Mental tricks for runners

Sometimes a run feels hard from the start—maybe you didn’t sleep well the night before or you’ve had a stressful day at work. Other times, the difficulty sneaks up on you. Things started out okay, but now you’re barely halfway through and are already ready to call it quits. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. The next time you’re having a less than awesome run, call on one of these tried and true strategies, and there’s a good chance you’ll make it to the finish.

Repeat a Mantra

It’s a good idea to have a few of these in your back pocket for difficult days. Think about what motivates you and what fires you up; if you’re gutting out a tough workout, you might want to silently repeat your race PR or a hoped-for Boston qualifying time. Visualizing a goal and connecting it to what you’re currently doing is a good way to spark motivation. Alternatively, a mantra can be a short phrase such as, “I love hills!” or “strong, powerful and smooth.” You can even channel the name of a rival runner—whatever works!

Zone Out

Do you love listening to music on a run? Save a special playlist for only the toughest workouts—listening to those sacred pump-up songs will feel like a treat. Another mental tricks worth trying is to identify a fellow runner or landmark in the distance and imagine he, she or it is a magnet pulling you along. It sounds odd, but we promise it actually works!

Find a Friend

If you know a run (or race) is going to be a challenge before you even begin, recruit a buddy to keep you company. Even if they only join you for a few miles, having that extra motivation is crucial. If a real-life running bud isn’t a possibility, consider a phone call with a friend over Bluetooth headphones or checking in via text before and after the run.

posted Wednesday January 13th
by Colorado Runner