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July 27, 2022

Whether you're just getting started, or you're an advanced runner, there will be times when running becomes difficult. Whether its because of bad weather conditions, an emotional crisis, or something else entirely, sometimes our bodies need some extra motivation to keep going. And that's where positive self-talk can come in handy. In this article I'll show you how I use positive self-talk as a source of encouragement as I run and how you can do the same!


Remaining Positive

When the going gets tough, it's easy to allow negative thoughts to creep in. You may think "I can't do this" or "I'm going to fail." These thoughts can negatively impact your performance and cause you to give up before you've even given yourself a chance. So what can you do?

  • It’s important that when these thoughts arise, you shift them away from being limiting by using positive affirmations instead. Positive affirmations are simple phrases that remind us of our strengths and abilities as well as how we want our life and mind-set to be for the day ahead of us. By using positive affirmations such as “I am strong” or “Today is going well” during a difficult run, it will help keep your mind focused on what works instead of allowing negative ideas like “This isn’t working out for me today!”



The Mind-Body Connection

It's not just your body that can get tired during a run. Your mind can also tire out, which is why it's important to keep it in check. When we talk about the “mind-body connection," we mean that our thoughts and feelings influence the way we feel physically, and vice versa. For example, if you're feeling nervous before a race or an intense workout because of what other people think of you as an athlete (or non-athlete), then this will probably make your body tense up too — making it harder for you to perform at full strength. 


So if you have trouble keeping focused while running laps around an indoor track or on grassy fields, try these strategies:

  •  Be mindful of your body. Notice how your legs feel as they strike the ground and push back off again. Are you keeping an even cadence? What about how tight or loose are your arms? Are they swinging freely, or do you feel like they're dragging behind you? Try to pay attention to these sensations without over-thinking them — just observe them.
  • Use visualization. Imagine yourself running at your best—with perfect form, breathing evenly and efficiently, and feeling strong all over. Picture yourself crossing the finish line of a race in first place or winning a tough sprint against an opponent who always beats you. The more vivid details you can imagine about these scenarios, the easier it will be for your body to respond accordingly when you need it most during competition.



Take a Deep Breath

When running gets tough, it’s important to remember to breathe. Breathing helps you relax and focus as well as keeping your body moving and recovering between runs. Taking deep breaths whilst running will help you relax. It will also increase the amount of oxygen in your blood, which is essential for providing energy and recovery after exercise. This can also help clear the mind of distractions so that it is ready for whatever comes next.

Remember that running is a mental game as much as it is a physical one. You can use positive self-talk to help you through difficult moments, but it also takes some practice before you feel confident in your ability to do so. In other words, don't beat yourself up if the first few times aren't perfect - just keep working until they are!