5 Tips For Winning the Mental Fight
We all hear how running is a mental game, and this is definitely the case. The mental battle is always there. Some days it is a struggle to find the motivation to get out there to do your long runs, and these are the days you need to dig deep, these are the days you build your mental toughness.
Running is 90% mental, 10% physical. Here are my tips on getting through the mental barrier and preparing yourself to win the mental fight.
- BREAK UP YOUR LONG RUNS –Break up your long runs into segments. For example, if I am running a 25km long run I will break it down to Parkruns. That’s only 5 Parkruns. Each Parkrun I complete I tick off in my head until I only have one more Parkrun to complete. This will make the time go a lot quicker, and the distance seem less daunting.
- JOIN A RUNNING CLUB – This will help keep you motivated. The encouragement you get from other runners in the club will help keep you on track. The routine helps and running regularly in a club will also keep things interesting for you. You are less likely to get bored. And you will see some great improvements in your running.
- RUN WITH FRIENDS OFTEN – Early morning runs are sometimes difficult, especially in winter. Somehow when you have planned runs with friends it doesn’t seem as hard. The same goes for the evenings. The training run will go so much quicker and there is nothing more motivating than catching a runrise or runset. Runchats with good friends are a must!
- DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT THE BAD RUNS – We all have them. The runs where you just can’t seem to find your rhythm or pace, and it feels like you are getting slower. I always have some of those when I am training for a marathon. Then the self-doubt creeps in - I can tell you now that every time I have had one of those crappy runs it is almost always followed by an awesome one within the week. The trick is to put it behind you. Acknowledge it, accept it, and move on.. Put it behind you and don’t dwell on it for too long.
- STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS – This is so easy to do especially if you spend so much time on social media like I do. It is easy to get caught up in what other people are doing and before you know it their goals become yours. You try to run at their pace or wonder why you aren’t running 100km weeks every single week.. This will do nothing for your confidence. Run your own runs.