Mental tricks to make every run feel easier

Make any run feel like a breezeHave you found yourself experiencing a challenging run recently? We’ve all had those days where something just doesn’t click and the entire workout feels like an uphill battle. But while some running obstacles obviously have to do with injuries, most tough runs are actually due to your attitude. In fact, it’s common to automatically assume that wall you hit is due to physical exhaustion, when often times it’s all in your head.

When you get to that point of “I don’t want to anymore,” take a deep breath and try one (or all!) of these tips to push through to the finish line:

Make mini-goals along the way. If you’re running a marathon, knowing you have 26.2 miles ahead of you can be very overwhelming. So break it in to 10Ks. Before you know it, you’re almost a fourth of the way done, then half, then finished! The same theory goes no matter the distance – if you’re doing a 5K, break your run down to a to-do list of 1 milers. Done, done and done!

Find your next target. See that bench ahead? You just have to get there.  Ok, now, look at that street sign just a few blocks away. By finding that next, do-able target, you’re taking those mini-goals to a whole new level. And your mind is perfectly distracted as it’s looking for the next object to conquer. (I’m coming for you light pole!)

Dedicate your miles. When it comes to long runs, a wandering mind isn’t a bad thing. Rather than focusing on the pavement and just how much of you it you have left, steer your thinking towards people who inspire you.  Each mile, think about one person, what they’ve done for you and how they make you smile, and charge ahead with them in mind. Mile 12 is for Grandpa. Mile 13 for your best friend. You get the idea!

Revamp your route. If you are training, the same run can get really old, really fast. Take a right instead of a left. Try a trail instead of a sidewalk. A little variety can go a long way.


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Photo credit: Sangudo

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