There are five simple mistakes most runners make to derail them from succeeding at their goals. While you’re focusing externally and busy getting the perfect shoes, outfit and gear, you should instead be questioning your mental focus, training and nutrition, and perfecting the simple things.
Are you are you sabotaging your running success by…
Not being clear on your goal:
Of course you can have a goal of running or racing a certain distance but, until you sit down and make it crystal clear, it may not become a reality. Each and every run should have a purpose and each day should be building toward your ultimate goal. If you don’t know why you’re doing a run (tempo, speed, long) or where your rest days fall, you do not have a clear goal. Get one!
Fear usually comes with a big goal. We are all afraid of failure, of pain, or any other number of things that may stand between us and the finish line. Use the fear to your advantage by practicing mental training techniques and focusing on something you have complete control over. Not even elite runners can always control pace, time or even injury but we can all control things like fuel and mental focus. Practice visualizing your race many times before the actual day, listen to motivational podcasts or books and get your food and fuel to a point of perfection.
Training the same way you always have:
How is that working out for you? If you put in the same effort and do the same training runs on the same days, you will most likely get the same results. Get out of your comfort zone, try adding strength training or trail runs to your plan or, better yet, hire a coach and follow their professional and trusted lead. Hunt down information and expert advice on how to perfect your specific running plan, research ways to enhance your training and maybe even join a group with a common race goal and feed off of the energy and knowledge of the group.
Eating the wrong way:
With the overwhelming amount of information on how to eat, it’s no wonder you’re not eating correctly. First, know that what you put into your body matters and it can make a huge difference in running performance and recovery. Make small changes to improve your diet over time instead of making dramatic changes all at once so it’s sustainable. Add good fats and proteins, eat carbohydrates around the times you’re training and stay hydrated. Keep it simple and remember that you are fueling a machine for performance and what you fill your tank with is what will power you toward your goal. In fact, think about your goal each time you chose a meal or a snack and ask how it will help keep you running longer and stronger.
Not making the time to do it right:
I don’t have time is the worst excuse there is. No one has time, everyone is busy. If it’s important enough, you make time. Only you can decide if your time is worth achieving your goal.