Monday, August 6, 2018

Giving Yourself Tough Love to Help You Become Stronger

One of the biggest parts of running is the mental strength that it requires. That's something you hear a lot and probably so because it's true. You can be in great shape, training for a  hard race, feeling physically stronger than you've ever been, but if your mental game is not on it will make you feel weak all over.

Last week I talked about how I had a hard week for running a couple of weeks ago. It was frustrating and discouraging and part of me wanted to give up and say that there is no way I can accomplish the goals I've been setting. And then I told myself to grow up.

I'm all about listening to your body, taking breaks when you really need it, being aware of yourself, all of that. But sometimes our brains can be whiners and make us think that our bodies are needing a break.  Today I'm here to tell you that it might be time to give yourself some tough love.

When you have a day or week that your feeling extra sluggish and you notice that your brain is telling you to give up, stop and walk, take an extra break, check yourself. If nothing is truly hurting, not discomfort but pain that may be injury, then tell yourself to buck up and keep pushing. If these days seem to be happening a lot, give yourself permission to take an extra rest day or a few extra. Then get back out there, take a deep breath and push yourself a little harder each time than before.

When those negative thoughts start, tune them out with extra positive mantras.

"I've got this"

"I'm stronger than I was"

"I feel great"

"When I'm done I'll be so much stronger"

Turn on some upbeat, positive music and try to zone out.

Make a deal with yourself.

"Just one more mile and then I can walk for 2 minutes"

"Get to the next drinking fountain and I can stop for a drink and stretch a little"

"If I finish, I'll get or do ____"

These are little tricks that so many runners use when they are having a hard run.  And you'd be surprised how well they work.  It's pretty amazing what can happen when you switch your thinking to more positive thoughts. Every time you think one negative thought, think of something positive to take its place.  "I'm so thirsty right now" ---> "I have enough energy to make it to a drinking fountain" (clearly that's a big problem for me haha).

Part of being a stronger runner is breaking down mental barriers.  It's part of endurance and stamina. And it will be a part of every goal you make.  It doesn't matter how long you've been running or how fast you are right now. When you make a goal you have to push yourself harder physically and mentally more than you have before.

What is the one negative thought that you struggle with most?

How do you give yourself some tough love?

1 comment:

  1. I'm really bad with the negative self talk but have been working on it--I do the music distraction one or the internal pep talks, and they tend to work out pretty well!