Yesterday, I went for what was supposed to be an easy, 5km run to get my legs ready for the 18km I have on my training plan for this weekend. The weather was cool and overcast with no wind. I like these running days (truthfully, I like the sun to be shining but at least on the gray days, my shoes look extra bright and pretty!)
I set out mid-morning and felt like I was running for the first time in a year. Within 5 minutes I was huffing and puffing and wanting to walk. My legs felt good but I was out of breath. I thought I might be going too fast but I was keeping a fairly normal pace for me.
At my turn-around point I was exhausted. I really needed a boost that no energy bar, chew or even my precious Nuun could provide. I needed that voice inside my head telling me to keep pushing, that I was strong and that I had this run conquered. If you’ve ever struggled through a run, you know the voice I’m talking about. I kept repeating positive messages to myself and before I knew it, I was charging up the path to the pedestrian bridge and crossing my 5k “finish line”. I must have looked ridiculous but I celebrated this run!
What I’m learning through this training cycle is that the short runs can be just as hard, if not harder than the long runs. I’m learning that staying positive and repeating positive messages to myself does indeed help, even if I don’t believe it at first (my psychology of sport professor really did know what he was talking about!). I’ve also come to appreciate the importance of celebrating each and every run, especially the tough ones. It’s all part of the training, both mental and physical.
What words or phrases do you tell yourself when you need a mental boost to get through a tough workout?