Happy New Year!!!!! I am mentally weak when it comes to pushing myself and pain. So I like this article because it gives some good ideas to help me!
Essential advice from runners and readers.
From the February 2009 issue of Runner's World
1. Break It Down
Forget the big picture; think small. "When things get tough, I know I can always run just one more mile," says Jess Norton of Seattle. Or try something shorter. Adrienne Ramsey of Hingham, Massachusetts, tells herself, "You can do anything for one more minute." Jeff Rothman of Los Angeles targets landmarks. "I say to myself, 'Get to that building 300 meters from here.' Then, 'Now get to that tree 200 meters ahead...'" Harry Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina, uses moving targets. "I make a game of trying to pick off people who are ahead of me one by one," he says.
"I think, If I stop running, how am I going to get home?" -Josh via runnersworld.com
2. Repeat a Mantra
Follow the lead of elites, and tap into the power of words. "My favorite saying is 'Do or do not; there is no try.' It's from Star Wars," says Brian Sell, 2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner. Steve Prefontaine's "Pure guts race" inspires Octavius Bonacquisti of Austin, Texas, while Kellana Hindert of Cincinnati invokes Ryan Hall's "Run the mile you are in." A runner who wishes to be known simply as Jeff repeats Lance Armstrong's "Pain is temporary; quitting lasts forever." Heidi McIlroy of Kent, Washington, takes a different approach, talking trash-to herself. "I say things like, 'Legs, you're fine. No big deal. That hill? Hardly anything. Don't be such wimps, just keep moving.' Works like a charm."
3. See Success
Cara Hawkins of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, imagines she's racing against Bernard Lagat, Alan Webb, or Kara Goucher-and winning. Says a runner who calls herself Bunny of Ann Arbor, Michigan, "I think about the last guy that broke my heart-then I think about passing him." A runner named Vince, in training to go to Iraq, imagines outrunning an insurgent in a combat situation: "Any improvement now will have life-saving effects later." Police officer Katie, who patrols an urban area, reenacts foot pursuits on her runs. "The adrenaline kicks in, and I forget about the pain," she says.
The Tough Keep Going
85% have never dropped out of a race
70% say a bad run doesn't ruin their day
63% would never take a pill to PR
46% say their brains give out before bodies on long runs
40% have never cried during or after a race
Based on respondents to runnersworld.com polls
4. Think Hard
"I've learned that when I really focus on one thing, I won't think about what hurts," says James of Fort Worth, Texas. Lindsey Schaffer of Pullman, Washington, says, "I make sure my shoulders aren't tense, my footfalls are straight and firm, my back is straight, and that each breath is deep. The miles have passed before I know it." Patrick Gerini of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, says he concentrates on the sound of his footfalls and breathing: "I hypnotize myself this way." Ric Stewart of Lyons, Georgia, suggests thinking about body parts that don't hurt: "My index finger feels great!"
5. Remember the Reward
"I bargain with myself-I don't have to do anything for the rest of the day, and I can eat whatever I want," says Ashleigh Griffin of Midland, Texas. Margaret Turner thinks about her postrun steak and big glass of red wine. Kendra Pudlowski of Jefferson City, Missouri, reminds herself that she lost 118 pounds in the past year through diet and exercise. "I recently won my age division at a local 5-K," she says. "Running is what sets me apart from others around me struggling to be healthy."
6. Listen Up
"The best thing to keep me going is a song in my head," says Nathan Gringras of Richmond, Virginia. Like many runners, Joel Harrison of Fair Oaks, California, goes for the theme song to Chariots of Fire. "Mos Def & Massive Attack's song 'I Against I' helps me remember that it is only a battle between my mind and my body," says Cathryn Windham of Austin, Texas. John Frenette of San Francisco, likes all kinds of aggressive music. "It helps me dig deeper and re-channel energy," he says. Jean Owen prefers the spoken word. "When I feel like I'm about to give in, I switch to an audiobook," she says. "I like thrillers and mysteries-they keep me on edge."
7. Work Your Brain
Remi Hoffman of Berline Heights, Ohio, counts footsteps, while Simon Moyse of Snohomish, Washington, says he simply counts to 10 repeatedly. "Before you know it, you've done that 60 times and you're 10 minutes closer to your goal." Some smart runners make their minds really work. "I do mental math, like long division or multiplication," says Christine Cruz of Rockledge, Florida. "It's an easy way to keep my mind from thinking about how much longer I have to run." "I conjugate the verb 'to run' in Spanish in as many tenses as I can remember," says Jess Christensen of Earling, Iowa. "Corro, corres, corre, corremos, correis, corren..."
8. Don't Embarrass Yourself
"There's nothing worse than looking like a sucker walking down the road all sweaty six miles from home," says Joshua Lundin of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. "Having people around witnessing my run is like being accountable-as if I'm thinking about walking as soon as they're out of sight," agrees Ali Collier of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "I form a mental picture of my proud family and their big grins at the finish line," says Julie Bledsoe of Greenwood, South Carolina. "It gets me through every time."
"I dedicated each mile in a marathon and kept running so I wouldn't have to fess up to walking anyone's mile!" -Annie Tindall Birmingham, Alabama
9. Keep It in Perspective
"I think about how I made it through delivering a nine-pound baby-twice!" says Griffin of Texas. "I remember when I went through a divorce, and when my house burned down," says Doug Widowski of Rockford, Illinois. "I remember how I have had surgeries on both my knees," says Noah Brooks-Motl. "And I've made it this far." Says Krista Englert of Rochester, New York, "I survived two combat tours to Iraq. Pain on a run is nothing that I can't handle."
10. Count your Blessings
"I remind myself that any kind of running is a luxury I am afforded," says Brenda Carawan of Virginia Beach, Virginia. "There are too many people who wish they had two legs to run on. I am thankful for the body I've been given." Kathie Cheswick of Thunder Bay, Ontario, works in an outpatient physiotherapy clinic. "I run a mile for the patients who have touched me the most," she says. "I usually run out of miles before I run out of patients to run them for."