How to go the Distance and Push Past the Brain Barriers
Most runners have been there at some point when they were starting out, in a training run or at an event. The thoughts start trotting through your head I can’t keep going, my legs hurt, I don’t think I can get up this hill, I’ve never run this far – can I keep going, when will this end!
With a few tips and a little practice you can use your mind to run further than you ever thought possible.
Vlad Shatrov, Runlab founder and trainer says you must first take a step back.
“The first step in ensuring you are going to be able to complete a training session or event is make sure it is a realistic target,” said Vlad.
“Whilst we are all potentially more physically capable than we think we are, you need to run within your realistic boundaries – don’t enter to run a marathon if you haven’t managed running 5k yet.”
Within those realistic boundaries what thoughts are going through your head can make a big difference to what you can physically achieve.
Vlad suggests thinking about how running makes you feel in the rest of your life.
“If you have come to a point in your run that you are finding challenging and you feel like quitting, try to think about the sacrifices you have made to be out on the run and how good it makes you feel when you have finished.
“Pushing past the barriers can be challenging but if you put a couple of strategies in place like having a cue word or mantra to keep you going, you can achieve more than you ever thought you would.”
Try these tips when you are out running and feel like giving up:
• Give yourself small goals within the run – just run to the next lamp post, to the next traffic lights, to the next drive way – before you know it you have gone further than you thought you could. Then use those positive thoughts from the achievement to go further.
• Focus on the positive ways running makes you feel – stress relief, weight loss, time out from the kids or more energy in the mornings
• Practise pushing past the point of wanting to give up. Plan a training session where you are going to take yourself to a point where you want to give up and plan to run 30 seconds longer and increase that time each time you do the training session.
• Have a mental cue that you go to when you want to give up. It might be a mantra that you repeat over and over again or it might be just one word – what ever works for you.
• Focus on holding good running form when everything else seems to hard. Keep an upright posture, relaxed upper body and keep those legs ticking over. If you can hold and focus on form even if only briefly towards the latter stages of an event – you will be surprised at how beneficial it is.
Your brain is a powerful tool and can be used to push you past barriers that you might put up, but don’t ignore serious pain or illness otherwise you could be out for longer than you want to be.
Register now for the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k & 5k run today and put your brain barriers to the test! Visit sydneyharbour10k.com.au to register.