Mental Running-Getting Your Head in the Game FeaturedWritten by nikki sims
Running is just as much mental as physical; I tested this theory at the last race I ran. By the time I arrived at the race venue, I was a big bundle of nerves. When the race started my mouth was so dry it was sticking together, cotton mouth isn't fun during a race; I also had to stop and walk at one point because of nausea, again, not fun. Although I came in with my best time yet, it was one of the hardest runs I have run lately ( with the exception of the infamous Quasimodo run; see Good Days and Bad Days). The physical was hard because my mental was off. I run everyday; it isn't new to me, so why do I get so nervous before races? Because, it is a "race", and we enter races to win them, right? Sure; but we shouldn't focus on the win. It isn't about winning, it is about running. Since that day, I have decided not to let myself get bogged down with nerves; it is just running, it's what I do. This is my new mantra, "it is just running, it's what I do". When I have "lead legs", I say this to myself. When I don't want to get off the couch, I say it. Anytime I can't get my head in the game, I say it. This helps me, it gets me going.
If mantras aren't your thing , there are other ways to get through a tough run. Whether it is your first mile or your first marathon, setting small goals for yourself will help. Talk yourself through it, tell youself that you CAN make it to the next telephone pole, or the next mile marker. Sometimes headphones can help; it is personal preference on what you listen to. It can be your favorite music, a favorite book (this is really good for long runs), or even something inspirational or motivational. Another good way to get through a tough run is to get a group of friends together. It is always easier with a little help from good friends. Whether you decide on a mantra, a self-pep talk, headphones, group runs, or all of the above, just remember that while the physical is a big part of running, so is the mental. The mind has to be prepared for the run, just like the run prepares the body for the next run, or race. Mind over matter. I think I like The Runner's Book of Daily Inspirations' Kevin Nelson's way the best, " Free your mind, and your feet will follow."
Hello, my name is Nikki. I am a stay at home mom and a running mom. I have been staying home with my children for ten years, and I have been running, on and off, for around seven years. My running is now in the on position, and has been for about two years. Being a homemaker puts my focus mainly on my family...that is where running enters my life. Running is my "me time", my freedom, and I cherish every minute of it.
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Thursday, 25 March 2010 15:36
posted by Lilliana Howell
I just started running again after being off for more than a year. I am alot heavier than what I was too. I have lead legs all the time, and my mind is always telling me I have to stop. I really think it is my mind all the time!! My legs feel heavy because I think they are. I really want to get motivated while I run and just nothing seems to work. Now I realize I need to work on me before I take one more step:-)
Saturday, 13 March 2010 00:52
So true... sometimes, I'm even convinced it's MORE mental than physical. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.