Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mental Strength

Got my Seattle Rock 'n' Roll confirmation today!

Race number 16068
Corral 16

The corral will more than likely change. I am running with team Wear Blue Run to Remember
so I'm pretty sure we will all be starting together. I need to find out the details still.

So yesterday I went onto the Boise Ironman website to see where the course was. Not cause I ever plan to enter one, I'm not a swimmer, but because I thought it would be fun to watch part of it and cheer on some amazing athletes!

When I was browsing around I saw a link to an article titled "Ironman Mental Strength: The Fifth Discipline"
While the focus of this article was only about Ironman racing I thought it was very helpful for any kind of endurance event.

It talked about the connection between the mind and the body and how the mind can have a powerful influence over the body. It listed some mental exercises to help an athlete get through training and race day.

These are the ones that I liked. You can check out the article HERE

  • Self-talk - Getting rid of the negative thoughts of "I can't or I'm not" and replacing them with "I can or I will"
I definitely believe in the power of self talk. If your head is always filled with I can't then it will more than likely never happen. When I'm running longer distances I always try to give myself positive pep talks and they always seem to help.

  • Checking-In - performing a self assessment of your body, your form, any aches and pains.
I don't have the best form but I like to think that I've improved since I first started running. I know while I run my shoulders tense up so I have to shake my arms and relax my shoulders. Especially towards the end of double digit runs or marathons when my body is tired I try to do a self check of my form. I'm still not the best at this as my past race pictures have shown but it's something I try to always work on. I've had to stop and stretch out tight muscles cause I would rather lose seconds in a race then end up injured.

  • This to shall pass - During some point in a race you are going to feel bad but the key is to keep moving forward and take breaks.
If I am feeling tired or worn out I walk if I need to. I would much rather walk than quit. I always remind myself of however many miles it is I have left. Even if the last few miles of a marathon seem to take forever, I know the end will come.

  • Misery Loves Company - Talk to people when you are racing. This can help distract you from negative self talk or pain.
One line they said was "Although you may be competing in an individual event, you are far from alone" This is so very true. For my last marathon I spoke to runners around me. I remember one woman telling me I was exceeding the speed limit for this part of the race. We both laughed and talked about the race and I found out that was her 4th time running it. It was motivating and it helped me take my mind off running for a little bit.

  • Have A Reason - Have a reason, not just a goal, to focus on and keep driving forward. "Some make the commitment for a charitable cause, a friend or family member, or some other deeply personal reason."
I know for Seattle Rock 'n' Roll my reason will be the Soldiers and their families. For our hero's that were not able to make it home. For the wives that don't get to feel their husband embrace. For the children that will never get to kiss their daddies or the ones that never got to meet them.

And last but not least...

  • Have fun - Enjoy the process and be proud of all your hard work and training! Smile! It can result in positive thoughts, emotions and energy!

My first marathon Oct 2010. Still smiling even though it's pouring down rain!

Taking time to be silly and have fun after my second marathon on May 14th.

Check out the article it definitely is a good read no matter what distance you train for.

I think mental strength is very important in long distance running. It's something I'm always trying to improve on.
What things do you do to help you with your mental strength?


  1. Thanks for sharing the article, you did a great job summing it up. I am always looking for things like that. I believe I am my own worst enemy sometimes.

  2. I think it's great you are running with "Wear Blue Run to Remember". I read about their story in Runner's World Magazine last year. We are transferring to the Seattle are next month so maybe I will be able to run with them in next years Seattle Marathon.

  3. So I am loving this!! Couldn't have come at a better time for me! My first half is in 2 days!! Thank you SO much for posting this, it is seriously relieving some of my anxiety!

  4. hmmm should I be worried that I haven't got mine yet?

  5. I just went and pulled my confirm and I'm #16051, corral 16! Too funny that our #s are so close!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...