Many people would agree that running is a physical activity. However, running long distances also has a big mental component that some people don’t even take into consideration when training. Mental training needs to be completed every time you train physically.
Here are four easy ways to train your brain
and kick the negative thoughts to the curb:
- Focus on how your body feels: Concentrate on relaxing your shoulders and controlling your breathing. This will keep your body relaxed and calm during your training and race. Slowing down or speeding up can also help you regulate how your body feels.
- Distract yourself: District yourself by playing music, solving math problems, looking around at the scenery or talking to your running partner.
- Practice fluid and fuel intake: Practicing your fluid and fuel plan during your training is not only physical, but also mental. It can keep you from worrying about where the next restroom is located on race day, so you can concentrate on finishing the race.
- Focus on your miles in segments: When training or racing, break your miles into segments, so you don’t think about the total distance you need to cover. Breaking your workout into 5- to 10-mile (or smaller) increments will help you mentally complete the entire mileage easier. Running smaller distances (in your head) that you feel confident in will build your mental strength to complete longer distances.