Week 5 Maintaining10K

Training Your Mind

Hello runners and walkers! As we approach Week 5 of our Maintenance Program, we’ll shift our focus to the mental side of running. Running is not just about physical endurance; it also requires mental toughness and resilience. We’ll explore techniques for managing mental fatigue during long runs and introduce mindfulness practices that can enhance your overall running experience. Stay tuned for tips on staying focused, setting positive affirmations, and cultivating a strong mental game to conquer any challenges that come your way on the road or trail.

Happy running!
Janette Shearer
Online Communications Manager & Interim InTraining Coordinator

Discussing mental toughness and resilience in running.

This is a topic I could discuss for hours, as I’ve had my fair share of tough runs with the most recent being my 3rd Marathon completing the BMO on May 5th. Now a tough run doesn’t have to be a crazy long distance like a marathon, it can be a route that turned out a little too hilly, or maybe just a run that isn’t going as planned.

Sometimes knowing when to call it quits is the right thing and then there are times when you have to know when to dig in and just get it done! That’s where mental toughness and resilience comes in, along with in those moments, really knowing the difference between “I can’t” and “I don’t want to”.

The good news is that you do not have to be born with mental toughness. You can learn to be mentally tough through your running workouts every day. Each of us begins at a different starting point physically and mentally. We all have strengths that we can build upon.

Below are some suggestions for useful behaviors that will make a difference in the way you train and race.

1. Create your toughness mindset

The mind and body are so well connected that to achieve a good outcome, you need to have the proper toughness mindset. The right internal state must be created first. Once you feel right inside, a quality performance can occur naturally and effortlessly. The appropriate internal state can bridge the gap between what you think you can accomplish and what you actually achieve. It can make the difference between just having the ability and realizing your true potential.

2. Build a mentally tough outlook

Direct your focus to what is possible, to what can happen, toward success. Instead of complaining about the weather or criticizing the competition, only attend to things you can control: Your thoughts, emotions, training form, and how you perceive each situation. What can do you control over?

3. Create a relaxed focus

To be more mentally tough, work toward maintaining your concentration for longer periods of time. You can tune into what is critical to your performance and tune out what is not. You can easily let go of distractions and take control of your attention. As you focus more on the direct task in front of you (your stride form, how you are feeling, etc.), there will be less room for the negative thoughts to enter your mind during your running training. You’ll be mentally strong under any conditions.

4. Get yourself a mantra and repeat it as often as needed..here are some examples.

Try repeating these mantras to be mentally tough before your next event:

I stay positive and mentally tough no matter what happens

I project confidence and energyI am in my element; I am fully engaged in my running

Focus on the moment, not the distance

I am strong and mentally focused

I can do this.

Managing mental fatigue during long runs.

Mindfulness practices for runners.

What Is Mindful Running?

With mindfulness being about bringing our attention back into the here and now, mindful running applies the same concept to our run.

Being mindful involves paying attention to our breath and physical sensations, as well as how our emotions and thought processes are responding. For runners, this means concentrating on the physical sensations that they are in control of. This includes their breath, but also their posture, gait, where they look or focus while running, and their overall form.

When we run, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with your pace, how far you’ve run, and how far you still have to go. Mindfulness helps runners keep the focus on the exact moment they’re in and brings their attention to the moment at hand.

Mindful Running brings together scientific research, expert analysis, and elite athlete contributions to reveal how relating to your mind, body, and surroundings in a new way can help you run longer and faster, as well as offer a boost to your overall mental, emotional, and physical health.

By applying mental fitness training to your running regime, you tap into a powerful mind-body connection that not only optimizes sporting performance, but also boosts happiness both on and off the running trails.

Devised with both the competitive and everyday runner in mind, Mackenzie L. Havey introduces an innovative, approachable, and authoritative guide designed to increase self-awareness, develop concentration, and improve endurance. Not only does this have the potential to translate into better running, it can also play a role in training you to endure life’s challenges with greater ease and find joy in all things big and small. Mindful Running is a total body and mind fitness regime.

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