Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Mental Toughness

Being mentally tough and resilient will enable you to master the negative influences at work and in life - achieving your personal goald. As an athlete I am asked a lot about mental toughness. Yes it is tough out there running. We all feel it in our training and racing. It is about pushing through the barriers and knowing that it isn't always going to feel like this. A perfect example is when I did an 8 km time trial the other day with my new coach. I wanted to stop at 2 km. It was really hard because I do not like going that fast though I am now training hard for a fast marathon. I have slowed down over the last 6 months due to too much distance and lower intensity. However I feel even over the last two weeks I have improved. I am fortunate to have been referred by my friend to a professiona coach.

 A fast marathon means a fast 100 km. I enjoy long distance running though I also like the shorter distance. A way to build up mental toughness is to push the envelope just a little bit each day. 6 minute km pace might seem tough right now though once you have done it a few times you will be fine.

Back to back endurance running builds mental toughness. For example - running a 30 km on a saturday and then again the following day. It is funny because often when I feel really good is when I do not do as well in the race. Are you pushing yourself to your limit all the time? I do not in every race. It is imposssible however I have my eyes on 3 races over the next six months where I will aim for a podium finish and really push myself.

Tips on pushing through pain:
Acknowledge before you go out running that you will feel pain - when it comes it won't be a shock.
Know how far you are running - plan plan and plan. Also plan your pace how fast you will be going per KM
Reward yourself with something at the end - ie a massage or piece of cake or beer. (personaly I do not drink). You might like it though and it is good in moderation anyway.

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