A Runner’s Mental Toughness: How to Maintain Motivation During Races

Santiago García gives us some tips not to lose motivation in the races.

It is always said first runs With the legs, then with the mind, and finally with the heart. It’s not a very scientific phrase, but it does try to add a little poetry to a concept mental strength in competitions.

When a runner leaves the starting line, they usually have high expectations and a desire for what they have trained to be reflected in the length of kilometers they have to contend with.

But even if the body is well prepared, the muscles and legs are strong and the cardiovascular system is at its best, if the mind does not want to maintain the required level of rigor, performance will be less.

When someone starts running everything is a profit. the first Careers They set the standard for what we can do and the first entrants are a memorable first victory. Sometimes, you give it all in that first impression, and sometimes, without knowing it, your chances are reduced.

The fact of the requirement arises with the future of new functions and the desire to continue to improve. You can’t improve forever, but you can give your best for every occasion. This is where mental strength and motivation come into play.

To be a complete athlete, it is also important to train the mind (REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov)

When one talks about the heart, one is talking about the brain receiving information and responding. When it goes well, everything is simple, but if you want to push yourself, the job is different. And if things don’t work out, it’s an extra mental effort to stay motivated.

Giving one’s best in every race doesn’t mean that everything will go well for us, it just means that we will do our best in every situation. When the competition begins, one can feel exhausted right from the start. Or because we are leaving too quickly or because we are afraid to go any further. Even, it is already more complicated, fearing that we will do well.

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Without reaching that level of analysis, what matters is maintaining concentration And clear minded. The race can last from half an hour to more than a day. in marathonFor example, the average runner takes just over four hours. How do you stay motivated?

The first thing Visualize the goal And the finish line. This can be done even in the previous days. Think race and goal. Imagine that happy and complete moment, and always remember that we are working towards it. Positive thoughts that don’t work miracles, but calm the pain and clear the mind to focus on sweat.

Conviction is essential to start running and mental strength to keep going (Reuters/Sophie Park)

Maintain that focus without becoming overwhelming, and think without extraordinary demands. Be realistic and ambitious at the same time. We can always give more. There are impossible things, but this line is not where we think. Good motivation will help us achieve things we never thought possible.

use repeated thought or a mantra. A brief phrase that puts us in a race if we lose focus. Something that makes us feel good and strong. This is how the most difficult moments will pass and the minutes will last as they correspond, not becoming eternal. Everyone can choose their phrases and repeat them.

You can also think about the people who love us and how they expect us. It’s magical what happens when someone in the race receives encouragement from a stranger and even more of a well-known person. he Energy injection It can last for a short time or a long time, but wake up.

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That is why it is advisable, at least when running on the street, to wear a T-shirt with the name or some kind of information about us, about the running team or country, for example. Thus, encouragement is personal, even when it comes from strangers.

Each athlete has a path, a process, a body that nature has given him and a temperament to train in the best possible way.

If the plan didn’t turn out as we wanted, that doesn’t mean all should be lost. Sometimes you lose motivation because the body isn’t responding, but if you can focus and stay determined, not only will you lessen the effects of a bad race, but you can also reverse it. Sometimes, a seemingly ruined career ends well.

Don’t fall for the first problem. Motivation also consists of adjusting a plan, while maintaining a clear mind to be able to analyze how to proceed. Of course it’s very hard, if it were easy it wouldn’t be funny. But again, this can be done if you work out.

There are ways to stay motivated even further than ever. If all that’s missing seems overwhelming, get to the kilometer we’re on. one kilometer at a time. It will be at this rate, and I will see it next. Divide the race into stages to be able to assess how we are coming, to be able to make a plan when fatigue prevents us from thinking. You already have an idea of ​​what profession we can turn to in those moments. Imagine arriving as many times as possible.

If we’ve run many races, we already know the happiness that comes from arriving. If we can visualize it while running, the mind will appreciate it. Even a smile essay is powerful fuel.

When we are going to run we have to think about the race, imagine reaching a thousand times, thinking about the effort and how we are going to achieve it

The shorter the race, the higher the speed, so the focus is greater and the motivation more intense. in trail running We will never have an audience, so we must always be mentally connected to how we feel. The terrain sets the pace but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t push ourselves to the limits every moment.

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Finally, I use an idea that allows me to stay not only motivated but happy as well. In the tough moments of every race I think:I choose to be hereHe thinks every fan should keep him in mind.

Nobody forces us, we choose it because it makes us happy. Even when we don’t give more, there is something funny about this idea. Who sends me to do? Nobody chose you! And with a smile we continue. There are very difficult moments and bright moments, but in the end it is something that we love and that benefits us.

At the finish line, still exhausted, our minds begin to imagine relief and the road to the next competition.

* Santiago García is a marathon runner, author of Run to Live, Live to Run and Run Again. Completed six world marathons twice. On Instagram: @sangarciacorre.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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