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”.

Read: How to run twice a week and live six years longer

Here are 5 science-backed tips to make you a better runner:

  1. Set a simple, yet attainable goal. Whether it be shaving off two minutes from your 5K or running a half-marathon, pick something.
  2. Learn to love pain. Find a mantra like “Embrace the suck” or “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever” and stick with it.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Picture it. Imagining yourself cross the finish line or beat your PB will trick your brain into thinking you can.

For more:

Why are Kenyans unbeatable at long-distance running?

Stop drinking chocolate milk after your workout. You’re no Olympian.

Scientific American: How to be a better runner

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