A Strong Runners’ Mindset

A Strong Runners’ Mindset

Written by Michelle Daniel, owner of The Lifestyle Technique, LLC

Mindset is the driving force in the pursuit for success and achievement. A mindset that combines discipline, strength, confidence, and ambition is a powerful mindset. This can help motivate and drive you in achieving anything your mind sets its sights on. A powerful mind can achieve anything. Believing that you can accomplish the distance, the pace, and/or the effort is a game-changer in achieving your goals. By building mental resilience, it can work on maintaining a positive mindset, remain motivated, take minutes off your personal best, and help achieve your running goals. A growth mindset helps keep you focused on what it takes to succeed, not just in the success itself. Every training run is an opportunity to learn and can have a positive effect of reducing stress levels around racing. Each training run, changing your diet, or getting more rest is a step in helping build your confidence leading up to race day. A growth mindset can allow less focus on the outcome and more focus on the process and what that tells you about yourself. Having a growth mindset can help you manage the anxiety and stress many runners may feel about race day. Setting yourself up for success starts with a plan. This includes allowing room to pivot and then refocus on our goals as needed. If you haven’t done so, try strategizing your race! Begin thinking of what you will wear, what you will eat, fueling yourself throughout the race, hydrating yourself before the race, and even getting adequate sleep days before the race. Then execute the plan. Mentally prepare yourself.

Mental strategies can help re-wire our thinking, build your confidence, and even help improve your running. Keeping the mental strategies simple keeps them from seeming complicated or too time-consuming. Here are 6 ways to strengthen your mindset before, during, and after the race.

  1. Be your own cheerleader. Cheer yourself on! Try reconnecting to WHY you decided to commit to running this Air Force Marathon Race. Knowing your why will help get you through the challenging times.
  2. Break your runs into segments. Maybe it’s been a tough day. Instead of tackling a 10-mile run at 6pm try breaking your run up into two 5 miles runs. Or commit to running 8 miles and most likely the other 2 miles will happen.
  3. Find your mantra! Repeat these small phrases to give you strength and motivation when needed. Or come up with your own Mantra. Examples: I am strong! I am capable! I am tough! I believed I could so I can!
  4. Using imagery. Envision the training runs and how you felt. Notice what your needs were during these runs. Reflect over your training program how you mentally and physically prepared yourself for your race.
  5. Recognize and change negative thoughts. Self-doubt and a negative mindset can affect training runs and race day. Remind yourself that you put in the training. You prepared for this. Recognize how you progressed through your training program not only physically but mentally! Use your mantra!
  6. Use Distraction Techniques. There are several different distraction techniques. Try focusing on your breath, listening to music, or count to 2, 4, or 6 on repeat with your strides, or focus on running to the next aid station.

Discipline, strength, confidence, and ambition is a powerful mindset and can help you achieve those race day goals.

**Please mark your calendars to join me at 1pm on Friday, September 16th at the AIR FORCE MARATHON EXPO for a very gentle yoga session. Details to come shortly.**

*No Federal endorsement(s) intended.