“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t you’re right!”….Henri Ford
So ask yourself, do you build yourself up or tear yourself down with the words you speak about/ to yourself?
When you are pushing yourself towards a new goal, whether it’s a faster time or perhaps a new distance, it’s going to be challenging at some point. Often when we are challenged we can get discouraged or frustrated.
How do you treat yourself at these times?
My guess is that many of us do not realize how negative we can be towards ourselves. We might say things like, ‘I’ll never get faster, or I just can’t run hills, I can’t run further than 10K because I’m always getting injured…’ etc.
What can you do?
Tip 1: Determine what you struggle with the most when you’re out on a run. Pay attention and take note. Do you catch yourself being negative? Write it down when you can and then come up with a positive affirming message to yourself instead.
This leads us to Tip 2!
Tip 2: Practice recognizing all of the positive moments while you are out on a run. Celebrate the little victories instead of focusing on the negative. When you get home think about what went well. It’s okay to recognize where you struggled, but ensure that you use it as fuel for improvement during the next run.
Be patient with yourself.
Tip 3: Choose small targets, such as running just 1 minute longer than usual before taking a walk break. Additionally, during a regular running route, give yourself an extra block to run or when running hills, run up just 30 seconds longer than last time.
Prepare yourself ahead of time. Find a positive mantra(s) for when things get tough. Better yet, create your own mantra as you practice positivity while out on a run.
Some helpful mantras I’ve used:
“Slow or fast, a mile is a mile” -Unknown
“I breathe in strength. I breathe out weakness” -Amy Hastings
“I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done” -David Goggins
Last but not least, my personal favourite:
Run when you can, walk if you must but keep moving forward!
I came up with this one on a difficult training run. I can’t tell you how many times I will run instead of walking now because of this mantra! It has helped me to pursue my goal to run more consistently.
Sometimes when we recognize the negative words we say about ourselves, we can choose the opposite to focus on the positive.
For example, “I suck, I am never going to be fast”. Maybe it’s true that you’ll never be fast. Can you run longer distances? Do you run in not so great weather? Do you excel in other areas maybe that other fast runners do not? Maybe instead you can say, “I don’t know if I’ll ever be fast but I know that I can keep going and not give up.” OR “I might not be fast but I can keep going, like the energizer bunny!”
Do you have a favourite Mantra? What motivates you to keep moving?