnon, M., Marin, L., Bardy, B. G., di Bernardo, M. and Tsaneva-Atanasova, K. (2016) ‘Dynamic similarity promotes interpersonal coordination in joint action’, J R Soc Interface, 13(116).