Running has been described as a mental sport. While your body must be fit enough to run, when it comes to completing long distance runs or holding a hard pace in a race, it’s really your brain that plays the deciding role.
It always amazes me how easy it is for my brain to derail a race or a run. That constant voice in my head saying that I can’t do this or that I need to slow down. Even in races that I run as planned (or faster), that voice is present. The difference is that I’ve actively fought with that voice and won. I channel that feeling I have on a bad run and remind myself that I’ve felt worse. I tell myself that I can keep running.
I chant various mantras in my head:
- Suck it up, Buttercup.
- Run the mile you are in.
- Hell, run the block you are in.
- You can do this for now.
- But did you die?
- You can breathe when you are done.
- Relentless forward motion.
I often run races a bit undertrained. People tell me I do well with that because I have a good running base. Really though, I think I do well because I believe I can do it. I KNOW I can go the distance. And I’ll keep going until I finish. A little bit of stubborn goes a long ways too LOL.
How do you stay mentally strong in a run or race? Join us for Tuesdays on the Run and tell us.
Join us next week for a free week – link up any topic that’s running related. And then join us for the last Tuesday of the month and rate your running.