Create the Mental Strength to Run Continuously

This is the most demanding training phase in your program. And, for many of you, it will be the hardest you have ever pushed yourself both mentally and physically.  This is the time in your program when you begin to understand the psychological demands of distance training.  Whether it’s during a demanding training run or in the hours leading up to your weekly long run, it’s sometimes difficult to be positive and optimistic.  Training your mind for the demands of your event is equally important to training your body.  The following are a few tools to help you to mentally prepare yourself for the rigors of distance running: 


  • It helps to have camaraderie of a group… the loneliness of the long-distance runner is very true.  A run clinic or group of friends to share the run with gives you the company to chat and pass the time and work through the time out there together. 
  • Take a break from the pavement or asphalt.  Vary the terrain and try to find some grass or trails.  It will help prevent unnecessary aches or pains by giving the body a break from the impact. Consider finding a new route:  it’s motivating to find a new place to run: a park or trail system you’ve never been to before.  
  • Deep water running is great especially if you’re experiencing sore muscles or extreme fatigue.  Pool or water running can be strength building as well as therapeutic.  Ask SportMedBC for details, but essentially it is keeping your body afloat in the deep end of a pool by utilizing a running action with your arms and legs. Wear a flotation belt if it’s not familiar to you and enjoy the effects of the water on your body. 
  • Spinning on an indoor bike or utilizing an elliptical trainer at a gym are also good forms of cross training that will continue to train your inner engine and build strength without the impact.


Lynn Kanuka
Lynn Kanuka is SportMedBC’s RunWalk Coach. Lynn is perhaps best known for her 3,000 metre bronze medal win at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Lynn's passion for over 20 years has been to inspire people of all ages and ability levels through physical fitness; to take steps toward better health, achieve personal goals, and be active and happy.