Running State Of Mind

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

I just filled the pellet stove to the brim and now I’m preparing to tackle clearing our driveway. Rider, Lori, and I plan to run on our Tubbs snowshoes today. I ran a challenging 16 miles in hilly Grafton yesterday and really pushed the pace the last 6 miles. It’s important to train your body to sustain your pace in the closing miles of a run or race when you are the most tired.

Focusing on your form and having a positive mental attitude when you are hurting is the key to success in marathon preparation. Preparing your mind and body for this effort begins with every run. Accept the reality that your first mile is going to be uncomfortable and, if you manage your thoughts, you’ve set the stage for a positive run. Slow your pace and take shorter strides to allow your body to fully acclimate to the effort of running. It takes time for your heart to pump large volumes of blood to your major muscle groups to fully oxygenate them.

During this process I focus on my mental state by establishing what my goals are for each run. For instance, if I had a difficult run the previous day or if I woke with an elevated heart rate, today’s run is a recovery run and I need to convince myself not to push too hard. Training with a heart rate monitor and closely monitoring my effort will ensure I accomplish this. I also focus on my breathing and my running form so that I establish a good running rhythm right from the outset.

Running in the moment rather than focusing on how many miles you have remaining will serve you well. Constantly monitoring how your feet are striking the road, how you’re rolling through your gait cycle, keeping your hands and shoulders relaxed, and breathing in a relaxed rhythm are all important to maximizing your effort.

Getting physically fit is only half the equation to marathon success. The other equally important half is sustaining a positive running state of mind!

  1. Terri says:

    Great run, Rick thanks for sharing through your excellent blogs. This is what I need to remember, concentrate on form. I am also following both your and Lori’s advice about being better about nutrition, and cleaning up the diet. Also getting enough rest and gearing up the mindset to be a trained athlete/runner.

  2. I am glad that you’re enjoying the blog and gaining valuable insight into effective ways to improve your running, Terri.

  3. You are so right. Ray Zahab said on his web site that after appropriate training, it’s 90% mental and 10% in our head.
    Your blog is so good.
    I’m glad I found it.
    Thanks and keep posting I will keep reading it.

  4. Thanks again for your positive comments about my blog. I appreciate your support and hope that my guidance will benefit you as you train for Boston.

  5. Jessy says:

    Rick ~
    So good to see you’re still out there motivating the masses! I look forward to following your words of wisdom & inspiration. I’m running the Breast Cancer Half Marathon in February with some friends…..what’s better than hearing, “Save the ta-tas!!” as you are getting closer to the finish line! Much love to Lori and you!

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