Mental Endurance Tips.

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!

Published by thedancingrunner

Marathon runner & group fitness instructor at 24 Hour Fitness. Passionate about family, friends, traveling. Loves destination races. Loves dining out, cooking in, being around down to earth people, writing, sunrises.

13 thoughts on “Mental Endurance Tips.

  1. Ironically, what keeps my mental endurance strong for life is working out.

    There’s something so rewarding about lifting weight one week, coming in the following week, and seeing yourself lift more than you did the week before.

    Very few things are measurable in life, lifting weights is one of them. Being able to measure that increases your confidence so much.

    That carries over into everything else.

    What motivated you to start running marathons? I’ve always wanted to, but as I’ve spent more time in the gym, I unfortunately stopped running nearly as much

    1. LOVE IT 🙂 Thanks for chiming in. As a fitness instructor I can relate to your reasoning for mental strength in the gym.

      I would say initially I was inspired by a former coworker when I worked in the CBS newsroom and I saw how consistent he was with his morning run – and at the time it was something I desired in my life. The stars aligned and I ended up finding a running club and ran the Chi town marathon in 2010. From there my life was forever changed and the running community I’ve been with along the way has made a huge impact on the trajectory of my life. Seeing the progress along the way going from 13.1 to running 100 miles twice on trails has been great as well. 😉 Happy training to you!

      1. 100 miles twice? That’s so motivating. The most I’ve ever run in a single attempt is 5 miles.

        I’m happy to hear you were able to fill that desire and change your life. Do you have any plans on running another one?

      2. I just completed my 6th 50 miler a few months ago, admittedly the 50 is my favorite distance. Mostly because I win a lot of top female awards in that distance haha. A hundo takes a LOT out of you and requires a team to complete…but maybe one day. Always happy to inspire. Thanks for visiting 🙂

  2. It’s been a hard year for sure. I don’t have a running group anymore, and it’s harder to get yourself out there alone. So my runs are shorter and on the treadmill which doesn’t help my mental health like an outside run does. Hoping the humidity lets up soon so i can run outside.

  3. This post resonates with me so much, I completely agree with everything you say. Discipline is way more important than motivation, we need to do what we need to do regardless of if we want to do it or not

    I am sure running ultras must have made your mind tough like steel , I remember running 10 km for 10 days straight and the mental toughness required was immense

    I wrote a post about it too if you’re interested

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