January 29 2016
You've trained your body—but what about your mind? Here is how to feel mentally strong during a race.
Sports psychologist Barbara Walker shares strategies for overcoming five common struggles.
“I can’t stick to a running routine.”
It may be daunting to know you’ll be running 20 miles during training, but if you take it week by week, that will build confidence like crazy. Find a training group, which will help you stay on track with your goals.
“What makes me think I can finish this run today when I haven’t before?”
It’s a new run—but it’s also a new day! Your body has never been exactly where it is right now. Slow down if you need to in order to finish.
“I’m not good enough to be called a runner.”
Repeat the cues, “I am an athlete” or “I am a strong runner” over and over again. Before long, you’ll believe it—it’s already true!
“I’m too tired to push to the finish line.”
Think, I can do anything for 30 seconds. Get through that little hump, reassess and then repeat that idea in your head until you’re crossing the finish.
“That runner is gaining on me.”
You have no control over anybody else out there. Run your best race and pay attention to yourself. Cheer her on if she passes you by—either way you’ll see her at the finish!