Often, the hardest part of running is taking the first few steps out the door. In fact, sports psychologists have discussed the psychology of motivation at length, citing that motivation can be difficult because running is an energy-intensive exercise, historically reserved for evading danger or finding food.
Many runners are Type A personalities who struggle with seeking perfectionism within a sport that is difficult to control. For serious runners, depression and anxiety can play a significant role, especially when factors outside of their control such as bad weather, injury, or a poor race performance.
Have you ever stood on the starting line and had a competitor ask you about your race plan, only to realize that you had not given it a thought? Developing a race strategy not only provides peace of mind and confidence on race day, but can help you achieve your goals when executed properly.
To many people, running is synonymous with pastas, breads, and other carbohydrate laden foods. After all, runners must carbohydrate load all the time, right? While carbohydrate loading is extremely important, especially for high-mileage runners or those planning to run a marathon, there are many myths regarding the carb-loading period.
It was supposed to be just another training run, with the bonus of aid stations & a medal, it should have been reasonably comfortable and ‘just’ another stepping stone towards my 50 mile goal in a couple of months time. It should be achievable enough that I can run again the following day but I ended up finishing with only 12km clocked on my Suunto at the Run Like A Girl Be Fearless trail marathon in Squamish. I DNF’d & have decided to DNS the Squamish 50 mile race, along with any other race I had in my schedule leading up to that day.
One of the most powerful tools a runner can use to improve his or her mental game and subsequent running is the reframing technique. Effective use of the technique requires the athlete to “reframe” a negative thought or situation into something positive, which has important implications for performance.
To run your best, a number of factors come into play: you must be physically fit, determined and arrive to the starting line uninjured. However, an often overlooked aspect of racing is the mental game. Running, more so than perhaps any other sport, is extremely dependent on mental toughness and the ability to push your body through boredom, pain and weakness.