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?