We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, it’s so great to see so many of you lacing up and hitting the roads. The good weather has helped, as has a slight limitation in other activities, but it seems so many of you are finally seeing the good in running, as opposed to assuming it’s simply a monotonous way to make more room for cake.
Like us, we see many of you making moves towards the bigger distances. As you do, it’s likely you’ll start to suffer more mentally as well as physically, the latter being so especially if you haven’t taken the time to get there but that’s a rant for another time.
The mental block is something so many of you have mentioned. Running is as much a mind game as the next physically demanding activity and if you don’t know how to deal with it, it can be one that puts you a stop in your strides. We, sadly don’t have the answer for everyone, nor do we have the magic pill but what we can share is a few tips and tricks we’ve learned during the time we’ve spent striding.
Break your Run Down
It doesn’t matter if it’s 5km or 100km, break it down into segments. We usually opt for quarters, as it’s a pretty quick progression to halfway which for us is the one that really ticks the mental game box. We find it much easier to check off the little distances along the way, rather than having to hit the big hill all at once. If quarters doesn’t work for you, why not try miles, kilometres or minutes?
That’s right, it’s time to ditch the negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones. If you start with a bad attitude, it’s unlikely you’ll shake it. Yes, these not so optimistic thoughts will come and go, but try to let them go just as quickly as they arrive. Keep your internal dialogue positive.
Say No to Negativity
In a similar suit to the last one, ditch anything negative that’s going on inside your head. Leave your life stress at the door. Let this run clear your head as well as benefit your body. Focus on the good stuff, being outside, nature spotting, and recognising how incredible your body really is.
Get a go-to Song Ready
This one is one of our favourites. Pick a power song, for us it’s Omi – Cheerleader. We always have it ready for a tough run section or for our final interval. Once that song comes on we’re singing, striding and long gone are any of the negative thoughts.
Play a Game
This one is a Luke Tyburski special. Whilst running to Birmingham we played the ‘build your favourite meal game’ which does exactly what it says on the tin. Whilst you run, build the meal you want when you’re done and go into every detail you can. We’re talking about types of cheese, how you’ll make the pesto and how thick cut the ham. We went for a ‘Ham, Cheese and Pesto Panini’ and let us tell you it was totally delicious. You can also play with ‘building your perfect house if you have endless money’. Yes, there were a LOT of dogs at ours.
So hopefully, there are a few tips there to help you bust through the blocks that often head for the mind during a run. We hope they are helpful, and if you know any we haven’t mentioned, let us know!