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Mental Toughness Running Tips


Last Saturday morning I laced up my shoes again for another 5K.  It was the Draper Days 5K and as I toed the line, and saw the many talented runners around me, I was struck with the realization that I was going to have to work hard to place well in this one.  This would be no “walk in the park”.  The race turned out to be one of those rare occasions where I felt like I was mentally tough and pushed through the pain to get to a new level.

Here are a few mental toughness strategies which may help you get to that next level in a workout or a race:

  1.  Relax – Your form can make an incredible difference in your time.  Focus on staying relaxed and you will be able to finish stronger and run faster because you will be running with less effort.  Relax your arms and shoulders, run upright (but not rigid) and stay light on your feet.  Think “smooth” and “fluid” in your movements.
  2. Maintain focus – There are lots of strategies to help you focus during a workout or a race; try these out at your next opportunity:  come up with a mantra to chant in your head, take a mental inventory of your body – focus on the moment and the work your body is doing,  spend some time visualizing your race and the course you’ll be running.
  3. Have confidence – Trust in your training.  You’ve done the work to lead up to that race or key workout, now trust your body.   Think about some good workouts you’ve done and use a little self-talk, “I ran this pace in my workout on Tuesday, I can do this today”.

Running really is a sport where being mentally tough makes a HUGE difference in your performance.

What do you do to be mentally tough in your workouts and/or races?

by Janae Richardson – Runner | USATF Certified Coach

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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 26th, 2012 at 2:11 pm and is filed under Motivation, Racing, Training, Utah Running. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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