In a previous post (found here) I talked about 3 ways to help train your mind to get through some hard runs.  Or, more accurately, ways to get through some hard parts of a run.  It is so easy to slow down or jump off the treadmill – or worse – stop.  And if you listen to runners that have been around the trail a few times, they will let you know – Running is 90% mental.  Training your running brain is essential to great running!

In my previous post, in brief, I spoke of:

1.  Displacing your mind to an area of your body that is pain free.  Does your pinkie hurt?  No?  Put your mind in that pinkie.

2.  Challenge the negative thought.  Yes, it hurts, but you have gotten through the pain before, you can do it again.

3.  Realize you have control of when you will allow your mind to say, “this hurts.”  You may be able to win this mental battle longer than you think.

Here are 2 MORE great ways to train your mind!

4. Visualization

Picture yourself running.  Picture yourself at a race.  Listen to your breathing.  See the water volunteers handing out water.  See kids ringing bells as you run past.  See it all.  Take it all in.  See yourself coming across the finish line.  Smile…..

I sometimes do this exercise while I am running.  It is easy to let your mind wander when you are running an easy run anyway.

(“What do you think about when you run that long?”  “I don’t know….nothing….everything….”  )

Well, now visualize a successful race..  From your breathing, your body, your personal win across the line.  One song in particular automatically takes me to mental race world.  Take a listen and let your mind wander.  Lay in bed, waiting in the waiting room at the dentist’s office – wherever works for you – VISUALIZE SUCCESS.

Aerodynamic” – Daft Punk

5.  Intrinsic or Extrinsic Motivation

What motivates you?  Feeling successful as a runner?  Training to feel like the best?  Then you are an intrinsic runner.  Your motivation comes from within.

You want to impress that guy you have been eyeing?  Do you want to be able to eat a big fat donut?  Are you motivated by something outside of yourself?  You are an extrinsic runner.

Either way, find your motivation and run with it!  Figure out what is driving you.  Run with your drive, with your motivation and GO!

When I run, especially long distances, I imagine a little me in my brain.  I walk to the quiet part of my brain and I go and sit down.  I can sit in the quiet room of my brain for hours.  I don’t mind this quiet time.  I like it!  But there are times when something nagging – a negative thought, negative emotion, a pain – takes me out of  my brain chair.  Finding a way back into this peaceful place, or locating to a new peaceful place helps get me through some tough runs.  

How about you?  How do you mind train?  Let me know!