Mind Over Body

mind-over-matter

I’m into the 4th week of training and the time has come to focus on strengthening my mind. A shift in how I think during my runs is necessary and important, as my weekly mileage climbs.

Up until now, I’ve allowed myself to walk when I’m winded or when a hill becomes particularly challenging. Listening to my body continues to be paramount in building endurance, so I don’t injure myself. But here’s what happens: As my body gets stronger, my mind still signals me to slow down, walk a little, catch my breath. And the second I hear that thought, Psst, this is hard. Let’s walk! — my legs turn to cement blocks and my lungs catch fire and before I know what’s happened, I can’t keep going.

There’s a great runner’s inspirational quote that goes something like this: “Running never gets easier, I just get better.” So true!

From past training seasons, I know something else that’s true. If you discipline your mind and keep an active dialogue with yourself during every run (read *cheer yourself on* or *be your own drill sergeant*) , you will not have to walk because your body is actually strong enough to continue running. And only when you tune out those weak thoughts will you realize just how strong you are.

I’ve also got to apply the same principle of mind control when I’m choosing the foods I eat throughout the day. But that’s for another post. 🙂

I’d love to know, how do you quiet that inner voice that begs you to slow down or walk?

 

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About Nicole Ducleroir

I write stories and I run. Sometimes at the same time, though it's really hard to read my handwriting afterwards. *Note to Self: Buy a portable recorder* To read examples of my short fiction, visit http://nicoleducleroir.blogspot.com and click the Published Work or My Short Stories tabs.
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2 Responses to Mind Over Body

  1. For me, that voice has never gone away (I’m not a lifelong runner, but I’ve run my share of distance races). It still comes up regularly. It’s not for everyone, but I’ve found running with a heart rate monitor to be incredibly beneficial. It gives me an unbiased measure of how hard I’m actually working. If I feel worn out and like I need to start walking, I look down at my wrist and usually see that my heart rate hasn’t gone up any, and I’m in still in my “normal” training range, so I know that the struggle is in my head and that my body isn’t needing to stop yet. Does that make any sense?

  2. RunKateRun says:

    I also battle with this having just started my half marathon training recently. I find that forcing myself to think about something unrelated to running sometimes helps. I think about things to sort out at work and things I want to get done over the weekend. It sort of helps because I almost forget I’m running and don’t pay attention to the burning sensation in my legs. Sometimes I just count my breathing and that can help a little.

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