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Advanced Mental Running Tips to Decrease Your Time

by Kyle

posted in Recreation and Sports : Track and Field

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Long distance running can often be grueling and severely uncomfortable. How is it that some people love it while others despise the very thought of it? Experienced long-distance runners use the following mental tips and practices to make running fun.

First, you need to let your imagination wonder. I know, running requires concentration, but it can be eased through the right thought process. Never think about what your body is doing, or the fact that your head keeps bobbing up and down. Focusing on your aches and pains only makes them worse. Do you remember those days in school when class seem to drag on for an eternity? The reason it took so long was probably because you were watching the clock. If you can could have got your mind off of how much you were dying to get out of there, time would have passed more quickly. Time flies when you are distracted.

Second, concentrate on overcoming one runner at a time. In a sense, this statement contradicts my first. While it is good to keep your mind distracted, you need to keep a small, narrow section of your brain focused on the race. This is why mental work for long-distance running is so hard, you need to be distracted and concentrated simultaneously. Look to the runner ahead of you, and start lengthening your strides to the point that you are gradually shortening the distance between the two of you. Pass him, and look to the next runner.

Third, avoid all unnecessary movements. These include wiping away sweat, fixing your running uniform, slapping a bug on your arm, clearing your eyes, etc. If it doesn't make you run faster, and you don't have to do it, then by all means do not do it!

Fourth, be mindful of your stride length. As the race goes on, your strides will start to get gradually slower. Return yourself to a normal pace whenever you notice this. However, do not overwork yourself or you will hit a hard wall before the race ends.

Fifth, enjoy the scenery! This goes back to my first tip, you need to take your mind off of how much you want to stop. So look around, count the flowers, and smile at the birds. Some coaches recommend talking to yourself, but I do not because it disrupts your breathing patterns.

Sixth, getting mad or angry can actually motivate you to run harder. Imagine someone running in front of you, some one you don't particularly like. Now imagine they turn around and start laughing at you because you are slow and will never finish the race. While this may seem a bit bizarre, anger can be a great incentive if you know how to use it.

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