Developing Mental Toughness As A Runner
Mental toughness comes through experience and as a runner you will develop the skills to deal with difficult runs without much problem.
When I first started running I had no resilience. I’d regularly think about quitting my workout and returning home to my bed. It was never gonna get any easier, so what was the point in trying?
The more I ran the more I proved to myself that I could easily survive a difficult run. This meant that I thought less about stopping and concentrated more on enjoying my run.
I soon learnt that my thoughts about stopping weren’t based on a tired body but my overactive imagination. If I believed that my run was about to go badly, my body would tense up and I’d start running less efficiently.
Nowadays I rarely think about quitting a workout. If things go a little pear-shaped, I’ll stop listening to my critical inner voice and focus more on moving forward one step at a time.
I try not to think as much about how far I’ve got to run on a particular day and more on how far I’ve came. If I’m 6 miles from the finish of a race and I start thinking about how far that really is, I’ll lose all focus and spiral into negativity.
The next step is the only step that matters. If my body is capable of making that step then I know I will finish.
I will run the remainder of the course as it comes to me. In my early days as a runner I made the mistake of running all of the difficult hills in my mind before I even arrived at them.