Hi everybody! I’m back from my wedding weekend but am still catching up, so here’s one more guest post from the great NatalieSweet. I’ll be back on Thursday! TALK SOON!
How To Run Lots of Miles (and then some) By Building Your Confidence and Mental Toughness
Hi, I’m NatalieSweet and I have a passion for all things running, digital and hilarious. I am the feet behind SweetsFeet, a blog dedicated to my journey in running while sometimes trying to espouse tips and advice from my experiences. You can follow me on Twitter as @nataliejsweet, as well as friend me up on Daily Mile.
Obviously running is a physical activity and we all train our bodies for it, but too easily we forget the toughness that it takes to reach our goals. You need to be a tough runner..grrrr
Ok, well clearly I am not that tough physically. I am not going to hurt anyone with my boney arms, unless I jab them with them my boney elbows but I digress. Although physically I may not be the toughest, I try to be mentally tough. Mental toughness can get you through those bad runs, those last 6 miles and even just out the door. To me the foundation of mental toughness is your self confidence. If you are confident than you believe that you can accept whatever outcome or situation that may arise and you will find a way to conquer it.
Building up your confidence is not an easy task, and as you know runners can be very critical of themselves and their abilities, so I put together some tips I use to build my confidence and mental toughness.
- Set Short and Long Term Goals that are realistic – the short term goals are one of easiest ways to start building your confidence as long as they are realistic. Achieving these mini goals will start building your mind set to think that you can accomplish whatever goals you have and make attaining the Long Term goals easier.
- Follow a Routine and Plan – people feel more comfortable when they are in a routine. So set up your plan/training schedule and watch as you cross off your runs. That mental image of all the days you’ve run and all the miles you have covered is always a great image to boost confidence and fall back on when things feel tough. Plus the prepared feeling will give you confidence on race day.
- Be Realistic, You will have Bad Days –No one is exempt from having bad days, bad training runs and even bad races. Learn to acknowledge these and move on. Discouraging runs do not define you or your race. Know you will have them and plan how to overcome them during or if you have how to erase the memory of them after.
- Recognize Self Doubt and Focus on Positive Thinking– We are all our own worst critics, but catching this negative thoughts and self doubt early and reinforcing positive thoughts is hard and important. Practice controlling the voices in your head with positive self talk. Whether it is simply reminding yourself of how hard you have been training, how strong you have become and how miles you have run or repeating a positive running mantralike “Pain is temporary Proud is Forever,” Screw it, Run through it’; ‘Think strong, be strong, finish strong.’
- Visualization – Imagine how achieving your goals will feel and take yourself through the mental process of picturing what you will do the accomplish them. This technique really sounds cheesy, but if you actually do it, you will be amazed at the positive thinking and confidence it will create.
- Hard and Fun Workouts– Both these workouts give your confidence a boost in different ways. The hard workouts can really show you the exhilaration of pushing your limits and the reward of knowing you completed a hard workout. The Fun workouts spice things up and make you remember why you love running; these workouts always leave you feeling on top of the world. My favourite is my variation of Farklet training; I pick spots and run all out to it then jog then find another spot and go my fastest. It reminds me of being a kid again and brings the play aspect to my workout.
- Finish Strong– try to finish all your workouts strong! Leaving it all on the table and pushing yourself will leave you feeling satisfied and confident.
- And most all Believe in You…you can do whatever you want as long as you want it badly. Hard work and perseverance will make you successful and that’s all you really need.
What do you do to build your confidence? What is your running mantra? What keeps you through those tough miles and workouts?