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Cleaning Out The Back Of Your (Runner’s) Fridge And Mind

You know you have stuff in the way back of your fridge. You try to pretend it’s not there; or worse, you keep it there, intentionally knowing you are not going to eat the last two pickles in the jar and that no one will be looking for a half-full bottle of flat tonic water. Why do we keep things we think we may need in the back of our refrigerators or the back of our minds? Is it comfort, or just plain laziness?

The metaphor “cleaning out the back of the fridge” can easily relate to the runner’s mind in terms of getting rid of things that no longer serve you. Think about why you’re hanging on to old insecurities or bad habits and how you can move past them or get rid of them completely.

It’s a new year and the perfect time to clean house, mentally and physically. Here’s how:

Dispose Of Negative Self-Talk

What you say to yourself matters. What your tell your body, it believes. Just as you practice speed and hills, so too should you practice positive self talk. Obviously running is hard (sometimes really, horribly, terribly hard), but in order to overcome the “hard” to get to the “great,” you have to believe you can, and that starts with your mind, not your body.

  1. Before you start your next training session, no matter how daunting, think about it in a positive way. Even if you just tell yourself to do the best you can, that is enough.
  2. Have positive mantras ready for when the going gets hard, since you know it will get hard.
  3. Practice positivity on every run so that your mind is trained and ready for race day.

Don’t Set Too Many Limitations

The only limitations you have are the ones you put on yourself. Don’t listen to the critics, naysayers or even the science behind what you want to accomplish. Dream big and aim high with your goals. Even if you fail, at least you tried–and we’re willing to bet there will be a lot of small successes along the way.

Let The Past Lie

Let go of past PRs as you would that jelly jar in the back of your refrigerator. Clean it out and get rid of it already! Train where you are now–not last year, not where you want to be, but exactly where you are. The sooner you start running with yourself instead of chasing ghosts, the happier you will be and the more improvements you will see overall.

Related:

The 3 Best Podcasts For Building Mental Strength

5 Reasons Why Self-Talk On The Run Is Working

10 Tips For Boosting Confidence While Training

Allie Burdick

Allie Burdick

Allie is a freelance writer, athlete and mom, but not in that order. Her work has appeared in Runner's World, Triathlon Magazine and ESPNW. On her blog, VITA Train for Life, she chronicles her life as a runner/triathlete and hopes her successes and failures help to motivate and inspire others, even the over-40 crowd she somehow found herself in! The rest of her time is spent raising her twin boys with her husband in the Northeast where they live a big life! See it all on Twitter and Instagram.