We are good at following a physical purposed training plan for a 5K, half marathon and full marathon, but what about our mental training plan? We as runners must strategize and most importantly practice encountering pain in the body. It’s the kind of pain that comes WITH racing, the inevitable breakdown of the legs, stamina and running form.
What are you going to do when this occurs? Fall apart? Allow your body to dictate to your mind? Allow your physical training to give way to your mental weakness?
NO. YOU WILL NOT. YOU WILL TRAIN YOUR MIND AND BODY starting today by using these three tried and true methods of mental strengthening during your workouts before you hit the starting line to maximize your performance.
If you are in the LA area, come to my Runner’s Yoga 90210 class this evening at 7:00 pm, meeting at the Lululemon Athletica store, 334 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly HIlls, 90210 for a super hands-on mental and physical experience.
Mental Strengthening Exercises
1. VISUALIZATION – Visualize Yourself as a Gazelle – Envision yourself running effortlessly, easy, smoothly, swiftly and fast. Include as many senses as you can to make the entire experience more real to include sight (seeing yourself calmly approach the starting line), sound (hearing the soft strike of your forefoot hitting the ground) taste (tasting the sweat rolling off your lips quenched by refreshment along the way), sensations (being aware of stored spring in your legs) and smell (breathing deeply, smelling the aroma of a gentle breeze aiding your every step).
2. POSITIVE SELF TALK – Choose a positive meaningful mantra to say to yourself throughout your workout and ultimately your race. The mantra can be a few words that you use when your body starts to deviate from your pace or starts to “try” to redirect the body. Use your mind skills to not allow your body to dictate to your mind. Declare “I am strong,” “Strike light and power push,” “I am soaring” or “Fighter” as Kara Goucher often uses to propel her body forward. Come up with your own and practice it as you perform your toughest training runs.
3. BE PRESENT – Concentrate on the task at hand and block out unnecessary stimuli. If the mind wanders, the runner will often find it difficult to stay on pace. Focus on relevant stimuli like what the competition is doing, your rate of breathing, your running form and split times. Use mile markers to give yourself feedback on your performance and adjust accordingly. The goal is to keep within the present moment. Focusing and monitoring skills should be practiced during workouts; with practice, they become automatic.
See you in class,