Monday, June 27, 2011

Winning Those Mental Games

Sometimes it’s the mental fatigue that breaks us down more quickly than the physical challenge of running. Try these tips to break through your next mental block:

~Take a drink. Bring an electrolyte drink with you on longer runs because the hydration and energy will give you the boost when you need it.

~Break down your workout into small bits and pieces. Can you last just 5 more minutes? Can you make it to the next stop sign? Set tiny goals and celebrate each accomplishment.

~Use positive self-talk. Are you doing the best you can? Are you in better shape than you were 2 months ago? Are you going to feel great today when your workout is done?

~Play games with your eyes. Squint. Change your focus. Look further ahead of you. How far ahead can you see?

~Occupy your mind. Count your breaths. Count your steps. What is your per-minute stride rate? How long does it take to run 1,000 steps?

~Clear your mind. Practice running “in the moment.” What does this feel like?

~Imagine. Imagine yourself running effortlessly. Imagine yourself running in a desired athletic event or on a favorite course or in an exotic destination. Pass imaginary competitors. Imagine yourself running with a purpose. Imagine your goal.

What are your favorite tricks for getting through those tough spots on your runs?

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