With the pandemic and all of the chaos going on in our world today, it is easy to want to slip into a negative mindset. I am thankful I am one of those ‘sunny disposition’ types who doesn’t get easily deterred by trivial things. However…as I talk to different people (runners, athletes who take my classes at the gym etc) I realize there are a lot of hurting people in the world. I’ve learned to have more empathy with others in general.
We all need some mental endurance tips from time to time! Even those of us with a ‘sunny dispositon’.
A big part of racing (and training and day to day STUFF) is relying on your mental strength. As a person who has been running ultras and marathons for a number of years this is something I feel is my strong suit and I love to share the love with others. Here are some things that have worked for me to develop (and maintain) strong mental endurance.
–Discipline > motivation. I am a strong believer in this. Motivation to me is not something that is always going to get you out the door in the morning. As a beginning runner back in the day, I was that ‘motivated’ runner. Who was always looking to my left and my right at what someone else was doing. I don’t necessarily think being motivated is a bad thing. As you grow as an athlete and it becomes more a part of your overall wellness and lifestyle you realize consistency and discipline is what is going to keep you pounding the pavement and trails. It is what will keep you ‘rock solid’ when you’re not training, when you just are maintaining fitness. Getting out there, despite what race is on your calendar.
–Accountability. For me this has always been about community. I have a group that I run with on Saturdays and I always tell people that my Saturdays are SACRED. For instance, right now I have zero races on the calendar. This may or may not change in the next few months. But for once in about a decade I’m very at peace with this. Because I love to just get up and bang out a double digit run every weekend with my friends and I’ve been doing so for as long as I can remember in my adult life. Community…the running community, is what GIVES ME LIFE. And keeps my mental game strong. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
–Watch what you consume. Be it social media, incessantly scrolling through your Facebook-IG-Strava feed. What you consume, consumes you. I fill my social media feed with things that inspire me to get out the door. Things that make me laugh. Make me think. I have no room in life right now for anything to bring that energy down. And I feel that as I get older, my tolerance for anything that is draining is less and less. I do utilize Strava however for training purposes but honestly that is about it. I appreciate the Kudos though because I do know that people love the energy that I bring onto that platform so I continue to share.
–Sometimes you need a little music! This does and does not work for some. But as a fitness instructor and a music LOVER I crave music all of the time. Even when I am working as a writer for television during the day…when I am writing a promo…or want to get my creative juices flowing. Music MOVES ME. It will always be something that keeps my mental strong.
Feel free to share some things that keep your mental endurance strong for running – cycling – working out – LIFE!