Training Tip Tuesday – Retrain your Brain

It’s LONG RUN day. And you are dreading it! Why? Because all you see in your head is this huge, daunting number that is haunting you.

Hey, you know what? Those feelings are perfectly normal. After all, you are about to attempt something you have never done. Or perhaps it is something you have done before, but don’t enjoy. It is so easy to talk yourself out of it because in your head, that number is unattainable.

How do you make it attainable? Make your head believe it. And how do you do that?

Fake it out.

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Let me ask you. How long does it take you to run 4 miles. 45 minutes? Well, hey…that’s the length of most running podcasts! Just run while listening to a running podcast and your done!

How long does it take you to run 6 miles? An hour? Well, most songs are 3-4 minutes long. Just download a favorite album and run to it. There goes the hour…there goes the six miles.

And that dreaded treadmill? Are you aiming for just 3 miles? What is that…30 minutes? How about an episode of you favorite sitcom, or a reality show that you’ve pre-recorded?

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Maybe it isn’t the mileage that is haunting you…maybe it is the time. How do you fight that battle?

It’s going to take me 2 hours to do that mileage! 2 HOURS RUNNING? Think for a minute what you typically accomplish in two hours. Maybe cleaning the house? Take your mind through the entire process while you are running. Imagine yourself going from room to room and getting the job done. How about shopping in the grocery store! Walk down the aisles as you run, imaging what you need to add on your grocery list. Challenge your brain by trying to remember what actually IS down Aisle 1, and if you need anything from that aisle. How about an e-book? Or how about stacking up 2 or 3 podcasts! They go fast once you start listening to them. Before you know it, your mileage is done once those podcasts come to a close.

Retrain your brain! Instead of thinking “I have a 10 mile run today,” or “My run will take me 90 minutes,” try “I get to listen to 2 new podcasts on my run today!”

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It may sound crazy, but give it a try! I think you’ll find that next training run a little easier to swallow!

Do you have any favorite Podcasts that you listen to while running? What are they?

Disclaimer: These training tips are based on my opinion and what has worked for me. I am not a doctor, or a trainer, or a professional athlete. This blog purely represents observations I have made in my 4 years as a runner. Always consult a medical professional before beginning a running or workout program. I am not liable, either expressly or in an implied manner, nor claim any responsibility for any emotional or physical problems that may occur directly or indirectly from reading this blog.

4 Responses to Training Tip Tuesday – Retrain your Brain

  1. Great advice! I listen to music when I run. I try to add music to my running playlist that I only listen to if I’m running so it’s like a treat to hear them. My longest distance yet has been 5 miles so I think I’ll start checking out podcasts now to get ready for even longer runs. I also like to psych myself out on long runs by breaking it up—like for the 5, I say oh it’s just two 2.5 mile runs back to back. I start counting over again at the halfway point. Mile 1 sounds a lot better than mile 4 for some reason.

  2. Great tips, Theresa! I’m about to start training for my first 25k and I know the mileage is going to start to freak me out (I looked too far ahead on the training schedule). Recently I’ve been listening to audio books and it really helps the time go by so much easier. 🙂

  3. Steve says:

    As a podcaster of 2 running podcasts, I love to hear your tip on listening to podcasts (but then again I am biased 😉 I find that for many runners (including myself) the mileage seems daunting at first, but then the ability to run 4 miles, will make 7 seem possible. Then during a 7 mile run, a 10 mile seems possible until eventually long distances don’t seem that bad. Running with others for long runs has been probably the best thing I have ever done as far as making not only the time pass, but the mileage. Things are just easier… I use the shorter runs for that alone time I need when I run.

  4. Sarah Oates says:

    I am amazed at how many times on a long run I find myself at some point thinking, “I’m not sure if I can make it”, but then when I ask myself what part is hurting or too tired to keep going… often I’m actually feeling fine, it’s all in my head. My brain definitely needs to keep being trained. Great post!

    I listend to audio books, I only let myself listen to them on long runs, so it becomes a bit of a treat to hear the next part of the story.

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