Running is so much a mental sport. It can be just as important to train the mental part as the physical part. Putting a ton of pressure on a goal or specific paces can cause us to under perform because the pressure is too high!
Here are 4 tips to incorporate into your mental training:
1- Ignore the garmin
Pace based on how you are feeling instead of having the garmin dictate how you should feel at “x” pace. It is good to be internally focused on how you are feeling rather than externally focused on your garmin data. A few decades ago, garmins did not exist. Sometimes it is better to cover your watch. Your body is the best judge of pace.
Starring at your garmin during a race or workout can also cause a runner to ‘surge’ the pace. You might read a pace slightly slower then you want, so you speed up. Then your pace is slightly faster. These ‘surges’ will lead to a decrease in energy and performance. Let your body do it’s thing & check the garmin data after the race or workout 🙂
2- Training Smart- Make Adjustments
Anytime you go on out the door, be ready and confident to give your best effort. Giving your best effort does not always mean leaving everything out there every day. The two biggest focuses here are:
1- Training Smart
2- Digging deep when it counts
Some days our paces feel effortless. Somedays they feel harder. Ignore your garmin and put forth your best effort.
Other days, something might be ‘every off’. When you recognize that things are feeling ‘off’, you can adjust the plan accordingly early on. Instead of forcing yourself to hit “X” pace even when it feels wrong, you can modify by moving the workout to another day. Part of training smart is allowing your body time to rest and recover and not forcing yourself to grind through a workout just because it was ‘on the schedule’.
3- Positive Self Talk/Expecting it to be hard
Racing and workouts are NEVER supposed to be easy or feel easy. Nothing about racing is comfortable. When it hurts and you are in pain, embrace it & understand that you are strong. You are ready for the pain!
Every day you race/workout, you can look in the mirror and say “this is going to be a really hard run, but I can handle it“. Let yourself know it’s going to be hard! Set yourself up for success by expecting it to be hard. Sometimes when it starts to get hard, we panic and think “if this feels hard then how am I going to do XYZ”. Don’t overthink it. You are capable. If your mind starts to doubt, your body will be unable to perform. You cannot let your mind control your body. Body is much more capable than the mind allows it to be.
4- Read a Book/Self Reflect
What is really holding you back? Have you ever thought what is the event or reason for the negativity in your mind? I think we all have a different ‘dark place’ we go to in our minds when things get tough. Instead of letting that dark place victimize you, make it work for you. Use those negative events or ‘dark spots’ in your life/mind as fuel. Someone said something mean to you? Use it as fuel to show them how strong you are. Someone hurt you in your past? Take out your anger on your run!
If there is no enemy within the enemy outside can do you no harm.
1- You are a Bada$$
2- How bad do you want it
Hope these tips can help you can channel your inner strength