Let’s face it; Running is a mind battle with your body. Your body needs to be conditioned to run long distances. However, your mind is present during all of your training sessions sneaking up on you at times and even attempting to thwart your running efforts. Knowing when your mind is interfering and what actions to take to suppress your mind’s voice comes with being a veteran runner.
Running requires motivation. Sometimes you’re not feeling up for a run, or your body might ache and be sore. I’ve been there as well as my body. When your mind starts telling you things like, “I’ll never be a runner” or “You will never run a half marathon,” you need to quell these thoughts by telling yourself things like “I’m a runner” and “I will finish a half marathon.” To get motivated I do one or all of these things:
1) put on my running equipment including, shoes, socks, shorts, and shirt
2) tell myself that I’m going to only run for 5 minutes or I’m going to run only 1 mile.
3) If #1 and #2 don’t work, I will call a running partner and ask if they want to go for a short run. Sometimes your running partner may very well be needing some motivation to get their runs in.
4) Shout at your mind to stop it. I would shout internally to your mind so that people don’t think that you’re crazy.
Sometimes during runs you’re having trouble breathing and you easily become winded. Several reasons your body can be winded could range from not enough sleep, over racing, hung over, or sick. When you become winded, your mind might very well be telling you something beneficial like, “You’re fatigued, slow down.” In this particular case, it would be a good idea to listen to your mind. If you feel winded you can do one of the following things:
1) slow down to a walking speed for several minutes
2) drink some water or a sports drink
3) attempt to normalize your breathing and control your breathing cadence (for a further discussion on breathing cadence please read Reason #18 located in my book, Why New Runners Fail: 26 Ulitmate Tips You Should Know Before You Start Running).