As mental health week is imminent, it seems an appropriate time to mention many people have asked about training for the mental side of running to complete in 5Km runs or improve their times. Spiritual encouragement from traditional myth-based religions has been suggested, as has meditation but for more tried and trusted methods the following might help Threaders:
Connect to your "why". We are much more willing to tolerate discomfort when we know that doing so is tied to a meaningful purpose or long-term goal. As you warm up, bring to mind the big goal you are currently working on (maybe a Thread PB). Mental toughness is all about embracing how you endure.
Find a way, not an excuse. We can be really good at talking ourselves out of upcoming harder efforts before we even reach them. We can negotiate with ourselves in an effort to avoid a hard task. When you begin to encounter discomfort, say to yourself: “I am willing to keep pushing. I am capable of this effort. or try a variation by using “you are” self-talk—referring to yourself in the second person as if you are a coach, guiding the session along. “You are going to finish strong. You are almost there. You are crushing this segment.”
Train purposefully in unpleasant conditions: Horrid weather provides an ideal test for mental toughness. So does running during a time of day in which you are not used to training. Vary the times you train. Starting at an inconvenient time when you may not feel fresh will train your mind and body to work through uncomfortable situations and help you hone both willingness and optimism.
Practice daily: Outside of the those tough training sessions, there are plenty of opportunities to practice mental toughness in your daily life. For those of us who shower (hopefully that's all Threaders!!), you can sharpen this skill simply by proactively and purposefully turning the water cold for a few minutes each day. Tolerating an uncomfortable moment each day lets you learn the connection between an unpleasant physical experience and the games your mind plays to quickly escape or avoid.
Meanwhile, at the business end....John Thorpe takes his now familiar position in first place, followed by Andy Mellor and Jacob Jones. An ever improving Sophie Hopkinson was first lady back, clearly inspiring her dad, John who PB with 2 mins off his best.
Thanks as ever to our Marshals Roger, Ranald and a returning Tony for offering hearty support to the Threaders this morning.
Continuing our new plan for donations as outlined in our pre-run January email, thank you for your generosity amounting to £105.65 which will be going to Ashgate Hospice