Once you’ve undergone sufficient physical training, it becomes a mental battle. Mind over matter does come into play and being mentally tough will help you “push through it”.
Here are 5 science-backed tips to make you a better runner:
- Set a simple, yet attainable goal. Whether it be shaving off two minutes from your 5K or running a half-marathon, pick something.
- Learn to love pain. Find a mantra like “Embrace the suck” or “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever” and stick with it.
- Be competitive. Do you have a rival? Train with someone who’s better, faster or stronger than you and push yourself to keep up. For race day, pick someone a few meters ahead and focus on catching them. And repeat.
- Talk to yourself. “Self-talk” is an incredible strategy whereby athletes use a few key words or sentences to boost their mood and performance. Try saying “I can do it” next time you feel like quitting.
- Picture it. Imagining yourself cross the finish line or beat your PB will trick your brain into thinking you can.