5 tips for building mental strength for running

If you’re reading this I’m sure you have gone for a run at some point, and we both know that after a few steps, it gets harder to take the next few steps. In today’s post, we’re gonna talk about 5 tips for building mental strength for running.

I came across a saying (not sure where) proclaiming, “Running is a mental sport. We’re all insane!” While it may elicit a chuckle, the essence of the statement holds. Whether you’re clocking miles on the treadmill, embarking on a long run, or challenging yourself in a race, there are moments when the mental battle seems insurmountable.

We’ve all heard the mantra, “Mind over matter,” but putting it into practice is easier said than done. To conquer the mental challenges of running, you need a well-devised action plan.

Here are some mental running tricks to help you power through those tough patches:

5 tips for building mental strength for running

5 Tips for Building Mental Strength for Running

1. Embrace Mantra:

Select a short, motivational phrase that resonates with you and repeat it, either silently or aloud, during your run. Mantras prove invaluable when facing discomfort during a race or tackling a daunting hill. For example, try “Dig deep”, (mine is “almost there…)” to keep your spirits high.

2. Stride Countdown Distraction:

Sometimes, a simple distraction like counting can work wonders. Monitor how many times one foot hits the ground in a minute, aiming for an efficient stride count of 180 steps per minute. It doesn’t have to be your strides, it could be anything you see as you run. The point is to challenge yourself to improve your efficiency with each count.  What this does is distract your mind from the fact that you’re on a run, and give some extra miles before your brain realizes you’re on a run.

 3. Positive Self-Talk:

Swap negative thoughts for positive affirmations. Break away from a downward spiral by convincing yourself that you feel good, even when the going gets tough. “Yes!! You can do this! You got two legs like every other person. They are not better than you! I am a winner, I must get there!” These are all the things I say to myself when it feels like it’s getting tough. And of course, it does get tough. Learn to fuel yourself up with positive talk. 

4. Visualize Your Reward:

Envision the treat awaiting you post-run – whether it’s a refreshing smoothie, a rejuvenating nap, or a delightful dinner. The prospect of a reward can be a powerful motivator during challenging moments. Seek inspiration for post-run treats to fuel your imagination. The prospect of such a reward serves as more than a mere treat; it transforms into a potent motivator during the most demanding stretches of your run. As your feet pound the pavement and the miles stretch ahead, the mental image of that post-run delight becomes a beacon, guiding you through the tough patches.

5. The “This Could Be Worse” Mentality:

During a difficult mile, shift your perspective by considering activities that are less desirable than running, such as a dentist visit(with excruciating tooth pain )or toilet cleaning. Reflect on times when you couldn’t run, appreciating the joy of feeling your feet hit the pavement. Before you know it, the discomfort fades, and gratitude for the opportunity to run takes over.

5 tips for building mental strength for running

5 Tips

On How to Build Mental Strength for Running

“Running is a mental sport. We’re all insane!”

In conclusion

Remember, running is not just a physical pursuit, it’s a mental sport that demands resilience, positivity, and a well-prepared mindset. As you lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement, embrace the challenges as opportunities for growth. The ability to navigate the mental intricacies of running not only enhances your performance but also deepens your connection with yourself. So, let these strategies be your allies, helping you conquer those mental barriers, and let the rhythm of your footsteps make you stronger and propel you toward your goals. Happy running!

Stay fit, stay healthy!!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *